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Psychosomatic Medicine

Overview

The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) will offer a one-year ACGME-accredited fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine, beginning July 1, 2015. The fellowship will provide a forum in which psychiatrists can cultivate outstanding clinical skills, make meaningful academic and research contributions, and educate colleagues in the practice of psychiatry at its interface with other medical specialties.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and WPIC have long demonstrated commitment to excellence in Psychosomatic Medicine. Our clinical services have evolved from inpatient psychiatry consultation to include integrated programs with palliative care, oncology, bariatric surgery, hepatology, solid organ and intestinal transplantation, internal medicine, and infectious diseases. Through interdepartmental collaborations, research programs in psychoneuorimmunology, reproductive health, and transplantation psychiatry at UPMC have also achieved international recognition.

Accordingly, fellows will train in an environment rich with clinical and academic opportunities, including the following core experiences:

Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Core Experiences
Core Experience Site Location Clinical Setting
Inpatient Psychiatry Consultation UPMC Presbyterian Hospital,
UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital
Inpatient
Psycho-Oncology and
Palliative Care Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
UPMC Presbyterian Hospital
Inpatient/Ambulatory
Transplantation Psychiatry Starzl Transplantation Institute at UPMC Inpatient/Ambulatory
HIV/AIDS Psychiatry Pittsburgh AIDS Center for Treatment Ambulatory
PM Fellowship Education UPMC Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic N/A

Goals and Objectives

The University of Pittsburgh Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Program strives for excellence in the following capacities:

Apprenticeship

Fellows will gain the experience of junior faculty on a high-volume inpatient psychiatry consultation service and in specialty clinics, with greater autonomy and clinical responsibility, and under the direct mentorship of devoted clinical faculty.

Clinical Excellence

Fellows will be trained to conduct thorough neurologic and psychiatric evaluations in the general medical setting and to consider etiologies and treatments for clinical presentations in a comprehensive manner.

Academic Vigor

Fellows will be encouraged to contribute scholastically to the field of Psychosomatic Medicine, including academic writing, quality improvement, and clinical research, through academic mentorship and practice.

Practical Applications of Neuropsychiatry

Fellows will gain a nuanced education in clinical neuroscience, with emphasis on the underpinnings of affective, behavioral, and cognitive presentations in the general medical setting.

Fellowship

Fellows will join a community of physicians with similar academic and clinical missions through a formative experience that extends beyond their year in training. Fellows can expect to remain connected to academic and research endeavors alongside faculty and trainees at UPMC and WPIC, and to collaborate with one another on local, regional, and national levels.

Clinical Duties and Sample Schedule


Inpatient Psychiatry Consultation – UPMC Presbyterian Hospital and Magee Women’s Hospital

The Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison (CL) Services at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital (792 beds) and UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital (360 beds) complete over 3000 psychiatry evaluations per academic year. These settings provide psychosomatic medicine fellows with diverse, educational, and high-volume experiences, along with exposure to a wide array of medical, surgical, obstetrical-gynecological, and psychiatric conditions. Fellows will serve as integral members of a teams-based teaching service, providing psychiatric care on the inpatient floors and intensive care units. Core teaching faculty with expertise in psychosomatic medicine and women’s mental health will engage fellows in supervision of clinical cases. (12-month experience: 65% annual full time equivalent)

Psycho-Oncology and Palliative Care Psychiatry – University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC Presbyterian Hospital

The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) provides centralized multidisciplinary care to patients with oncologic and hematologic conditions, in addition to leading the region in cancer research. Psychosomatic medicine fellows will function as devoted psychiatric consultants within specialized oncology teams (e.g., neuro-oncology, stem cell transplantation), in addition to providing ambulatory psychiatric services to patients with cancer diagnoses. During this experience, fellows will also function in the liaison capacity to the Palliative Care Service at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, providing devoted psychiatric consultation and education to a large multidisciplinary team. Designated time will be allotted for longitudinal supervision of clinical cases and instruction in palliative care psychiatry and psycho-oncology by core teaching faculty. (6-month experience; 15% annual full time equivalent)

Transplantation Psychiatry – Starzl Transplantation Institute

The Starzl Transplantation Institute (STI) at UPMC is an internationally acclaimed clinical and research center, known for high-volume and clinically complex organ transplantation. Psychosomatic medicine fellows will provide psychiatric care to patients across a variety of clinical settings: from inpatient and ambulatory pre-transplantation evaluation, to inpatient consultation during the transplantation phase, to post-transplantation follow-up in the ambulatory clinic. This continuity will afford fellows the opportunity to engage in comprehensive, mutli-dimensional patient care as integral members of an interdisciplinary service. Designated time will be allotted for longitudinal supervision of clinical cases and instruction in transplantation psychiatry by core teaching faculty. (12-month experience; 10% annual full time equivalent)

HIV/AIDS Psychiatry – Pittsburgh AIDS Center for Treatment

The Pittsburgh AIDS Center for Treatment (PACT) provides specialized care that targets medical, mental health, and social work needs of individuals with HIV/AIDS. At the referral of primary care physicians and infectious disease specialists, psychosomatic medicine fellows will provide ambulatory psychiatric evaluation and treatment within the PACT clinical site. Fellows will have the unique opportunity to collaborate with non-psychiatric providers as part of a multidisciplinary HIV-specialized clinic. Designated time will be allotted for longitudinal supervision of clinical cases and instruction in HIV/AIDS psychiatry and infectious diseases by core teaching faculty. (6-month experience; 5% annual full time equivalent)

Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Education Program

A twelve-month specialized education program in Psychosomatic Medicine will comprise didactics and weekly case conferences, led by core and adjunct teaching faculty. Covered topics will include bedside neurologic examination, specialized psychotherapy, advanced topics in delirium, perinatal psychiatry, end-of-life care and palliation, among other specialty topics. A weekly Psychosomatic Medicine Fellows’ Case Conference will allow fellows to practice case presentation, sharpen interviewing skills, observe physical and mental status examinations, and discuss interesting cases through bedside teaching. Fellows will participate in an established Psychosomatic Medicine Education Series for faculty and trainees, which includes quarterly Grand Rounds, in-service trainings, and round-table journal club discussions. (12-month experience; 5% annual full time equivalent)

Scholarly/Research Activities

Trainees are expected to engage in scholarly activity during the fellowship year, and are provided two hours per week for devoted efforts. Potential activities include: educational program development, quality improvement initiatives, academic manuscript authorship, and formalized research. The University of Pittsburgh provides fellows with the opportunity to collaborate with an array of renowned researchers, including Drs. Andrea DiMartini, Bruce Rollman, Eva Szigethy, Frank Lotrich, and Matthew Muldoon. Writing, research, educational, and administrative development skills will be taught as part of the Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Education Program.

Qualifications

Requirements for application include: a) completion of an ACGME-accredited residency program in psychiatry by commencement of the fellowship year; b) passing score on the USMLE STEP III examination; c) eligibility for medical licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Application Process

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship accepts the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine (APM) Common Application.

Completed applications, including reference letters (please refer to application for instructions), for fellowship positions in the following academic year are due no later than October 31, 2014. Applicants are invited to interview from September through late November 2014, and positions are offered through the NRMP Match process.

The application form can be downloaded here:

Inquiries and applications should be directed to:

Pierre N. Azzam, MD
Director, Fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine
3520 Fifth Avenue, Lower Level - Suite 1
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Telephone: (412) 383-1641
Fax: (412) 383-3177
Email: azzamp@upmc.edu