Emory University School of Medicine Med-Psych Program Update

Emory University School of Medicine Med-Psych Program Update

Greetings from Atlanta! We are excited to share what we've been doing in this past year.

Our med-psych faculty members, graduates and residents have taken on many leadership roles this year. Dr. Ray Young, Program Director for the Psychosomatic Fellowship at Emory was named the Division Chief for Psychosomatic Medicine/Consultation Liaison Services for Emory Healthcare. Dr. Martha Ward, a former graduate, was selected to be Associate Medical Director for our Combined Internal Medicine-Psychiatry Residency Program. Dr. DeJuan White, also an Emory alum, was promoted to Medical Director of the Psychiatric Emergency Services at Grady Memorial Hospital. Dr. Aaron Gluth, a former graduate, is serving as the Director of Medical Consultation Services at Emory's geriatric psychiatry hospital as part of the Emory hospital medicine service. Vera Tate, PGY-5, completed the American Psychiatric Association Diversity Leadership Fellowship. Vera Tate and Dan Cucco, PGY-5's, are serving as chief residents for our medicine-psychiatry residency program.

Teaching Accolades
All of our combined medicine-psychiatry (MP) residents have contributed this year to teaching in various formats, including journal clubs, senior grand rounds, case conferences and at our MP conferences.

Notable resident presentations include:

  • Marsha Stern, PGY-4, presented a clinical vignette at the AMP conference on hyperthyroidism presenting as recurrent catatonia.
  • Vera Tate, PGY-5, and Erika Heard (graduate) presented a poster at the AMP on global health.
  • Four of our PGY 3-4 residents(Lauren Gensler, Marsha Stern, Stefan Routt and Stephanie Schmitz), presented at our very popular Internal Medicine Residency teaching conference called “Bite Sized Teaching: Med-Psych Version.” In this conference, the residents presented high yield facts on MP topics, including involuntary commitments, decision-making capacity, SSRIs and antipsychotic use on inpatient medicine.
  • Vera Tate, PGY-5, presented on delusional disorder at the Psychiatry version of the “Bite Sized Teaching” conference.

Marsha Stern, PGY-4, and Lauren Gensler, PGY-3, are both involved in the Internal Medicine Teaching Distinctions Program.

Dan Cucco, PGY-5, volunteered to work with a set of Emory medical students and physician assistant students longitudinally over the last year, directly observing patient interviews and physical exams, and providing bedside teaching and feedback on organization for clinical presentations.

Dr. Martha Ward is working as assistant course director at the Emory SOM for 'Essentials of Patient Care' revamping the entire 4-year curriculum to teach clinical skills to medical students with emphasis on skills of communication, transference, counter-transference, wellness and self-care.

Dr. Martha Ward's Combined Medicine-Psychiatry clinic at Grady now serves as a training site for Emory psychology interns and external psychology graduate practicum students in primary care psychology.

We have continued to enjoy having Emory and visiting fourth year medical students join us for our Combined Medicine-Psychiatry elective.

Global health involvement
Under the Global Health Residency Scholars Program, Vera Tate, PGY-5, and Dr. Martha Ward are going to Ethiopia in March to work on collaboration with St Paul's in Addis Ababa. This ongoing collaborative work was presented at the AMP conference this academic year.

Resident Research
Marsha Stern, PGY-4, is involved in a project reviewing transitions of care in hospital medicine.

Stephanie Schmitz, PGY-4, is involved in two ongoing research projects. She is working with palliative care on the incidence and prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses and the use of psychotropic medications in palliative care. Her second project, with a cardiology fellow, focuses on validity of depression scales (such as the PHQ-9) in patients with medical diagnoses.

Lauren Gensler, PGY-3, is involved with Dr. Erica Duncan working on a gene-based analysis of acoustic startle latency (the acoustic startle response is a reflex seen across mammalian species that provides a window into the functioning of brain circuits relevant to schizophrenia, cocaine dependence, and posttraumatic stress disorder.)

Stefan Routt, PGY-4, is starting a research project on project on potential relationship between Toxoplasmosis and Alzheimer's disease.

Resident AMP involvement
Emory residents continue to be involved in AMP with our highest conference attendance this past year, as well as a poster presentation, a clinical vignette presentation, mentorship to medical students, and contributions to the AMP journal club/ senior grand rounds web page.

Quality Improvement
Medicine-Psychiatry faculty, Drs. Tamara Haynes, DeJuan White and Kellie Clearo, are serving as advisors for the 'Improving Depression Screening in Primary Care' project at Grady. This project is sponsored by the Primary Care Transformation (PACT) Grant.

Marsha Stern, PGY-4, is presenting a poster on hospital medicine transitions of care at the upcoming Society of Hospital Medicine Conference.

We would like to congratulate Jon Kaplan, PGY-3, on his marriage to his lovely wife, Carly. Jon has received several acknowledgements from the medicine residency program on going “above and beyond” for patient care. He is also writing up a case report on possible association of lower respiratory tract infection and clozapine use.

We would like to recognize our fantastic PGY-1's, Shan Elahi and Jesse Mahuatmr, and PGY-2's, Trygve Dolber and Liz McCord, for their hard-work and wonderful personalities that continue to enrich our program.