Fellowships

The Department of Psychiatry of the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System is proud to offer several post-residency fellowships.

Education is an important focus of our department and we offer a wide variety of experiences to further education of future practitioners.

We offer post-residency fellowship positions in:

  • • Child Psychiatry
  • • Psychosomatic Medicine
  • • Addiction Medicine

Previously we offered fully accredited fellowships in Forensic Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry. These fellowships are currently being reorganized and will be available soon.

Child Psychiatry

Psychosomatic Medicine

Addiction Medicine

TRAINING DIRECTOR: ROSS YAPLE, M.D.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship is an ACGME fully-accredited, two-year training program primarily located at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VTCC). Serving a highly diverse patient demographic spanning all of Virginia, our fellows receive extensive training in broad areas of mental health delivery for our patients and their families, including a significant focus on acute inpatient hospitalization, outpatient clinical treatment, consultation-liaison experiences within the VCU Health System, as well as interfaces in several of our outpatient community collaborative programs. Throughout the program, our fellows receive extensive experience working with a patient population ranging from infancy to young adulthood that spans multiple cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, with an emphasis on the underserved. We have a growing and extremely diverse and experienced faculty dedicated to the education and supervision of our fellows, emphasizing a strong, multidisciplinary approach to training which includes additional programs in psychology, social work, nursing and pharmacy, among others. Supporting our rotational experiences, our didactic program includes 5-6 protected hours per week and emphasizes the interface of genetics and neuroscience, psychosocial factors, trauma, culture, current diagnostics, psychotherapeutic and somatic interventions, in addition to family and systems-based approaches. The VCU Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship program offers fellows multiple opportunities for scholarship, including teaching opportunities for students and residents across disciplines, formal presentations at AACAP/APA/AADPRT, and various venues for research opportunities within the VCU Department of Psychiatry as well as across the entire VCU Health System. Overall, the VCU Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship promotes a high degree of individualized attention to the education and supervision for each fellow as they develop in order to promote best outcomes for our patients and families as well as to build strong mental health clinicians to care for and support our future generations.

WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING:

First, our program is in a significant growth phase, and we have just entered our second year as a program with three fellowship positions per year, with plans for future expansion to four positions per year very soon! In addition, we have been growing our program faculty as well, including four recent additions to our cadre as well as multiple additional positions that we are actively filling!

Second, in collaboration with the VCU Medical School’s instructional technologist, our program has launched the first fully integrated online didactic curriculum entitled the VCU Child and Adolescent Mental Health Curriculum in July of 2016! The curriculum serves as a permanent repository for all resources utilized in the didactic curriculum over the two-year program, and emphasizes a multidisciplinary curriculum including the psychiatry and psychology programs. The curriculum focuses on active-learning, flipped classroom principles as the primary modality for teaching and learning, including problem-based learning (PBL) modules, process-oriented, guided inquiry learning (POGIL), Just-in Time Teaching (JiTT), among others.

Last, but definitely not least, we are also about to open our brand new, state-of-the-art Virginia Treatment Center for Children in December of 2017! The product of a sixty-million dollar investment by the General Assembly as well as significant efforts by the VCU Department of Psychiatry and the Children’s Hospital of Richmond, our new flagship facility will offer 32 inpatient beds, a significantly expanded outpatient clinic including observation suites, integrated space for research and training in the Center for Child and Family Studies as well creating connections for community service delivery in the Children’s Mental Health Resource Center. Additionally, the facility will feature fully integrated educational technology to enhance the online Child and Adolescent Mental Health Curriculum, to provide audio-visual recording capabilities for clinical supervision and education, as well as resources for community and state-wide educational endeavors!

Be one of the first fellows to experience the clinical and educational innovations at the new Virginia Treatment Center for Children!

Please check out our Fact Sheet about the new Virginia Treatment Center for Children here


CURRICULUM:

First-year fellows in our program experience a curriculum designed to promote core skills in the diagnostics, evaluation and treatment of children and families with a wide range of mental health needs, including the following rotations:

  • • Acute Inpatient Hospital Unit at VTCC
  • • Consultation-Liaison Rotation at VCU Health System
  • • Outpatient Continuity Clinic at VTCC
  • • Psychotherapy Clinic at VTCC
  • • Pediatric Neurology – General and Epilepsy Clinics at Children’s Pavilion

Second-year fellows will expand on the core skill sets developed during the first year curriculum with an emphasis on applying these skills in a variety of clinical and community settings, including the following rotations:

  • • Community Psychiatry Rotation at the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority
  • • Outpatient Continuity Clinic and Psychotherapy Clinics at VTCC
  • • Telepsychiatry Clinics at VTCC
  • • Faculty Specialty Clinics – ADHD, Mood Disorders, Autism Spectrum, Eating Disorders, Transgender, Attachment
  • • Pediatric Collaborative Clinic at Children’s Pavilion
  • • Foster Care Clinic and Child Protection Team at VCU Health System
  • • Pediatric Genetics Clinic at Children’s Pavilion
  • • Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic at Children’s Pavilion
  • • Child Defense Clinic at University of Richmond Law School
  • • City of Richmond Public School System – Woodville Elementary
  • • Research and Elective Opportunities

Weeknight call is taken from home with in-house nurse practitioner support as well as an attending backup. Weekend call requires rounds and is shared with an on-site attending each call day.


INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICANTS:

Eligible candidates include those who will have completed their PGY-3 year of their Psychiatry Residency prior to the fellowship start date, a passing USMLE Step 3 score, and candidates must be able to secure a Virginia medical license.

We participate in the NRMP Psychiatry Fellowship Match (January Match) and require that all applications be submitted through the ERAS system: https://www.aamc.org/students/medstudents/eras/fellowship_applicants/

Applicants will only be considered for an interview once all elements of the ERAS application are completed, including the C.V., Personal Statement, Medical School Transcript, MSPE, USMLE Scores, ECFMG certificate (if applicable) and three Letters of Recommendation, one of which must be from your Psychiatry Residency Training Director.


CONTACT INFORMATION:

Program Director:
Ross A. Yaple, M.D.
ross.yaple@vcuhealth.org

Program Coordinator:
Sharon Scott
Phone: (804) 828-4371
Fax: (804) 827-3731
E-mail: sharon.scott@vcuhealth.org

Training Director: James Levenson, M.D.

Why Consider Fellowship Training in Psychosomatic Medicine?

The Virginia Commonwealth University Health System training program in Psychosomatic Medicine has been in existence for 30 years and is one of the first fellowship programs accredited by the ACGME and approved by the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine. For over 25 years this program has been under the directorship of James L. Levenson, M.D., an internationally acclaimed leader in the field of Psychosomatic Medicine.

Dr. Levenson is the editor of the American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychosomatic Medicine, (2005, 2011). Dr. Levenson has also been recognized with VCU's highest teaching award and its Distinguished Clinician Award. Other members of the Consultation/Liaison Division have also been recognized with awards for teaching and supervision and have made many contributions to the literature, particularly at the interfaces with Organ Transplantation and Neurology.

This exciting one-year fellowship offers advanced training in Psychosomatic Medicine and Consultation/Liaison Psychiatry in a 750-bed university hospital to psychiatrists who have completed residency. Fellows choose from numerous clinical and research opportunities in transplantation, primary care, traumatic brain injury, pain management, oncology, infertility, HIV and more. Individual weekly supervision is provided for psychotherapy, liaison activity, teaching and research. Fellows have the opportunity to choose both liaison involvements and teaching medical students and psychiatry residents.

Our fellowship also rotates at our sister training facility, the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, a 500 bed flagship facility which offers diverse opportunities, including one of only six PolyTrauma Units nationwide, as well as Primary Care-Psychiatry collaborative care, a regional Spinal Cord Injury program, organ transplantation, pain clinic, and palliative care. The site director for the fellowship is Alexandru Trutia, M.D., who serves as the Chief of the Consultation/Liaison Service.

Both fellowship positions meet the requirements for board certification in Psychosomatic Medicine by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

 

Instructions for Applicants:

Fellowship eligibility requirements include completion of an accredited residency in Psychiatry, passing all steps of USMLE and the ability to obtain a Virginia medical license.

We use the common application form available online at http://www.apm.org/career/common-app-pm-fellowship.shtml.

It should be submitted along with a C.V. and three letters of recommendation, one of which should be from your residency training director, to Dr. Levenson at the address below.

We follow the fellowship selection policy of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine.

James L. Levenson, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry, Internal Medicine and Surgery
Vice-Chair, Department of Psychiatry
Chair, Division of Consultation/Liaison Psychiatry

VCUHS
P.O. Box 980268
Richmond, VA 23298-0268
Phone: (804) 828-0762
Fax: (804) 828-7675
E-mail: james.levenson@vcuhealth.org


Training Director: Mishka Terplan, M.D., MPH, FACOG, FASAM

The Addiction Medicine Fellowship is a one year, with optional second year fellowship. The second year a research-based fellowship. 

 

Fellows will have four 3-month rotations for the first year, which will include: 

1) McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center  

2) VCU Medical Center- Substance Abuse Consult Service

3) Virginia Health  Practitioner Monitoring Program

4)VCU Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies

 

Below is a brief description of the 3-month rotation at the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center:

Hunter Holmes McGuire Richmond VA Medical Center Outpatient Rotation:  The fellow will gain experience in the Intensive Outpatient Substance Abuse Program  where clients receive 9 hours per week of treatment and the outpatient Opioid (Methadone and Suboxone) Treatment Clinics.  The fellow will follow patients long term with opioid addiction as well as patients with other substance abuse disorders.  The fellow will conduct new intake evaluations, and provide treatment to include medication management and various modalities of therapy, individual, group and family therapies. 

Hunter Holmes McGuire Richmond VA Medical Center Inpatient Rotation:  The fellow will gain experience and learn the residential treatment model that includes evidenced based residential based therapies in the 60 day (inpatient) residential substance abuse treatment program.

 

In addition, Fellows will receive hands on training in clinical addictions research. They may also apply for funding for pilot studies in which they can serve as
principal investigator for research projects. Specific aspects of clinical research that fellows will participate in are described below"

1) a new research dedicated 3T Philips Ingenia MRI scanner that has been purchased by the VCU School of Medicine that will be housed in this facility. This MRI scanner will be used for ongoing and future projects to study the neurobiology of addictions. All fellows will receive training on the use of various types of brain imaging in clinical care and research on addictions. For those fellows who are interested in brain imaging research, they will have an opportunity to assist in imaging research projects in patients with addictions, and can apply for funding for pilot projects using brain imaging.

2) the Human Psychopharmacology Behavioral Laboratory Clinic is a facility where human research subjects with addictions can undergo extensive behavioral testing on key aspects of behavior associated with addictions, including impulsivity, decision making, and cue reactivity. The facility houses six individual sound attenuated testing chambers for human behavioral laboratory testing. All fellows will
receive training on the role of impulsivity, cue reactivity and impaired decision making in initiation and maintenance of addictions. In addition, fellows will receive training on
tools to measure these behavioral problems, and potential treatments that can reduce them. For interested fellows, they can also initiate pilot studies on the role of impulsivity and impaired decision-making in addictions.

3) the Outpatient Clinic for Clinical Trials in Addictions houses a research clinic where placebo controlled clinical trials in addictions take place. Fellows will receive training on screening of research subjects using structured clinical interviews, such as the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID). They will also receive training on the use of the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), and physical assessment of patients with addictions including EKGs and urine drug screens. All of the clinical trials carried out in the facility also include manual driven cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). All fellows will also receive training on the use of CBT in addictions and will participate in CBT sessions with patients with addictions. In addition, many of the studies also use contingency management (CM) to enhance clinic attendance. All fellows will receive training on the use of CM in addictions. In addition to the VCU IDAS research facility, fellows will also have access to addictions research carried out at the Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR). Researchers from across the university, including the life, physical, computer and social sciences, as well as engineering and economics, are supported by the CCTR. The center serves as an academic bridge from home departments for researchers and offers networking, training, services and access to cores. At the same time, the center builds and nurtures mutually beneficial partnerships with community practitioners, community organizations and patients to enhance the adoption of evidence-based best practices in general clinical practice, delivering improved medical care to the region and advancing discoveries that save the lives of patients around the world. Fellows will receive training in good clinical practices through the CCTR.

Fellows will gain experience in presenting IRB submissions for research studies, data analysis, along with preparing and presenting abstract submissions to local, national and international journals. All fellows will receive training on the role of impulsivity, cue reactivity and impaired decision making in initiation and maintenance of addictions. In addition, fellows will receive training on tools to measure these behavioral problems, and potential treatments that can reduce them. For interested fellows, they can also initiate pilot studies on the role of impulsivity and impaired decision-making in Addiction Medicine Program Accreditation Application Form (2013-14 Accreditation Cycle 58 addictions.

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICANTS:

 

Application requirements include a C.V., personal statement, list of publications, medical school transcript and MSPE, USMLE scores, ECFMG certificate (if applicable) and three letters of recommendation, one of which should be from your residency training director.

Mishka Terplan, MD MPH FACOG FASAM
Professor Departments Obstetrics & Gynecology and Psychiatry
Associate Director Addiction Medicine

Phone: 804-828-9915
Fax: 804-828-9906
E-mail: Mishka.Terplan@vcuhealth.org

Our Fellows

Psychosomatic Medicine

Child Psychiatry - 2nd Year

Child Psychiatry - 1st Year

Dana Soper

Residency Location: VCU
Medical School: University of Maryland
Undergraduate School: Penn State University
Career Interests: C/L and forensic psychiatry
Some things I like about Richmond: Richmond is a great inexpensive city.
It is very family friendly. Richmond's proximity to DC and the beach make it a perfect location.

Shrina Desai

Residency Location: VCU Medical Center
Medical School: American University of the Caribbean
Undergraduate School: Ohio State University
Career Interest: Child and adolescent psychiatry
Some things I like about Richmond: Family-friendly, good food and restaurant selections, lots of culture, close proximity to beach and DC



Aslihan Sogutlu

Residency Location: Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Queens, NY
Medical School: Eskisehir Osmangazi University
Career Interest: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry research
Some things I like about Richmond: VCU, greenery and so many family friendly activities



Daina Ngugi

Residency Location: VCU
Medical School: A.T. Still University - School of Osteopathic Medicine, Arizona
Undergraduate School: Kennesaw State University, GA
Career Interest: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Refugee and Global Mental Health, Trauma Informed Care, Mental Health Integration and Collaborative Care 
Some things I like about Richmond: Ease of access to various activities, mild weather, limited traffic.
 

Anisha Garg

Residency Location: Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia
Medical School: American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine 
Undergraduate School: University of Washington, Seattle
Career Interest: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Neurodevelopmental
Some things I like about Richmond: I'm a big foodie so I really enjoy all the restaurants and breweries that Richmond has to offer. Great variety for every cuisine choice.



Divyasri Gongireddy

Residency Location: VCU
Medical School: St. George's University
Undergraduate School: The College of William and Mary
Career Interest: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Some things I like about Richmond: Food and breweries especially! My favorite places to eat or grab a drink in Richmond include Edo's Squid, Julep's, L'Opossum, The Daily, Saison and Hardywood Brewery. We also have an annual tubing trip down the James River in the summer, which is really fun. I also love to shop, so I really enjoy some of little independent boutiques here (such as The Pink Palm and Monkees of Richmond). 



Zehra Erdeve Temiz

Residency Location: VCU
Medical School: Ataturk University School of Medicine - Turkey
Career Interest: Outpatient child psychiatry
Some things I like about Richmond: it’s quiet/safe area that you can raise your kids and family