Structure

The Public Service Psychiatry Fellowship is a one year full-time training program for psychiatrists who have completed accredited psychiatric residency training and who plan to devote their careers to working with high risk populations in the public sector. 

Our program offers a balance of required and elective experiences in clinical and administrative settings under the mentorship of local, regional and national leaders in public psychiatry. Our fellowship emphasizes recovery principles, cultural diversity, trauma, and public health principles. By partnering with recovery-oriented consumer organizations including the National Alliance for Mental Illness, the Allegheny County Coalition for Recovery, and the Peer Support and Advocacy Network, and others, our fellows benefit from a well-rounded training experience that offers perspectives from providers and the populations they serve. Participation in local, regional, and national organizations dedicated to recovery and the transformation of the mental health system is facilitated.

 

Fellowship Pathways 

There are two pathways that fellows in our program may take:

In this pathway fellows are employed directly by agencies seeking their services. Participation in the Public Service Psychiatry Fellowship is set at one day per week for the first year and is included in the compensation package with the understanding that the candidate will continue at the agency for some period of time following completion of training. About ten hours would be reserved for classroom activities, supervision, and elective administrative activities and the development of a quality improvement activity in that setting. Fellows will generally receive a full time compensation package during the year of their participation in the fellowship. Fellows in the Track I pathway will receive the full benefits of the training program, although their elective opportunities and exposure to the spectrum of community based care may be more limited. This option provides great support for psychiatrists in their first year of employment.

Residents may complete the fellowship during their final year of residency training. This option presents some limitations in terms of the clinical and administrative experience, but it is available for trainees who would not otherwise be able to do the fellowship due to other obligations or conflicts. Trainees enrolled in other fellowship programs may also take advantage of this option at the discretion of their program director.  These positions are limited to residents who are completing their training at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital or other training programs within commuting distance of the Center.

 

Didactics

Weekly Didactic Sessions 

The comprehensive didactic curriculum is based on participatory and problem-based learning. Weekly didactic sessions take place on Thursdays from 9:00am-1:00pm and are highly interactive. Course discussions are based on pertinent readings from peer-reviewed journals and textbooks selected by faculty to provide a strong core knowledge base for each topic. Each weekly session covers a range of topics including:

  • Public Health and Epidemiology: Risk Identification and Population Studies
  • Clinical Administration: Continuous Quality Improvement and Leadership
  • Health Care Financing
  • Consumer and Professional Advocacy and Advocacy Organizations
  • Addressing Social Determinants of Mental Illness
  • Integrated Care: Co-occurring Mental Health, Physical Health and Addiction Disorders
  • Services Research and Community-based Participatory Research

We invite you to check out the complete seminar schedule and topics. 
 

Elective Courses 

Fellows will attend additional didactic classes based on their individual interests and the suggestions of the Director, Associate Director, and the faculty mentors that are offered by the UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital Office of Residency Training.


Medical Student, Resident and Allied Professionals Education

In addition to weekly seminars and elective coursework, Public Service Psychiatry Fellows will participate in various educational activities with medical students and other trainees who are training to provide services in the public sector, including an annual conference hosted by the Center for Public Service Psychiatry.

 

Scholarly Projects

Each fellow will work with the fellowship director and associate director at the beginning of the year to identify a topic for a scholarly project. Fellows develop, implement, and disseminate a scholarly project in the community in their area of interest. The Director and Associate Director will connect fellows to additional mentors who will collaborate and advise fellows throughout the year on their scholarly project. 

Faculty work with fellows at the beginning of the fellowship to identify a topic in an area of interest for a scholarly project. The scholarly project may be a quality improvement project, development of a new program, or a service research project. Fellows then present current questions and hypotheses, new research findings, and drafts of project results at the weekly scholarly project seminar.

Our program faculty and community partners bring a wealth of experience in community and public service psychiatry, and serve as important advisers during each step of the project. After being connected to a mentor, fellows collaborate with their mentors on project development, implementation, and dissemination of results. Faculty mentors review project proposals, critique and review interim reports, make recommendations for additional readings or consultation, and offer additional advice based on their own areas of expertise and experience at weekly seminars. 

 

Career Development

Public Service Psychiatry fellows also have a number of opportunities for career development activities and advanced learning.  The Department of Psychiatry encourages fellows to participate in our weekly Career and Research Development (CARD) seminars, which provide exposure to research and assistance with grant writing, dissemination of results, decision making and career development. The Department and its academic partners also sponsor a wide variety of seminars and lectures series on campus including the Department of Psychiatry Lecture Series, and the UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital's Resident Grand Rounds and Journal Club.