When Boston began to take COVID-19 pandemic precautions last year, the Boston Lyric Opera had just opened a production of Bellini’s Norma. Artistic director Esther Nelson turned to a longtime friend of the organization to help them determine whether the season could go on.
The Integrated Brain Health Elective provides both clinical and research training. Our program is designed to launch careers in psychology with a focus on the integration of mind, brain, body and behavior.
Interns will receive multidisciplinary training that provides:
- The latest knowledge and hands-on skills with patient, caregiver and dyadic interventions that focus on:
- Preserving health and preventing chronic illness through lifestyle change (e.g., mindfulness, healthy eating, exercise, adaptive thinking, social networks)
- Optimizing management of chronic illness
- Promoting recovery and preventing chronic illness after injury or surgery.
This curriculum overlaps with the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Elective and Behavioral Medicine Elective, but the research interests of interns in this track should be primarily in the integration of mind-body-brain-behaviors to promote health, well-being and resilience.
Treatment, Assessment & Evaluation
An effort is made to expose interns in the Brain Health Elective to diverse cases, while also catering toward their specific training needs and clinical and research interests.
Interns see patients and caregivers as part of a multidisciplinary collaboration across Neurology, Psychiatry and the Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program. Interns also receive referrals from genetic counselors for skills training for healthy individuals with a family history of genetic conditions, then work collaboratively to develop and deliver lifestyle interventions to delay or prevent onset of genetic illness. In addition, interns also see patients with various medical conditions as part of clinical research conducted in the Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program.
Interns see patients and their families as part of the Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit (through a collaboration with the Neuro-ICU) and the Intensive Care Unit (through a collaboration with the Division of Psychiatry & Medicine). Interns learn to deliver empathic, direct and brief skills training using a cognitive and dialectic behavioral approach in close communication with the medical team.
Interns receive both individual and group supervision designed to provide training, support and perspectives on the care of patients and their families. Typically, interns carry approximately eight cases, with some as a part of ongoing clinical trials. Treatment is both individual and group, in person or virtual.
Interns provide consultations to medical patients in the Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit, general ICU or directly triggered from inpatient medical practices.
Successful applicants to this elective will have demonstrated a commitment to clinical research through in-progress or completed research publications, presentations, awards or small grants. Ideally, interns have fully completed their dissertations (or nearly completed them) before starting the internship. The goal of this track is to prepare interns for a career in academic research, so one day per week is protected time to spend on dissertation completion, writing manuscripts and preparing small grants.
Interns have ample opportunities for clinical research in a variety of topics, including:
- Aging adults
- Chronic pain
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Critical care illness
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neurological illness
- Healthy adults interested in preserving brain health
Interns are also supported to develop new research collaborations in medical practices that fit the mission of this program. Research opportunities include manuscript development using existing data, along with developing new research ideas. Interns will be guided on research choices and progress by research supervisors.
Prior to the internship, a typical intern has:
- 3-5 peer-reviewed publications in press (or published by the end of the internship year)
- 2-3 conference presentations nationally and locally
Interns who stay on as postdocs are encouraged to also develop a grant proposal idea during the second part of the internship year.
A successful career requires effective mentoring. In addition to supervision, interns receive mentoring and career planning within the Integrated Brain Health Program, and are aided to secure additional mentoring within specific areas of research as needed.
The Integrated Brain Health Elective is overseen by Ana-Maria Vranceanu, PhD, head of the Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program (IBHCRP).
In addition to the internship core didactics, the following seminars are required:
- Behavioral medicine seminar (weekly, first part of the year)
- CBT seminar (weekly, first part of the year)
- Fundamentals of behavioral health interventions (weekly, second part of the year)
- Introduction to grant writing and mechanisms (weekly, second part of the year)
- Group clinical supervision and case conferences
- Group research supervision
- Group mentoring meetings with IBHCRP
- 3 hours: Individual supervision (1 hour research-focused, 1 hour clinical, 1 hour clinical research)
- 1 hour: Group supervision (clinical)
- 1 hour: Integrated brain health weekly supervision (research)
- 1 hour: Additional clinical supervision specific to individual rotations
Postdoctoral Training Opportunities
The Integrated Brain Health elective offers the option of transitioning to a clinical research postdoctoral fellowship to interns who demonstrate outstanding performance and commitment to clinical research in an academic medical center during the internship year. Interested interns are encouraged to organize their research activities such that they can make a smooth transition to a fellowship year if positions are available.
In addition, the Integrated Brain Health interns can apply for a T32 Postdoctoral Training Fellowship in Recovery and Restoration of CNS Health and Function, under Dr. Vranceanu’s mentorship.
- Updated internship information can be found at Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program
- Feb | 26 | 2021
Merle Adelson and Paul Freedman had planned to marry on Friday, January 22, 2021. But instead, their nuptials took place on January 11, in a Jewish ceremony inside one of Mass General’s intensive care units.
- Feb | 26 | 2021
Employees were invited to celebrate the virtual launch of Black Excellence @ Mass General Brigham. The group provides a new affirming space for Black employees to create a community of support to encourage the welcoming, success, and advancement of Black employees at Mass General Brigham.
- Feb | 24 | 2021
View frequently asked questions and guidance about the COVID-19 vaccine for Cancer Center patients.
- Feb | 22 | 2021
Healey Center Receives ALS Collaborative Cohort Grant to Enhance Access to Clinical Research and Trials
The Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital will join the new ALS Collaborative Cohort program with a grant from Tambourine, Ben and Divya Silbermann’s philanthropy.
- Feb | 12 | 2021
After a successful launch on the pediatric inpatient units, the Journals of Hope Program has expanded into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where patients and families can find strength and hope through the power of writing.