Multidisciplinary Experiences with UH Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program

The educational and clinical Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University and Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, offers a multidisciplinary experience including consultation-liaison, neurology and geriatric psychiatry and is under the leadership of Philipp L. Dines MD, PhD, a neurogeropsychiatrist. Responsibilities include a caseload of inpatients and outpatients which are fully staffed by attending support.

The program is designed to provide flexibility in meeting individual additional interests of trainees and health care environmental demands. Fellows will have access to and involvement in research and educational experiences, including neuroimaging and many other opportunities regarding the older adult population. Direct supervision and education are provided by an expert, multidisciplinary faculty. Didactic lectures and grand rounds presentations provide stimulating educational experiences and forums for interacting with department residents and faculty members.

The Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship sites include:

Upon completion, fellows in the program can expect to have a broad biopsychosocial knowledge base in geriatric psychiatry and biopsychosocial therapies, including:

  • Behavioral management techniques
  • Family and group therapies
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Supportive psychotherapies
  • Technological (ECT and transmagnetic stimulation) and emerging treatment modalities including ketamine.

Developmentally, the fellowship experience will also prepare the fellow for a leadership role in academic geriatric psychiatry.

Fellows spend six months in an evolving junior attending role on the Older Adult Care Unit and also complete training in the administration of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). The fellows have their own continuity clinic in the William O. Walker Building outpatient department (OPD) as well as clinical experience in the Elderhealth Clinic.

Martha Sajatovic, MD, provides teaching and mentorship to the fellows within the scope of clinical research training. A curriculum in behavioral neurology, neuroimaging and geriatric medicine are expectations in the fellowship and are also incorporated in the didactic and clinical program.

At the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center – the third largest VA hospital in the U.S. – Peijun Chen MD, MPH, PhD, along with Katherine Busby, MD, leads the geropsychiatry program. This program includes a geriatric psychiatry Behavioral Health Interdisciplinary Program in an outpatient clinic and fully integrated geriatric psychiatry services in the Community Living Center, with dementia rehab unit, spinal cord rehab unit, blind rehab unit, transitional care unit and medical/surgical rehab units. The comprehensive and collaborative care model offers a unique opportunity for trainees to learn how to manage patients with complex behavioral and psychiatric problems complicated by serious comorbid medical, neurological and cognitive impairment, in a team-oriented setting.

Past fellows have chosen electives and additional experiences based on their interests, including research, teaching residents and medical students, working with hospice, sleep medicine, behavioral neurology and neuropsychology.

Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of the fellowship are to provide an in-depth, biopsychosocial knowledge base and clinical experience for the geriatric fellow. The fellow at the completion of one year should have a high level of proficiency in the clinical practice of psychiatry related to the older adult and skills to continue their education. For selected residents, the year two experience should be an important building block toward a leadership role in academic geriatric psychiatry.

The program will provide clinical experience in all necessary arenas, including:

  • Geriatric medical inpatient
  • Inpatient medical hospital consultation
  • Nursing home or VA Community Living Center
  • Geriatric psychiatry outpatient
  • Electives

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