Eating Disorder Track
Track Overview: The Eating Disorders Track is designed to offer interns comprehensive experience in the assessment and evidenced supported treatment of eating disorders. This track offers training in both outpatient and inpatient levels of care in a specialty eating disorder clinic at the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (CEED).
UNC CEED is a world leader in treatment, research, and training. Our treatment team delivers the highest standard of evidence-based care to achieve efficient and sustained clinical improvement, enhanced quality of life, and recovery. Alongside our clinical mission, CEED provides outstanding education and training in eating disorders to medical students, residents, fellows, graduate students, interns, post-doctoral fellows, and other health professional trainees. Given CEED’s international reputation for leading-edge research, there are ample opportunities for the intern to engage in eating disorder research.
The settings within this track serve a diverse patient population including diagnostic presentation, age, body weight, sexual orientation, gender presentation, and socioeconomic status. Interns will receive training and supervision that integrates cultural sensitivity and cultural humility. Supervisors are committed to fostering a climate of inclusion, belonging, and antiracism.
CEED Primary Clinical Rotations:
- CEED Inpatient Eating Disorders Unit (Mae Lynn Reyes-Rodriguez, PhD)
The inpatient eating disorders unit (EDU) provides treatment for adolescents and young adults with severe eating disorders. The EDU follows family-based treatment (FBT) principles with children and adolescents and aims to actively engage the family in treatment. Group and individual psychological treatment incorporates principles from enhanced cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-E), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
On the EDU, interns gain experience working with a highly interactive multidisciplinary team (e.g., physicians, nurses, dieticians, social workers, and other allied health professions). Interns are actively involved in assessment, diagnosis, and case conceptualization, and play an active role in our treatment team meetings. Interns conduct twice weekly individual psychotherapy and follow inpatients for the length of their stay. Interns also lead group psychotherapy (group modalities may include CBT-E, DBT, etc). Interns may also participate in family meetings with our unit social worker and may have the opportunity to supervise graduate-level psychology practicum students.
The ED track intern spends approximately 8 hours per week on the inpatient eating disorders unit across the year.
- CEED Outpatient Program (Jean Doak, Ph.D.; Camden Matherne, PhD; Christine M. Peat, PhD, FAED)
In the outpatient clinic, the intern will participate in the provision of evidence-based treatments for both adolescent and adult patients with eating disorders across the diagnostic spectrum.
Interns will gain experience in comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of eating disorders, including case formulation and treatment planning from several evidence-based theoretical perspectives. Treatment modalities commonly offered in this clinic include CBT-E and FBT. Cases will be assigned based on intern interest and training goals.
The ED track intern spends approximately 8 -12 hours per week in the CEED outpatient program across the year.
- UNC Bariatric Surgery Program (Christine M. Peat, PhD, FAED)
The UNC Bariatric Surgery Program is a designated Center of Excellence with the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program that includes multidisciplinary providers including: surgeons, nurse practitioners, dieticians, and psychologists. The intern will gain experience with conducting pre-surgical psychological evaluations to determine candidacy for bariatric surgery. During the evaluation clinic, the intern will become proficient in independently conducting evaluations, determining candidacy for surgery, and working as part of a multidisciplinary surgical team. The intern will also have the opportunity to work with post-surgical patients and provide psychological interventions aimed at helping patients with adjusting to the myriad lifestyle and dietary changes, addressing any psychiatric symptoms that arise, as well as treating any eating pathology that may present. As a result, there are opportunities to follow a patient’s entire surgery journey from pre-surgical candidacy through post-surgical adjustment and management.
The ED track intern spends approximately 4 hours/week in the UNC Bariatric Surgery Program throughout the year.
Recommended Minor Rotations:
The ED Track intern is encouraged to take advantage of the broad variety of elective intern rotations at UNC. Rotations that match up particularly well with our track include:
- Primary care
- Women’s Mood/Reproductive Psychology
- Addiction Medicine
- Gender Equity and Wellness
- Post-traumatic and Acute Trauma Treatment
The first several weeks of internship will be spent receiving in-depth didactic and experiential training to prepare the intern to provide clinical services in each clinical rotation. Supervisors in each of the clinical rotations will deliver practical training that will equip the intern to provide evidence-based intervention relevant to each clinical setting. Areas of in-depth didactic training will likely include: eating disorder assessment, inpatient treatment, bariatrics, FBT, and CBT-E.
Supervisors in the Eating Disorders track are actively engaged in supporting interns’ professional development. Training and professional development goals are set at the beginning of each rotation. Professional development goals may include writing a case report or research manuscript, presenting at an academic conference, attending a training workshop, supervising practicum students, or giving a talk in the Department of Psychiatry or local community.
UNC CEED is on the leading edge of eating disorder research. Our research goals are to develop a deeper understanding of the causes of eating disorders and to create more effective diagnostic, treatment, and prevention strategies for eating disorders. Our work encompasses inquiries into genetic and environmental causes of eating disorders, prevention of eating disorders, and the development of effective treatments for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. With active collaborations in over 21 countries around the world, our work is truly global. Our projects extend from cell to society and employ contemporary methods to decode the causes of eating disorders. As an interdisciplinary research team, we bring varied perspectives together to advance science. Interns may elect to spend up to eight hours per week involved in research at CEED.
Supervision Training and Opportunities:
Interns may have opportunities to supervise graduate-level practicum students. Interns will be trained and supervised by core faculty to identify the training goals of the supervisees and design a training experience tailored to supervisees’ needs and goals.
Christine M. Peat, PhD
Dymek-Valentine, Doak, Matherne, Peat, Reyes-Rodriguez