Mission and Goals
The Partners HealthCare Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship is an ACGME accredited fellowship which fulfills the specialized post-residency training requirement necessary for ABPN certification in the subspecialty of Geriatric Psychiatry. One to two candidates are accepted into this program each year for one year of training.
Through a series of well-supervised clinical and educational experiences, our geriatric psychiatry fellows become knowledgeable about the relationships of normal and pathological aging to mental health. Fellows acquire knowledge and experience in the prevention, diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of psychiatric signs, symptoms, and disorders seen in older adult patients. In order to provide a training experience of unique breadth and depth, this fellowship makes use of the clinical, didactic, and research expertise of four participating Partners HealthCare facilities: Massachusetts General Hospital (the Sponsoring Institution), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Faulkner Hospital, and McLean Hospital.
Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or have a permanent resident visa. Massachusetts medical license required. Applicants must have completed approved residency in psychiatry by time of starting fellowship.
To develop competencies in the care of geriatric patients delivered throughout the full range of clinical settings (inpatient psychiatry, inpatient medical/surgical, outpatient, long term care facilities, and community), fellows participate in a series of supervised clinical rotations drawing upon the resources of the four participating Partners HealthCare institutions. All clinical work occurs on a schedule consistent with ACGME standards, during weekday business hours. There is no required night, weekend, or holiday on-call time. During five months sited primarily at McLean Hospital, the fellow provides care for inpatients with and without dementia. A weekly didactic/clinical experience in geriatric substance abuse treatment is incorporated into this rotation. Four months sited at the Brigham and Women's and Faulkner Hospitals provide experiences in Consultation/Liaison care of older adults on medical/surgical units (at Faulkner) and integrated neuropsychiatric evaluation and treatment in the Behavioral Neurology service (at Brigham and Women's). During the two months sited full-time at Massachusetts General Hospital, the fellow observes and delivers care in the ECT service, community and home settings, and long term care facilities. Throughout the training year, Massachusetts General Hospital also provides the setting for the fellow's ongoing outpatient experience delivering individual and group treatment to older adults. The fellow’s clinical responsibility for patients is supervised by board certified geriatric psychiatrists and clinical coverage is available when the fellow is unavailable, e.g. on vacation. A month of elective time is available during which the fellow can acquire research experience through work on a project consonant with his or her specific interests and goals. This elective is intended to take place within one of the participating Partners institutions unless other arrangements are approved, and typically results in an oral or written presentation. Interested fellows may also participate in preparation of a manuscript to be submitted for review and possible publication in a journal.
The depth of clinical and research expertise represented among the staff members of the participating Partners HealthCare institutions provides an opportunity for a very rich and comprehensive didactic experience. Under the direction of the fellowship's program director, a weekly minimum of 4 didactic hours is provided along with individual supervision. Topics include the neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropathology of aging; the genetics of mental disorders in the elderly; social and economic factors related to late life psychiatric disorders; cross-cultural issues; elder abuse; psychiatry in the long-term care setting; working with families of elders; palliative and hospice care; use of laboratory tests and neuroimaging in geriatric psychiatry; neuropsychological assessment techniques; research design, use of statistics, and principles of evidence based medicine; how to read and review a manuscript; treatment of anxiety disorders, sexual disorders, bereavement and adjustment disorders, substance abuse problems, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, mood disorders, and cognitive disorders in the elderly; and topics coordinated with the clinical experiences provided at each participating institution. Each participating institution also provides "grand rounds" and "journal club" experiences which the fellow will attend.
On many of the fellowship rotations, there will be opportunities to participate in the teaching of psychiatric residents. The fellow’s teaching, clinical work, and professional development will be mentored by the program director through regular weekly meetings.