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Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship

  • Psychosomatic Faculty and Fellows
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Psychosomatic medicine is the discipline encompassing the study and practice of psychiatric disorders in patients with medical, surgical, obstetrical and neurological conditions, particularly for patients with complex and/or chronic conditions. Physicians specializing in psychosomatic medicine have expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in complex medically ill patients.

PROGRAM MISSION

The fellowship’s overall mission is to train psychiatric providers, using direct clinical experience and supervision, to care for patients in the Central Texas area.  Adequate training involves knowledge and skill acquisition in direct patient care, often as a member of a multidisciplinary team. In the process of training it is anticipated that each psychiatric fellow will acquire specialized clinical skills strongly grounded in a theoretical knowledge base, while learning to work effectively with allied mental health professionals.  The advancement of qualities central to professional identity development, including a strong sense of patient responsibility, integrity, empathy and respect for patients, is emphasized. 

The Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship is a component of the Residency Program within the Department of Psychiatry and is organized around the guidelines specified in the Directory of Graduate Medical Education Programs prepared under the Auspices of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) of the American Medical Association.

Overall Program Goals

  • To train academic and clinical psychiatrists skilled in Psychosomatics Medicine
  • To create an understanding of the relationship between biopsychosocial and biomedical factors in the general hospital and outpatient settings
  • To create an understanding of the importance of a good history, thorough examination, and collection of collateral information in the development a differential diagnosis and treatment plan
  • To create an understanding of somatic and psychotherapeutic interventions in the general hospital and outpatient settings
  • To create an understanding of how to work with medical and surgical treatment teams, managed care companies, and psychiatric services within and outside of the institution to provide appropriate care for patients

Overall Program Objectives

Patient Care - The psychosomatic fellow shall:

  • Obtain a thorough history from patient and complete a thorough mental status examination.
  • Review available records, testing, and collateral information
  • Develop a complete differential diagnosis, including psychiatric, medical/surgical/obstetrical, and pharmacological concerns
  • Create and implement a comprehensive treatment plan, inclusive of other providers
  • Identify and provide appropriate psychotherapeutic and somatic interventions
  • Coordinate discharge plans with families, social supports, and outpatient providers
  • Assess capacity and patient autonomy as it pertains to medical, legal, ethical, and end of life issues

 Medical Knowledge - The psychosomatic fellow shall be able to describe:

  • Psychiatric complications of medical/surgical/obstetrical illnesses and treatments
  • Psychological complications of medical/surgical/obstetrical illnesses and treatments
  • Psychopharmacological considerations in the treatment of the medically ill psychiatric patient
  • The evaluation and management of patients intoxicated and/or withdrawing from substances
  • The evaluation and management of delirium, dementia, and other cognitive disorders
  • The evaluation and management of somatoform disorders and chronic pain

Interpersonal and communication skills - The psychosomatic medicine fellow shall:

  • Establish a therapeutic rapport during a patient interview
  • Communicate written and verbal findings and recommendations to consulting physicians
  • Identify and address transference/counter transference issues
  • Provide guidance and resources to hospital treatment teams
  • Provide guidance and resources to patients and their families

Practice Based Learning and Improvement - The psychosomatic fellow shall:

  •     Identify deficiencies in their own skills and knowledge                                              
  •     Accurately locate a diverse range of resources to addresses these deficiencies
  •     Critically evaluate the quality of these resources and apply them to clinical practice                          
  •     Facilitate the learning of other health care professionals
  •     Stay current on psychosomatic literature                                                                                                               

Professionalism - The psychosomatic medicine fellow shall:

  • Accept and model appropriate responsibility for patient care
  • Follow policy manual descriptions of attendance, responsibilities, appearance, and procedures
  • Appropriately delegate to others and ask for help when necessary
  • Acknowledge errors, and seek and incorporate feedback               

Systems Based Practice - The psychosomatic fellow shall:

  • Lead and coordinate a multidisciplinary treatment team
  • Identify and utilize appropriate hospital and community resources                                                                                         
  • Achieve optimal patient care given systems limitations

Recognize and implement cost effective treatment strategies