Program Curriculum

Program Overview

The UNC Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Program is an ACGME accredited one year training program in which Fellows become proficient in the management of all major psychiatric symptoms and disorders in the medically ill. Fellows learn to identify and manage the neuropsychiatric issues of the patient's presentation and develop a skillset that spans assessment, treatment, liaison, systems, and legal and ethical issues.

Clinical Settings

The program utilizes the UNC Department of Psychiatry’s unique relationship with the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center within a large, academic, 804-bed tertiary healthcare system as a model for training psychiatrists in the interface of medicine and psychiatry. The program also integrates a community hospital experience at Rex UNC Health Care in Raleigh. Fellows will develop sophisticated understandings of psychiatric issues pertinent to specific medical and surgical specialties. Trainees are also provided with prominent, longitudinal consultation-liaison experiences in an outpatient setting within psycho-oncology and have an option to co-localize in other settings (such as a general primary care setting or transplant medicine). Specialized inpatient and outpatient liaisons can be arranged according to the fellow's specific interests.

Medical and Surgical Specialties
OncologyPalliative Care
Burn Intensive Care Transplant Medicine
Surgery Trauma Intensive Care
Neurosurgery/Neurology Cardiology/Cardiothoracic Intensive Care
Pulmonology Gastroenterology
Nephrology Endocrinology
Rheumatology Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS
Obstetrics and Gynecology Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Pain Management General Surgical Services
Pediatrics

Seminars

Fellows are provided with a robust educational program that includes required conferences and other additional education opportunities. All seminars are protected time for trainees.

  • Weekly Psychosomatic Medicine Fellows’ Seminar 
    • Didactics are primarily expert opinion and/or text-based 
  • Weekly Consult-Liaison Attending Conference featuring:
    • Administrative projects and meetings
    • Real-time quality improvement
    • Patient safety
    • Scholarly and research project development
    • Integrated literature review with various faculty
  • Weekly Consult-Liaison Case conference 
    • Integrates text and literature-based evidence 
    • Attended by medical students, psychiatry residents, and providers from multiple medical and administrative disciplines

Research

Participation in ongoing research protocols is encouraged and completion of a scholarly project such as authorship of a literature review article, abstract, poster or presentation is supported as an aspect of the curriculum. Quality improvement and patient safety projects are also critical part of fellow training. 

Prior Fellows' Scholarly/Research Projects
2012 Designed and implemented the program's internal website as a quality improvement project
2013 Developed and implemented weekly Fellow’s Teaching Rounds with PGY-3 residents rotating on the service; Developed and implemented a homeless mental health outreach program that anecdotally decreased medical admissions for these patients
2014 Conducted survey of UNC faculty and residents regarding their work with interpreters and presented that data with recommendations in a combined scholarly, QI, and patient safety project
2015 Developed UNC Psychosomatic Medicine consensus guidelines for systematized screening for potential alcohol withdrawal and standardized clinical presentations.
2016

Coordinated treatment team meetings with Bone Marrow Transplant physician extenders and developed a tool to aid with the ethical considerations of medical treatment over objection.

2017

Spearheaded numerous scholary, QI and patient projects that included multiple publications, standardizing our response to emergent AMA capacity evaluations and electronic medical record database creation and research towards both clinical and administrative ends.

Teaching

Fellows play a major role in teaching. They become responsible as 'Junior Attendings' for supervising psychiatry residents and third- and fourth-year medical students who rotate through the Consultation-Liaison Service as part of their training. Fellows have an opportunity to participate in the formal general residency psychosomatic medicine didactics. There are also opportunities to develop, implement and participate in formal instruction of other disciplines, physician assistant students, and medical students.