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Education & Training

Upon completion the Geriatric Psychology fellowship program, fellows 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.