North Alabama Shoals Hospital Announces Psychiatric Residency Program

First Graduating Class Set for Summer of 2026

by Staff
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MUSCLE SHOALS – A new Graduate Medical Education (GME) program has launched at North Alabama Shoals Hospital. Officials with North Alabama Medical Center have announced the establishment of the new psychiatric residency program that began July 1. The hospital welcomed five new first-year, as well as five second-year psychiatric residents to campus. The four-year process GME program will culminate with the hospital’s first graduating class scheduled for the summer of 2026. 

“This is a meaningful program for North Alabama Shoals Hospital, and the medical community nationwide,” said North Alabama Shoals Hospital Chief Operating Officer Doug Holzbog. “In a short time, we will be graduating five psychiatrists annually to help fill a huge service void throughout the region, state and nation.” 


The four-year program, which is the third of its kind in Alabama, will add five psychiatric residents per year for a total of 20 residents before the first graduating class. A total of five psychiatrists will graduate each year, starting in June of 2026.  


Medical residents at North Alabama Shoals Hospital will work side-by-side and train under the supervision of an attending physician board-certified in their specialty. Successful completion of residency training is a requirement to obtain board certification in a selected specialty. 


The other psychiatric residency programs in the state are located at UAB and the University of South Alabama.  


The new psychiatric program has received initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), joining the internal medicine resident program at North Alabama Medical Center. ACGME is an independent, non-profit organization that sets and monitors voluntary professions education standards essential in preparing physicians to deliver safe, high-quality medical care 


Praveen Narahari, MD, will serve as program director of the psychiatric residency program. Dr. Narahari is board certified in psychiatry, neurology and addiction medicine. He is on the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. Dr. Narahari obtained his medical degree from Kakatiya Medial College and NTR University of Health Sciences. He completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, serving as the Chief Resident June 2012-June 2013.  


“The central focus of our program is to train new psychiatrists, addressing the critical need our community has for these specialists,” said Narahari. “Our mission is to provide excellent quality psychiatric services to the residents of Northwest Alabama, and this program is a significant step in that direction. We recognize the urgent need for more psychiatrists in our region, and this program is our response to that need. I want to take this moment to express my heartfelt gratitude towards (NAMC CEO) Mr. Russell Pigg. It was his vision and unwavering support that made the realization of this program possible. His commitment to improving the mental health resources in our region has been inspiring, and we owe a great deal of this progress to his leadership.” 


The psychiatric residency program at North Alabama Shoals Hospital will join North Alabama Medical Center’s internal medicine residency, which also welcomed a new incoming class in July. 


“Dr. Narahari brings a wealth of experience to lead our program,” added Holzbog. “This will be a complementary program to align with NAMC’s successful internal medicine program.” 


North Alabama Shoals Hospital has been a leading provider of behavioral health services for adults and since [date] and features a 20-bed psychiatric stabilization unit providing inpatient medication management, as well as individual, group and family therapy. Mood disorders, including bipolar disorders and depression, psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors are some of the most common reasons individuals may be admitted to the unit. The Senior Care Center at NASH, an inpatient 30-bed unit, was founded in 2009 and is the only in-patient acute geriatric psychiatric treatment program in northwest Alabama. This highly specialized program provides acute care to geriatric patients exhibiting psychiatric symptoms, often in relation to medical disorders. 


To learn more about behavioral health service at North Alabama Shoals Hospital, visit

Media Release/Shane Herrmann/Director of Communications and Marketing/North Alabama Medical Center

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