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Women’s Mental Health AOC

Women’s Mental Health
Area of Concentration



The overall goal for the Area of Concentration (AOC) is to enhance resident interest in women’s mental health, improve clinical practice, provide opportunities for mentorship, and promote consideration of a career in women’s mental health. This AOC will expand on the existing women’s mental health curriculum and training that all psychiatry residents receive, and will provide a more comprehensive, in-depth exploration of the topics listed below.

Goal and Objectives


  • The primary goal of this curriculum is to provide the resident with an opportunity to gain supplemental education in the topic of women’s mental health.
  • The resident will learn about psychotropic medication management in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • The resident will learn about appropriate management of perinatal and postpartum syndromes
  • The resident will learn about areas pertinent to women’s mental health including substance abuse, trauma/abuse/PTSD
  • The resident will gain an appreciation for the available literature in the area of women’s mental health.


Participants will:

  • Gain comfort conducting risk-benefit discussions regarding treatment options during pregnancy.
  • Attain knowledge in learning about mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders during pregnancy
  • Outline effective treatment options (medications and nonpharmacological measures) that may be used during pregnancy.
  • Learn to detect and diagnose postpartum syndromes (postpartum depression, psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder).
  • Learn approaches to treating substance use disorders during pregnancy and the peripartum period and potential fetal effects of drugs of abuse.
  • Gain experience in managing psychiatric medications in the context of breastfeeding
  • Appreciate the nuances of clinical management around perinatal loss.
  • Discuss women’s health considerations in palliative care and psycho-oncology.
  • Appreciate challenges surrounding law and ethics in pregnancy and the treatment of mental illness during pregnancy.
  • Learn strategies for identifying PTSD and interpersonal violence.
  • Gain additional knowledge about postmenstrual disorders, PMDD, menopause and hormonal treatments.
  • Understand women’s health issues particular to eating disorders.


Over the course of the 4-5 years of residency, each individual resident will complete the following:

  • Regular attendance at the monthly Women’s Mental Health Study Group sessions. This is defined as attending at least 15 sessions listed under Women’s Mental Health Study Group Monthly Meetings below. Alternatively, attendance at 12 sessions PLUS one local or national conference related to Women's Mental Health will be considered on case-by-case basis. A list of sessions attended will be reviewed by the course directors before graduation.
  • Scholarly work related to the field of women’s mental health. Examples include the following electives:
    • Didactic teaching to OB or FM residents on a perinatal psychiatry topic
    • Lecture to psychiatry residents on perinatal psychiatry
    • Lecture to psychiatry residents on perinatal psychiatry
    • Poster presentation on a WMH topic
    • AACE project on a WMH topic
    • Grand Rounds on a WMH topic
    • Case challenge, case report, review article on a WMH topic, APM Annotation for publication on the APM website
  • Clinical experience in 3 of the following electives:
    • Perinatal Addictions Clinic
    • Dual Diagnosis Women’s Health Elective
    • Inpatient Consults at Magee (Psychosomatic Medicine Senior Elective)
    • Magee Behavioral Health Care Elective
  • Optional experiences:
    • Women’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
    • Pennsylvania Organization for Women in Early Recovery (POWER)
    • Shadowing experience at the Magee Women’s Hospital infertility clinic
    • Shadowing experience at a women’s shelter

Women’s Mental Health Study Group Monthly Meetings: Format

Discussions will be conducted monthly, and additional supervision will be provided to those who express an interested in academic/educational projects in the area of women’s mental health.

Readings will be distributed in advance (Click here to view Bibliography) and the typical session format is as follows:

  1. Clinical case presentation (to be presented by a resident, determined in advance).
  2. Article presentation by a volunteer.
  3. Interactive discussion facilitated by a faculty physician.

To view the Syllabus, click here.  We also invite you to click here to view a list of past topics and presenters.

For More Information

Please contact the Women’s Mental Health AOC co-directors for more information.


Jody B. Glance, MD
Women’s Mental Health AOC
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC
3501 Forbes Avenue
(412) 246-5935


Priya Gopalan, MD
Women’s Mental Health AOC
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC

3520 Fifth Avenue, Lower Level - Suite 1
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Telephone: (412) 383-3200