Curriculum & Rotations

The Child Psychiatry Fellowship at MMC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for two years of post-graduate training. We are a modern general hospital, and for many years have offered post-graduate training of superior quality. Drawing upon the resources of Maine Medical Center, we offer training solidly based in clinical medicine. Psychiatry is well integrated into the hospital setting and the Child Psychiatry subspecialty fellowship is an integral part of the approved four-year residency in general psychiatry at Maine Medical Center.

MMC is the major tertiary medical care and training facility for northern New England. MMC is located in Portland, Maine, which is a lively and vital center for the arts, education, business, law, and medicine for a large region of northern New England. Its location on the Maine coast and near the White Mountain region of Maine and New Hampshire provides an unrivaled living environment, as well as a patient population that represents problems indigenous to both urban and rural settings.

In addition, MMC has an academic affiliation with the Tufts University School of Medicine and combines the best aspects of patient care and academic stimulation. Maine Medical Center also is used as a training facility for numbers of other students doing internships in the fields of clinical psychology, social work, nursing, and allied medical areas.

Supervision is a core component of our training program with two hours per week of individual supervision for psychotherapy and outpatient management and close supervision on clinical rotations. Our faculty are highly invested in promoting the professional growth of our child and adolescent psychiatry fellows.

Clinical Rotations

First-Year Clinical Requisites

First-year fellows spend the majority of their clinical time on hospital-based services, including inpatient psychiatry, neurology, and consultation-liaison psychiatry. Given the value of longitudinally caring for children and families over the two-year fellowship, there are also outpatient expectations during the first year, including a weekly psychopharmacology continuity clinic and individual and/or family therapy cases.

  • General Description
    • Fellows spend two months on each one of the three child and adolescent units at Spring Harbor Hospital. During these rotations, fellows serve as the primary psychiatrist under the supervision of an attending psychiatrist. Fellows collaborate with social workers, pediatricians, occupational therapists, dieticians, and nurses to provide care that includes psychiatric evaluation, medication management, individual therapy, and family therapy. Instruction incorporates evidence-based practices and an appreciation of developmental theories and stages into the treatment planning for each child

Hospital-based Programming at Maine Medical Center and The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital

  • Consultation & Liaison Psychiatry

  • Location
  • Duration- Two months
  • Description
    • The first-year consultation and liaison rotation orients fellows to the complexities of pediatric medical illnesses and their impact on the well-being of children and their families. Fellows learn about the roles of various providers on treatment teams, family dynamics in pediatric care, inpatient risk assessments, and the communication of diagnostic impressions and recommendations to patients, families and consulting providers.

  • Pediatric Neurology

  • Locations
  • Duration- One month
  • Description
    • During this rotation, fellows engage with MMC pediatric neurologists as they provide inpatient consultative and outpatient services. They learn the fundamental principles of neurologic diagnosis in pediatric patients while becoming proficient in the neurologic examination of children of all ages and developmental stages.

  • Systems of Care

Second-Year Clinical Requisites

Second-year fellows primarily learn and provide patient care in outpatient settings with an emphasis on consultation and increased time for longitudinal experiences and selective rotations.

Therapeutic School Observation & Consultation

  • Location
  • Duration- Two months
  • Description
    • Fellows have a unique opportunity to observe and engage in educational and therapeutic programming during their rotation at The Collaborative School, a private school serving students in grades K-12 who are eligible for out-of-district special education due to emotional and behavioral health needs.

Pediatric Forensic Psychiatry

  • Locations
  • Duration- Two months
  • Description
    • While at Long Creek Youth Development Center, fellows learn from staff psychiatrists and psychologists, as well as specialists in corrections, special education, addiction services, and sexual abuse support and treatment. Through involvement in team meetings and observation of clinical interactions, fellows develop their skills in crisis intervention, risk assessment, and the multidisciplinary evaluation of an adjudicated adolescent.
    • Fellows’ experience at the Spurwink Child Abuse Program provides an education in inpatient and outpatient child abuse pediatrics (CAP) under the supervision of medical evaluators, forensic interviewers, psychologists, and other support staff throughout the state. Fellows observe and learn about parenting capacity evaluations and sexual behavior risk assessments.

Pediatric Emergency Psychiatry

Consultation & Liaison Psychiatry

  • Location
  • Duration- Two months
  • Description
    • The second-year consultation and liaison psychiatry rotation provides fellows with additional opportunities to lead patient and family evaluations, manage family and multidisciplinary team meetings, and facilitate communication and collaboration among team and family members.

Consultation to Outpatient Pediatrics Clinic

Adolescent DBT

Child & Adolescent Substance Disorders

  • Location
  • Description
    • Fellows have the opportunity to learn from and work with social workers and other staff in residential, intensive outpatient, outpatient, school outreach, and homeless outreach programming at Maine’s leading agency in addressing teen substance use.

Child & Adolescent Eating Disorders

  • Location
  • Description
    • The NEED Program at Sweetser is the only comprehensive eating disorder treatment program in Maine. Partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient levels of care are available, and fellows learn about the development of treatment plans to meet the medical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of patients of all ages.

Early Childhood Development

  • Location
  • Description
    • Working with CDS, fellows participate in in-home assessments of children from birth to three years of age who have been referred with concerns that they may have special needs. They also spend time at a local preschool observing typically developing preschoolers and those identified as needing specialized services for learning, emotional, and/or behavioral problems.

Selectives

Residents can choose from the following one-month selective opportunities or work with supervisors to create a selective experience tailored to their specific clinical and/or research interests. Examples include:

  • Early-onset Psychosis

  • Gender Non-Conforming Youth

  • Outpatient programming for children with autism and developmental disorders

  • Location
  • Description
    • Fellows with an interest in developmental disorders may spend a month at the CADD Program, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary outpatient clinic and day treatment program with experts who are also involved in research and primary care consultation.

  • Legislative advocacy

  • College mental health

  • Neuropsychology

  • Administrative psychiatry

Outpatient Responsibilities

Location

Description

  • Throughout the two-year fellowship, our trainees serve as the primary psychiatrists for pediatric patients from toddlerhood through early adulthood. Medication management and therapy caseload expectations increase from the first year to the second year of the fellowship.
 

Supervision

Department Philosophy on Supervision

  • Fellows describe MMC Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Department faculty members as approachable and knowledgeable. Though there are specific, scheduled supervision times detailed below, faculty members are open to questions as they arise.

Therapy & Psychopharmacology Supervision

  • Each year, fellows are assigned two supervisors from our pool of faculty and adjunct community supervisors. Fellows meet with each of their supervisors once weekly. Fellows are provided with equipment and IT support to record their individual and family therapy sessions and are expected to receive feedback based on these recordings during their individual supervision.

Rotation Supervision

  • Fellows often work alongside their rotation supervisors on a daily basis. At least once weekly, they are expected to have a more formal check-in to receive feedback on their performance and to ask additional questions.

On-call Supervision

  • Fellows are on-call from home by pager, with attending psychiatrist back-up, for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital Consultation/Liaison Service and the Maine Medical Center Emergency Department Acute Psychiatric Unit (APU).
 

Didactics

Summer Seminars

Every summer, fellows participate in our “summer boot camp” along with third-year adult psychiatry residents. This serves as a helpful orientation for first-year fellows, an opportunity for review and teaching for second-year fellows, and a chance for fellows and residents from various years to become acquainted in a collegial environment. Specific courses include:

  • Practice of Psychiatry
  • Talking with Children Course
  • Attachment and Infant Mental Health
  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Pediatric Psychopharmacology

Year-Round Seminars

Fellows meet weekly to receive instruction in the following areas:

  • Developmental Disorders and Psychopathology
  • Pediatric Psychopharmacology
  • Research Literacy
  • Systems-based Practice
  • Patient Safety and Quality Improvement
  • Transition to Practice
  • Therapy Training- fellows receive training in multiple modalities of psychotherapy including family therapy, Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Conduct Problems (MATCH), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy and play therapy. Additionally, they receive introductions into working in other modalities and with specialized populations.

Scholarship Expectations & Opportunities

  • MMC Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Journal Club, monthly
  • MMC Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds, weekly
  • Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI) Introduction to Research Course
  • MMC Pediatric Residency Program’s “Buddy System”
    • Fellows engage in collaborative learning with pediatric and med-peds residents through a “Buddy System.” Pediatrics residents and child fellows are paired up to be available to one another to answer questions throughout the year. There are several shared learning sessions throughout the year.
  • Standardized Patient Activities
    • Annually, fellows participate in observed, recorded, and realistic interactions with standardized patients at The Hannaford Center for Safety, Innovation and Simulation at Maine Medical Center.
  • The University of Vermont College of Medicine Online Neuroscience Course
    • Fellows participate in an interactive, online course on the neuroscience and mental illness.
  • MMC Department of Psychiatry Annual Education Day/Visiting Professorship

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