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Department of Psychiatry

Houston, Texas

The Alkek Building at Baylor College of Medicine
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Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship


The Geriatric Psychiatry fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) is accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education. The fellowship is primarily housed in the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) which is an affiliate institution at BCM. The MEDVAMC is one of the nation’s largest VA hospitals and a member institution of the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical center. Fellows will also rotate at the Harris Health System which will widen their exposure to a diverse population.

Fellows will develop expertise in the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of geriatric disorders using systems-based care throughout the continuum of care and in a variety of clinical settings. Recovery-based care and principles will be emphasized in the training. The fellowship will offer rich experiences in interdisciplinary clinical care as well as clinical research within a network of faculty investigators affiliated with BCM. Completion of the geriatric psychiatry fellowship will qualify fellows for the geriatric psychiatry subspecialty certification exam through the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

The MEDVAMC has a dedicated inpatient geriatric psychiatry unit with a teaching service which is headed by Ali Abbas Asghar-Ali, MD who is board certified in geriatric psychiatry. Over the course of their training, fellows can expect to be supervised by physicians with subspecialty training in geriatric psychiatry, psychosomatic psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, forensic psychiatry, geriatric medicine, and palliative care in a wide range of clinical venues. Interdisciplinary collaboration is a critical aspect of geriatric practice; fellows will work closely with nurses, psychologists, and social workers with geriatric expertise in interdisciplinary teams.

As the proposed rotation schedule shows, the fellowship aims for fellows to have a well-rounded experience in an array of settings that will enhance their skills and knowledge in geriatric psychiatry. The variety has been coupled with several longitudinal rotations to ensure that fellows are comfortable with caring for a number of patients over the entirety of the year-long training.

These positions are paid by the Veterans Administration thereby making psychiatrists with J1 or other visas also eligible for participation in this one year (PGY5-6) training program. Trainees must be graduates of an ACGME-accredited psychiatry residency program. Beginning July 2012, we will be accepting up to two fellows each year into this one-year program.

Goals and Objectives for geriatric psychiatry fellowship training program

Goals – during the training, fellows will:

1. Develop expertise in the evaluation, intervention, and treatment of elderly patients with psychiatric disorders.

2. Acquire a core body of knowledge essential to the practice of geriatric psychiatry

3. Advance interpersonal and communication skills in order to maximize the effective of interactions with patients, families, and collaborative efforts with other healthcare professionals.

4. Enhance professionalism and core competencies through continuous practice and scientific based learning.

5. Attain proficient knowledge of systems based practice throughout the continuum of care.

– fellows will, at the conclusion of training, be able to:

1. Develop and apply specific knowledge for education in geriatric psychiatry, including, theories of aging, age-related changes, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, polypharmacy, pathogenesis or late-life conditions, and differential diagnoses in geriatric conditions.

2. Evaluate patients to determine the most appropriate level of care for late-life conditions treatments using standard criteria.

3. Practice ECT.

4. Lead an interdisciplinary treatment team in the comprehensive treatment of elderly men and women with psychiatric disorders within a biopsychosocial-spiritual framework thus enhancing cultural sensitivity and leadership skills.

5. Demonstrate competency in managing geriatric patients with psychiatric conditions and co-morbid medical conditions in inpatient and outpatient settings.

6. Demonstrate competency in the medical management of the psychiatric co-morbidities among patients with cognitive disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depressive illnesses, and anxiety disorders.

7. Enhance individual, group, and family psychotherapy skills in such modalities as cognitive-behavioral therapy, reminiscence therapy, and psychodynamic methods.

8. Provide consultation to Medicine, Surgery, and Intensive Care units for geriatric patients with psychiatric disorders. Such liaison activities will afford fellows with the opportunity to enhance communication and teaching skills while educating other healthcare professionals about the identification and management of geriatric psychiatric disorders.

9. Demonstrate administrative skills and leadership as a team leader and mentor and teach residents and medical students.

Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Director

Candidates are invited to discuss their interest in geriatric psychiatry with:

Ali Abbas Asghar-Ali, MD

Assistant Professor

Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Baylor College of Medicine

Staff Psychiatrist

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

713 791 1414 x6771

Application Requirements

1. Completion of ACGME-accredited psychiatry residency program

2. Medical College transcript sent directly by the Registrar’s Office to Ms. Pennington (address below)

3. Letter of reference from the Dean of Students’ from your Medical College

4. Letter of reference from your current director of residency training.

5. Letter of reference from any previous director of residency training, e.g. from a previous residency, internship, etc.

6. Two additional letters of reference.

7. Personal statement that describes your interest in geriatric psychiatry

8. CV

7. Proof of completion of USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3

8. Valid ECFMG certificate, if applicable

9. Completed application

Mailing Information
Please send all written correspondence, including applications, to:

Ms. Belinda Pennington

Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Coordinator

One Baylor Plaza, BCM350

Houston, Texas 77030

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