Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship
Joseph Goveas, M.D.
Beverly Pernitzke, C-TAGME
The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) offers a one-year ACGME accredited fellowship training in geriatric psychiatry. This program is designed to train academically knowledgeable and clinically competent geriatric psychiatrists who could provide comprehensive and skilled care to the elderly. Currently, 2 positions are available each year. Our program offers in-depth experiences in inpatient, outpatient, consultation-liaison and long term care facilities that would enable the fellows to not only provide excellent clinical care, but also to serve as effective consultants and educators in the subspecialty of geriatric psychiatry. In addition, the fellows will have sufficient time to learn and obtain supervised participation in clinical research projects and pursue scholarly activities of their interest.
The training is designed in such a way that it emphasizes scholarship, self-instruction, biological and psychosocial aspects of normal aging; the psychiatric impact of acute and chronic physical illnesses; and the collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to assessment and management of late-life mental illnesses, application of the biopsychosocial model, evidence-based clinical decision making and taking a leadership role in educating other health professionals.
Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) is the primary clinical teaching site. The fellows work as consultants at the subacute units that include the geriatric evaluation and management, palliative care, nursing home care, and the comprehensive integrated inpatient rehabilitation units. During this rotation, the fellows will participate in multidisciplinary team meetings, and will be supervised by geriatricians, a physiatrist, and psychosomatic medicine service attendings. VAMC also provides longitudinal outpatient clinic experience through the memory disorders clinic, and the geriatric psychiatry clinic rotations. Another highlight of the fellowship is the ability for the fellows to work closely with the neuropsychologists during the required neuropsychology clinic rotations. Further, home-based primary care and semi-structured group environment experiences are available at VAMC. These rotations are structured in a manner that fellows will closely work with psychiatry and medicine residents and will be involved in actively teaching and supervising them under faculty supervision.
Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital (FMLH), a 400-bed private hospital, the primary teaching hospital of MCW serves as the venue for the geriatric psychiatry consultation-liaison (C/L) rotations. The outpatient geriatric psychiatry clinics, an integral part of the mind, mood and memory clinics within the senior health program at the Community Memorial Medical Commons offers the fellows opportunities to work in close collaboration with the geriatricians and the multidisciplinary team involved in the primary care and memory disorders clinics. The fellows are supervised by geriatricians, geriatric and C/L psychiatrists during these rotations. The inpatient geriatric psychiatry experience is obtained at the Community Memorial Hospital, part of the Froedtert-Community Health system.
Village at Manor Park (VMP) Continuing Care Retirement Community is a non-profit organization that provides multitude of services for the elderly including independent living and assisted living apartments, skilled nursing, dementia care and ventilator care units. VMP will be a longitudinal rotation where the fellows function as a consultant to the patients at the assisted living, skilled nursing and ventilator care units. In addition, VMP also has a rehabilitation center where the fellows have the opportunity to interact with the speech, occupational, and physical therapists, and participate in functional evaluations.
The above sites are located within 10 miles of the primary clinical teaching site, and the Tosa center, location of the psychiatry department’s administration offices. The fellows will participate in scheduled seminars on the topics of biology and cognitive changes in aging, psychopathology, and psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological interventions for various geriatric psychiatric disorders, psychiatric aspects of long-term care, and legal, ethical, and administrative issues relevant to practice of geriatric psychiatry, among others. Also, various geriatric medicine, palliative care, and geriatric psychiatry case conferences and seminars form major components of the fellowship didactic sessions.
The geriatric psychiatry fellows have the opportunity to supervise and teach medical students, general psychiatry residents during majority of the above rotations. The fellows are expected to perform scholarly activities in the form of formal lectures to residents, departmental grand rounds, and and/or peer-reviewed publications. Research electives are available in the fields of geriatrics and behavioral neurology. In addition to the clinical supervision available from geriatric psychiatry fellowship program faculty, the fellows will receive individual clinical/administrative supervision on a weekly basis.