Fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine (Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry)
Mount Sinai Beth Israel (MSBI) is a 506-bed tertiary care teaching hospital located in Manhattan near the Village, which has been serving New York City for the past century. In addition to the general medical-surgical units, MSBI boasts numerous specialty inpatient units covering Oncology, Physical Medicine/Rehab, Cardiology, Family Medicine, Nephrology, Intensive Care, Cardiac Surgery, OB-GYN, and Neurology. MSBI has an academic affiliation with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and is a clinical campus for the medical students' clinical rotations. Over the years, MSBI has developed a reputation for a caring involvement with its surrounding communities, such as the East Village, Gramercy Park, Union Square, Lower Eastside, SoHo and Nolita
The C-L Division had its informal beginnings in the 1960's. Dr. Joel Wallack established the fellowship in 1986. Dr. Philip Bialer led the Division from 1992 through 2008. Dr. Nancy C Maruyama, the current Fellowship Training Director and Chief of the Division, is a graduate of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Fellowship. Dr. Joel Wallack, a graduate of the fellowship program at Montefiore and Mount Sinai is Associate Director of the fellowship program. The program has trained over 40 fellows many of whom have taken on leadership roles in Psychosomatic Medicine and C-L Psychiatry nation-wide.
The program was one of the first in the nation to receive American Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accreditation and we received full re-accreditation on October 12, 2012. There are four full-time and three part-time faculty members. The length of training is for 12 months beginning on July1.
All fellow candidates must be graduates of an ACGME accredited Psychiatry Residency Program and have passed Part 3 of the USMLE. International Medical Graduates must have a valid ECFMG certificate for visa. Candidates must take the General Psychiatry Boards during fellowship, if they do not have board certification. Eligible candidates must commit to take the Psychosomatic Subspecialty Boards.
Candidates are encouraged to submit applications starting in July prior to the year of fellowship. Candidates must submit an application, three letters of reference, and a personal statement. Appropriate candidates will be offered interviews starting in August. The fellowship uses the Common Program Application available from http://www.apm.org/career/common-app-pm-fellowship.pdf. The fellowship participates in the Match and our NRMP number is 1470409F0.
The training consists of several year-long activities:
The consultation service at Beth Israel is a busy one with an average of 160 consultation requests per month. The fellows are assigned approximately four consults per week. Over the course of the year, they see a wide range of patients with varying diagnoses from all services in the medical center; the fellows are often assigned the more complicated cases. There are two clinical case conferences held weekly. The fellows receive daily individual supervision from Dr. Daniel Safin, Dr. Nancy Maruyama and Dr. Simona Goschin. As they progress, fellows take on greater responsibilities; they lead rounds and case conferences, and take an administrative role in running the CL service.
The Peter Krueger Clinic for the Treatment of Immunologic Disorders (PKC)
This is a required part-time, year-long outpatient rotation staffed by Drs. Ashley and Goschin with expertise in the care of patients with HIV. Fellows work as part of a multidisciplinary team, and follow out-patients for a half day each week under the supervision of the attendings. Educational activities include an hour of weekly supervision where cases are reviewed and an HIV Journal Club where scholarly articles about the care of patients with HIV are discussed. The fellows participate weekly in an hour-long multidisciplinary Mental Health Care Team meeting and case presentation, consisting of psychologists, social workers, care coordinators, psychology interns and externs. Fellows will progress to lead the multidisciplinary team meeting.
Sidney Hillman Family Practice:
Fellows are required to spend a half-day a week for six months at a Family Medicine Clinic where Goldie Alfasi, PhD, a senior psychologist from the Department of Family Medicine will provide direct supervision to the fellows as the work using an integrated care model which emphasizes teamwork and shared expertise with the family medicine residents and interns. Fellows are exposed to common psychiatric problems seen among medically ill outpatients and collaborate with the primary physician to evaluate of these problems and establish an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan. Additionally, the fellow gains training and hands-on experience in precepting Family Medicine residents in the management of patients in the outpatient medical clinic.
Outpatient Women's Mental Health
Fellows attend a weekly clinic for four months in Reproductive Psychiatry where they see patients and attend a multidisciplinary conference. Fellows work under the supervision of Dr. Carly Snyder who was trained by Drs. Mallay Occhiogrosso and Catherine Birndorf at Payne Whitney's Women's Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. Fellows gain experience with obstetrics patients with psychiatric disorders (pre-conception counseling, antenatal care, post-partum) and gynecology patients with issues such as PMDD and peri-menopausal mood disorders. A file of relevant papers is maintained on the shared departmental computer drive.
Fellows are required to spend a half day a week for four months of the year at an outpatient Oncology Center where they see patients in conjunction with Dr. Jeremy Winell, who trained at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and is the Director of the Beth Israel Cancer Center Supportive Services. Two patients are seen each week and followed over the duration of the rotation. Fellows learn about issues related to being diagnosed, treated for and living with cancer (e.g. effects on sexuality, etc) and about psychiatric disorders as they present in cancer patients. The attending gives eight psycho-oncology lectures and uses case vignettes with questions. Patients are also treated for pain control and insomnia management.
Fellows follow medical outpatients for weekly to several times per month psychotherapy. Therapeutic issues may involve adjustment to medical illness, how it impacts family or loved ones, existential issues, how to disclose to others and when, how to interact effectively with the medical team. Patients may be audio- or videotaped, which will be reviewed during supervision.
Palliative Care Rounds Liaison
Each week fellows will attend a ninety minute multidisciplinary conference held by the Division of Palliative Care. The meeting is attended by palliative care attendings and fellows, chaplains and chaplaincy students, social workers, music therapists and music therapy students. Palliative Care Fellows and Attendings present cases to address complex psychosocial issues. Discussions can include how to manage difficult patient and family situations, physician and other team members' emotional response to their work, patients and death, education in psychopharmacology or psychodynamics, patient and family coping with illness and death.
Electives may be arranged part-time in areas of particular interest to the fellow. Possibilities include working with pain management, palliative care or additional work in Women's Health.
There are several formal didactics. The first is a 22 week-long course on C-L psychiatry. Experts in this field are invited as guest lecturers for this course to complement our own faculty. The areas covered in this course include:
Introduction to Psychosomatic Medicine: History and Overview
Seminar with Dr. Wallack: Introduction to Advanced PM
The fellows spend eight weeks reviewing classic papers from the Psychosomatic Medicine literature on topics such as coping and adaptation to medical illness, the approach to managing the difficult patient on the medical wards or working as a liaison to a medical or surgical team.
There is also a year-long, weekly Fellows' Seminar with didactics on advanced topics in Psychosomatic Medicine. Topics include severe drug reactions, pain management, and a review of CL aspects of cardiac, renal, endocrine, gastrointestinal and other areas. Current text books, current and classic papers are read. Journal Club meets monthly to critically evaluate recently published studies.
There is a weekly journal club centered on the care of patients with HIV. Journal articles, relevant chapters on the psychiatric care of patients with HIV are read and discussed.
Research and Academic Project Meeting
Fellows meet weekly with the faculty to work on academic projects for various meetings and for the fellows' grand rounds presentation in April. Each year the Division has had numerous presentations at the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine Annual Meeting and the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting. Fellows create research projects, learn basics of research design, how to run a literature search, write abstracts, create posters, workshops and present in the Grand Rounds format.
There is a weekly case conference that focuses on patients in the hospital. Each week patients with diverse diagnoses and problems are evaluated. The conference is led by the senior faculty or by visiting attendings with different expertise (for example, specialists in Movement Disorders, Geriatrics, Addictions, Psychotherapy, etc.). PGY2 Psychiatry Residents, medical students, Family Medicine Residents, and the entire CL faculty participate. The attending interviews the patient and the interview is followed by a group discussion of the issues raised by the patient's case. Later in the year the fellows will interview the patient and lead the group discussion. Fellows learn how to teach in the case conference format, gain skills in interviewing in front of a group, and understand how and what to teach trainees of different educational levels.
Teaching and Supervision of Residents and Medical Students
Fellows serve as the primary supervisor for Family Medicine third year residents who rotate through C-L as part of their training. Fellows also supervise PGY-2 Psychiatry residents and third and fourth year medical students. Fellows teach in journal club, seminars, formal lectures, rounds and in the case conference format mentioned earlier. Formal lectures for medical students on topics such as Delirium or Depression are arranged during the course of the year.
Administrative Duties and Committees
The fellows spend six months coordinating the consult service under the supervision of the attendings. This involves working with non-psychiatry physicians, triaging of consultation requests being called in, assigning them to residents and staff, and working closely with the program assistant who maintains the patient log and database. Fellows learn about the financial aspects of the C-L service and about billing for consultations, and clinical information systems. This includes learning proper diagnostic and CPT code documentation, as well as the process of working with Medicare, Medicaid, and other third party payers. Fellows participate in weekly Division Staff Meetings where they learn about how the Division interfaces with the larger Psychiatry Department and the Medical Center. Fellows are members of the Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Graduate Medical Education Committee. They participate in educational program development, evaluation and improvement. They are integral members of the selection committee for new fellows. Fellows are part of the CL Division Quality Improvement Committee and work on projects to improve patient care.
Research and Academic Projects
Fellows are required to participate in academic projects. They may join ongoing projects within the division, or develop their own project often based on clinical data or on complicated clinical cases. Past projects included "The Management of an Acutely Manic Patient with Brugada Pattern: a case report," Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: 19 Year-old Female with Cannabis Dependence, Cyclical Vomiting, and Compulsive Bathing," "A Case Report of Megaloblastic Madness" and "Documentation of Risk Factors for Cardiac Arrhythmias in the Treatment of Delirium with Neuroleptics," Fellows work on a joint research / academic project that will be presented at Grand Rounds and submitted to the Academy of Psychosomatics Annual Meeting (APM). Each year fellows have had a number of presentations at the APM. For 2014-2015 year the division presented six posters at the APM and two at the 201 APA. Fellows are encouraged to write up their findings for publication.
Fellows are formally evaluated four times a year and at other points (following a presentation, after a patient encounter, etc.). Evaluators include attending supervisors, patients, non-physician staff, trainees whom the fellows supervise, peers, and self-evaluation. Other trainees evaluate the fellows' skills in handover of clinical information about patients, as well as communication, professionalism, and teaching skills.
The full-time faculty supervises all clinical work, teaching, administrative, liaison and academic activities. The fellows meet daily with their supervisor for individual supervision on their cases. Fellows are directly observed in their duties as clinicians, teachers, and administrators and progress toward indirect supervision.
Fellows attend the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine (APM) in November each year. Expenses are paid for by funding from the Division. Fellows are encouraged to join the APM.
MSBI supports a generous package of benefits for its trainees and staff. The Fellowship stipend is described on the GME website. Housing is usually available through the Medical Center at attractive rates.
MSBI has an excellent full-service medical library, the Seymour J. Phillips Library. It is conveniently located on the 12th floor of Fierman Hall. Fellows also have access to the Mount Sinai Medical Library. Fellows have their own computer to access the hospital electronic medical record, PRISM, and may search the electronic databases available through the library (OVID, and PsychLit, Cochrane, etc.), and request papers. Papers typically arrive via email within 24 hours. Up-to-Date, Lexi-Comp and other clinical information sources are available via the hospital intranet and there is VPN remote-access.
Finally, the Division of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry as well as the Department of Psychiatry at MSBI are interested in fostering a pleasant and collegial working environment. The concerns of trainees are taken seriously. There are many opportunities to socialize within the department and with other medical colleagues.
For an application and/or other inquiries, please contact: (Email sent from personal email sometimes is sent to "Trash" in our system, so if you do not hear from us please call or try again!)
Daniel Safin, MD
Joel Wallack, MD