Residents and Fellows
The Inaugural Spring Residents Retreat
Just when it seems the current group of UCLA psychiatry residents have peaked as the most creative Semel trainees in memory, they do it again! They recently implemented a "speed dating" event to better match themselves to PCFA supervisors (see below) and a video case seminar to increase their exposure to psychotherapy. The latest in this unprecedented series of initiatives took place on May 14, 2015. They called it a "Spring Residents Retreat." After organizing coverage of their patients, they gathered at the UCLA Faculty Center with members of the full-time faculty and PCFA in attendance.
The format was a debate on two topics which, according to their own polling, were of high interest to them.
"Resolved that the UCLA psychiatry residency program:
(1) provides sufficient psychotherapy training; (2) retains a sufficient balance between service and education."
They divided into "pro" and "con" teams for each topic. After the teams met to plan strategy, spokespersons from each team presented arguments and rebuttals. A smartphone-based texting system provided immediate visual feedback at the front of the room regarding which teams were selected the winners by those present.
The team arguing that the residency program does NOT provide sufficient psychotherapy training won by 56% to 44%. Interestingly, before the debate a poll of the residents (n=38) showed that 29% felt that their "psychotherapy training was insufficient and that there should be a lot more;" 39% felt their "psychotherapy training was nearly sufficient and that there should be a little more;" 24% felt the amount was "just right;" 3% thought the amount was "a little too much;" and 0% said there should be "a lot less psychotherapy training."
Among the "pro" arguments presented for psychotherapy training being sufficient was "the availability of 4th year elective training in psychotherapy to any resident who wanted it," "the ability to talk to medication management supervisors about how to deal with patients" and "the availability of psychoanalytic institutes during or after residency for those interested." The "con" arguments included the "failure of the department to offer most residents any opportunities to be observed while doing psychotherapy;" "the lack of teaching about many of the cases seen during residency;" and the "low standards for providing psychotherapy training relative to rival programs like UCSF."
The second debate was essentially a draw.
The strong support being expressed by so many residents for increased psychotherapy training suggests that members of PCFA should participate even more actively in the curriculum. PCFA could help the department implement innovations that would advance the field. One possibility would be a video seminar in which every resident interviewed a patient while being observed by peers and a PCFA supervisor, who would then discuss the interview and review salient teaching moments on video. PCFA's Split-Screen Pilot Project has already demonstrated the feasibility of using clip-mounted smartphones to record doctor and patient simultaneously for therapy supervision.
Kudos to the UCLA psychiatry residents for their efforts to become better-trained psychiatrists!
Residents, Fellows and PCFA
The residents who attended the 2014 Disneyland retreat demonstrated their appreciation for PCFA's sponsorship with this creative display.
The Psychiatric Clinical Faculty Association at UCLA is dedicated to enhancing the clinical education and career growth of residents and fellows through its teaching, mentoring, and funding activities.
The two co-chief residents and two co-chief child fellows are the representatives of their respective groups on the PCFA Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
PCFA activities for residents and fellows include:
1. Psychotherapy supervision
2. On-site clinical supervision
3. Process group supervision
4. Individual psychotherapy training course
5. Core-curriculum lectures and seminars
6. Lunchtime lectures and talks
8. Recruiting activities funding
9. Annual residency retreat funding
10. Annual distinguished speaker dinner and lecture
11. Annual Shirley Hatos research prizes
12. Resident Networking Dinner
The last item on the list, the Resident Networking Dinner was held for the first time on Wednesday March 4, 2015 at the UCLA Faculty Center. PCFA hosted the event, but the residents planned and organized it. During dinner faculty and residents sat together at large tables for informal conversation. Afterwards, however, each of the 12 faculty members present sat at a small table where he or she was joined by two residents, who asked questions about clinical practices and supervisory styles. Every 5 minutes, the residents moved to another table and repeated the process until they had spoken with all the faculty. Here are some of the comments they made afterwards:
"I enjoyed getting the chance to talk with people in the community about what their lives were like and what kind of careers are out there. Honestly, as an intern I had kind of forgotten that the whole world of outpatient private practice existed, so it was nice to be reminded of that."
"The event was amazing! The speed dating was a catch 22, b/c each 5 minute convo went by so quickly but it ends up being a long time."
"Overall, I thought this was a great exercise, and I would fully support it becoming a yearly thing."
"...it was really a good experience! I do not think anything would improve it, but ... to keep a max of around 12 x 5 minute encounters."
"A much better way to find a supervisor than scanning a list of names on a spreadsheet!"
"It was helpful to hear how being associated with a professional group can provide lifelong support and learning after residency and beyond."
"I wish I had this when I was an R2 to find a supervisor!"
Interns are important too
Dr. Leilani Sharpe lectured about child psychiatry emergency evaluation to her fellow first-year residents at the Los Angeles VA Hospital on November 4, 2014. Lunches for these monthly peer-to-peer lectures are supported by PCFA.
by Andrew T. Russell, M.D.
It has been my continuing pleasure to serve as teaching supervisor for the Psychotherapy Program and as faculty liaison to the Psychiatry Clinical Faculty Association (PCFA). This program is now in its 22st year. As many of you know, it wasfounded and led by Robert Pasnau, M.D for many years; it continues to be an honor to follow in his footsteps. I am ably assisted in the administration of the program by Lela DeGolia, Executive Director of the PCFA. In addition, Mark Thompson, MD and Van DeGolia, MD continue to be essential to the program’s success. Mark or Vanschedule individual meetings with all the residents interested in the program and then arrange their assignment to available PCFA faculty. This is not easy given geographic, scheduling and availability issues, not to mention special interests of the residents. Many thanks to Drs. Thompson and DeGolia for the many hours they contribute to the program.
This program, which provides a personal, educational, and affordable psychotherapy experience, sets the UCLA residency program apart from the vast majority of training programs in the country – it continues to help us recruit the best and the brightest.
Demand for the program remains high. So far this year, 26 residents contacted me and were referred to Dr. DeGolia or Thompson for assignment. In addition, a number of residents and fellowscontinued in the program for a second or even third year. Fifty-three faculty have volunteered to participate in the program, although some may not be available during the course of any given year.Last year they provided more than 1100 hours of psychotherapy. We added several new faculty to meet the demand over the last 20 months. These include Susan Donner, Ramsi Kiriakos, Stan Leiken, Arsalan Malik, Larry Newman, Dan Plotkin, Wayne Sandler, Jonathan Salk and Heather Silverman. Your participation is appreciated! As demand remains high, we have had some difficulty making prompt assignments for a number of the residents, particularly from Sepulveda and Harbor programs. We are trying to recruit new faculty in the valley and south bay to meet that need.
The residents pay $35 per session to their therapistwhich in turn is donated to the PCFA. These monies have been used to support a variety of training related initiatives and activities. In 2012-13 we collected over $39,000 to that purpose.Faculty seeing more than one resident includeThomas Brod, Daniel Fast, Robin Frasier, Donald Freeman, Malcolm Hoffs, Jim Rosenblum, Bella Schimmel, Joanne Seltzer and Sam Wilson. My apologies if I have left anyone off this hard working list.
In summary the psychotherapy program continues to thrive and provide a very special experience for our residents and faculty. Our main problem, high demand for the program, is a nice one to have. It has been a pleasure to help coordinate it this year. Many thanks to all who have contributed to the program’s success.
From the Chief Residents' Perspective
by Michael Boucher, M.D. and Yvonne Yang, M.D.
In one of his last lectures to our PG4 class, Dr. Gitlin gave us practical career advice relevant to multiple professional environments, including private practice, large organizations, and academic institutions. Towards the end of the lecture, he paused, and admitted a deeply held bias he wanted to share. He believes that teaching is a fundamental aspect of psychiatry, and that no matter what career path we choose, he implored us to continue to teach, to give back, and to nurture future generations of psychiatrists. As he told us, “You think you’ve learned a lot in these four years? You’ll be amazed at how much you learn in the next four years and beyond, and how much wisdom you will have to share.”
The PCFA is the very embodiment of this dictum. Clinical faculty serve as role models and teachers. As chief residents, we are in the privileged position to be both the beneficiaries of the PCFA’s efforts, as well as the liaison between the clinical faculty and the residency at large. Looking back over the year, it is humbling to see the PCFA’s vital and engrained role in the UCLA Psychiatry Residency Program.
The year began with water balloons and delicious tacos, at the PCFA Welcome BBQ for Interns. Fun and carefree, the event brought the class together with the help of food and some silliness, a theme we returned to many times this past year. Before becoming chiefs, we didn’t realize how big a role the PCFA played in creating a sense of camaraderie and cohesion for the residency. We knew they sponsored the Retreat and Recruitment Happy Hours, but this year, we saw the larger picture. Much of what makes this residency great are the residents themselves, and their relationships with each other. Those relationships begin at the PCFA Welcome BBQ in June, and they grow stronger and more entwined at the annual retreat in September. Throughout the fall and winter, we have regular happy hours for residents and applicants, all sponsored and supported by the PCFA. These happy hours bring the residents together to relax, to have fun, to be a little silly, and to grow closer, as friends and as colleagues. This camaraderie helps the residents endure the daily grind of our intense training program, as well as to weather the storms of unexpected change. This year in particular, we have had more than our fair share of unexpected change. This summer, one intern left the program for personal reasons, and in the fall, another intern announced his plan to switch specialties and leave at the end of the year. The intern class came together, started their own process group, and supported each other, taking on extra call and rearranging schedules. This winter, they welcomed a new intern into the class, Erik Paschall, and in July, they will be welcoming two new PG2s into the fold, the Harbor intern, Viet, and a transfer resident, Heather.
In the PG4 class, our friend and classmate, Elana Miller, was diagnosed with cancer, and began a grueling course of chemotherapy. Known to the PCFA in her role as the chief resident of the Resident Psychotherapy Clinic, Elana is a strong advocate for therapy and therapy training. She helped spearhead a PCFA-funded initiative to videotape therapy sessions as a way to enhance supervision and training. Thankfully, Elana responded well to the chemo, and she is expected to make a full recovery. News of her diagnosis gave everyone in our class a scare; however, it brought us closer together, to help support Elana and her family.
These are but a few of the ways that our residents support and rely on each other, and the PCFA plays a large and important role in fostering this environment. It is in this role that the PCFA is most visible during the PG1 and PG2 years.
However, by the PG3 and PG4 years, the PCFA begins to exert its academic might. Acting as the stewards of our psychotherapy training, the PCFA supervises therapy trainees, teaches a psychotherapy didactic curriculum, and provides low-cost psychodynamic psychotherapy for interested residents. In fact, the psychotherapy program has proven so popular that the PCFA has created a waitlist, and Dr. Russell is actively seeking out new clinical faculty psychotherapists, particularly within the South Bay and the San Fernando Valley. Additionally, many faculty volunteer in the UCLA, VA and community clinics, supervising us in the medication management clinics that form the bulk of our clinical training.
Our PCFA teachers serve two important roles, as educators sharing their knowledge and wisdom, and as role models, demonstrating to us the very definition of the clinician-educator. Dr. Gitlin encourages us to teachand nurture the next generation of clinicians as we move forward in our careers. On the brink of graduation, we turn yet again to the PCFA, to guide us down the path from student-trainees to teacher-mentors.
Report on the UCLA Child Fellows and the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program
by Gayle Polsky, M.D.
The tradition of excellence continues in the division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UCLA. This marks another year of growth and success within the department led by Sheryl Kataoka, MD and Marcy Forgey, MD. Dr. Forgey has done an outstanding job providing leadership of the program while Dr. Kataoka was on sabbatical for the second half of the academic year. While on sabbatical, Dr. Kataoka has been spending time mentoring fellows and residents on school mental health research projects and providing child psychiatry consultation to LAUSD and their school based health centers.
This year marked the second year of fellows participating in an international elective. Dr. Smitta Patel went to Indiawith several faculty members who are specialists in trauma treatment as part of a basic medical mission and trauma screening project. Dr. Patel has been making this trip for the last several years, but this is the first year with a UCLA contingent. Dr. Samantha Stewart went to Brazil to do trauma research as well.
In other awards, co-chief fellow Dr. Jessica Jeffrey has been serving as PRITE fellow and as the resident representative for the California Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Co-chief fellow Dr. Roya-IjadiMaghsoodi has been serving as a resident representative for the Southern California Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. First year fellow Dr. Vandai Le was selected as the Jerry M. Wiener Representative to theCouncil of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dr. RoyaIjadi-Maghsoodi was selected as the recipient of the Greenblatt Fellowship Award. This award is given annually to the second year fellow who most exemplifies Dr. Gertrude Rogers Greenblatt through a deeply humane commitment to children requiring psychiatric care, exceptional talent and skill in clinical work, and an unusual sensitivity and concern for the needs and feelings of others, whether they be patients and families, or students and colleagues. She will receive the award at Grand Rounds on Tuesday, May 13.
This year, two successful retreats were held. The fall retreat was held at the Getty Museum, and we were able to havethe spring retreat at Malibu and Vine, thanks to a generous donation by the PCFA. The fellows enjoyed both opportunities for program improvement and team building exercises at these gorgeous venues.
After a highly successful recruitment season, we are excited to welcome the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Class of 2016. Andrea Carter, MD (UCLA), Elizabeth Horstmann, MD (Columbia), Brian McPhee, MD (UCLA), Douglass Russell, MD (UCLA), Emily Todd, MD, PhD (UCLA), Michelle Wu, MD (USC), and in the Research Track Artha Gillis, MD, PhD (UC Davis).
In other news, the fellowship has recently re-organized the second year curriculum to include a 6-month experience learning family focused treatment and psychopharmacology management in the Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Program. In addition, there will be a 4-month experience in the new Child and Adult Neurodevelopmental Clinic, where fellows will learn how to conduct comprehensive evaluations for neurodevelopmental disorders and to provide both somatic and non-somatic treatments.
As always, the PCFA continues to provide support for the education of the fellows. Whether it is in Individual Supervision, the Clinical Practicum, Process Groups, Lectures, Recruitment, or Retreat, the PCFA has a critical role to play. The fellowship is thankful for everything the PFCA does, and in an effort to show the department’s sincere gratitude, the annual PCFA Child Faculty appreciation dinner was held Thursday, May 29th.
We know that this next upcoming year will be as exciting as the last.