Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship
Geriatric psychiatry is an interesting and important field at the intersection of psychiatry and medicine. Individuals who become geriatric psychiatrists tend to be mature and independent thinkers who enjoy older adults and welcome the challenges of staying up-to-date in medicine, neurology, psychopharmacology, and end-of-life issues. Care for the geriatric psychiatry patient requires appreciation for their family, care system, cultural framework, and the social structure in which they live. Access to knowledgeable and competent psychiatric care for older adults is a growing but underserved need.
The Medical College of Wisconsin’s ACGME-accredited geriatric psychiatry fellowship is designed to train the next generation of clinical and academic leaders in the field of geriatric psychiatry. Upon successful completion of the program, fellows will be eligible to take the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) Examination for Added Qualification in Geriatric Psychiatry.
The program is closely linked with the ACGME-accredited MCW Geriatric Medicine Fellowship program and the MCW Department of Neurology. Fellows gain comprehensive knowledge in the adaptive and maladaptive responses to the biological and psychosocial changes associated with aging, psychopathology beginning in and continuing into late-life, psychiatric aspects of medical and neurocognitive disorders, evidence-based pharmacotherapy, psychosocial- and community-based interventions in treating late-life mental and neurocognitive disorders, and the social, cultural, legal and ethical issues pertinent to geriatric psychiatric disorders and their treatment.
Clinical Rotation Sites
Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center (VAMC) is the primary clinical teaching site. The fellows work as a consultant on the following subacute units: geriatric evaluation and management (GEM), palliative care, nursing home care, and comprehensive integrated inpatient rehabilitation. During this rotation, the fellows participate in multidisciplinary team meetings, and are supervised by geriatrics, psychosomatic medicine, and physical medicine and rehabilitation attendings. The VA Medical Center also provides longitudinal outpatient clinical experiences through the memory disorders clinic as well as the geriatric psychiatry clinic.
A highly regarded experience of the fellowship is the neuropsychology clinic rotation. Trainees work closely with experienced neuropsychologists, learning to determine appropriate testing batteries and formulate comprehensive assessments. Home-based primary care provides fellows with the unique experience of caring for older adults in their home environment, while working with an interdisciplinary team of geriatricians, psychologists, nurses, and social workers.
Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Froedtert Hospital Campus (FH), a 604-bed private hospital and primary teaching hospital of the Medical College serves as the venue for the geriatric psychiatry consultation-liaison (C/L) rotation. The fellows present and discuss all new and follow-up cases seen with consultation-liaison psychiatry and/or geriatric psychiatry faculty. The trainees learn to integrate conceptual models for understanding complex geriatric problems in medical/surgical settings and refine consultation skills using the biopsychosocial model approach to the C/L work. The fellows teach and supervise medical students and general psychiatry residents, and function as the geriatric component of the psychosomatic medicine team. The fellows also have additional experiences at FH including neurorehabilitation and the virtual ACE unit.
At Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital, part of Froedtert and the Medical College health system, fellows treat older adults in an inpatient psychiatric and medical setting. Under the supervision of faculty, the fellows function in a junior attending role, providing direction to multidisciplinary treatment teams, and supervising general psychiatry residents and medical students. Exposure to community-based outpatient geriatric psychiatry is provided by the North Hills Clinic, part of the Medical College of Wisconsin Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital Medical Commons. The fellows are supervised by geriatric, C/L, and general psychiatrists during these rotations.
Village at Manor Park (VMP) Continuing Care Retirement Community is a non-profit organization that provides a multitude of services for the elderly including independent living and assisted living apartments, skilled nursing, dementia care and ventilator care units. VMP is a year-long longitudinal rotation where the fellow functions as a consultant to the patients at the assisted living, skilled nursing and ventilator care units. Additionally, fellows can participate in functional evaluations being administered by speech, occupational and physical therapists at VMP’s rehabilitation center.
Geriatric Psychiatry fellows have one-half day per week to participate in elective rotations. Several elective rotation opportunities are available at different sites.
- Acute Care for the Elderly consultation service
- Community-based C/L Psychiatry
- Hospice care
- Movement Disorders
- Neuromodulation treatments: repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, and electroconvulsive therapies
- Neuro rehabilitation service
- Pain management clinic
- Palliative Medicine
- Psycho-oncology clinic
- Suboxone clinics
- Transplant psychiatry
The fellows have access to a broad base of research elective activities relevant to aging, and the opportunity to work with dedicated mentors in completing scholarly or research projects. The fellows are required to complete at least one academic project by the end of their fellowship, which may include a grand rounds presentation, a regional/national presentation, or a publication.
Didactics and Supervision
The fellows 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. Additionally, psychiatric aspects of long-term care, as well as the social, cultural, ethical, legal and administrative issues relevant to practice of geriatric psychiatry are explored. Geriatric medicine, palliative care, and geriatric psychiatry case conferences, seminars, and journal clubs are an important part of the fellowship didactics. Participation in the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry annual meeting is encouraged.
The geriatric psychiatry fellows supervise and teach medical students and general psychiatry residents during many of their rotations. Fellows are expected to perform scholarly activities in the form of lectures to residents, departmental grand rounds, and/or peer-reviewed publications. A variety of electives are available, including palliative care, addictions and research. In addition to the clinical supervision available from geriatric psychiatry fellowship program faculty, fellows receive individual supervision on a weekly basis.
Meet the Director | Katherine Levine, MD
Dr. Katherine Levine is an Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Associate Residency Program Director for the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Levine’s undergraduate education was at the University of Minnesota. She attended medical school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and her psychiatry residency and geriatric psychiatry fellowship were at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Closely involved in resident and medical student education; Katherine Levine has received the MCW Outstanding Medical Student Teacher award from 2015-2018. Her involvement in professional organizations includes serving on the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry Teaching and Training Committee as well as the AAGP Fellowship Sub-Committee. Additionally, Dr Levine serves as the geriatric psychiatry representative to the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training. She has contributed to recent textbooks including the Companion to the American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Geriatric Psychiatry and Emergency Psychiatry: Principles and Practice.
The Geriatric Fellowship Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin has two (2) positions and accepts ongoing applications. Interested applicants should complete the MCWAH application form and submit it to the department of psychiatry along with the necessary items from the application packet list. Typically, interviews take place in the fall for the upcoming academic year. Our program does not utilize ERAS.
Interested applicants must submit a completed application packet with the following items:
- MCWAH application form (PDF)
- Current curriculum vitae (gaps in time greater than one month must be explained)
- Personal Statement explaining your interests and goals
- Original Transcript of Steps 1, 2 and 3 Scores (must pass all 3 steps before applying)
- Medical School Dean’s Letter
- Medical School Transcript
- Copy of Medical School Diploma
- ECFMG Certificate (international medical school graduates)
- Visa Status Information (international citizens)
- 3 Letters of Recommendation
- One of the letters should be from your current training director and include your residency training summary.
- Letters of recommendation should be addressed to Dr. Katherine Levine and sent directly to the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Once all items have been obtained, return the complete application packet to:
Dr. Katherine Levine
c/o Fellowship Coordinator
Department of Psychiatry at Tosa Health Center
Psychiatry Fellowship Programs, 3rd Floor
Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
All accepted candidates are required to hold a valid Wisconsin Medical License and DEA certificate before starting the program. View information about Graduate Medical Education website. For questions please contact the Fellowship Coordinator.
The Geriatric Fellowship is accredited by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).