Fellowships: Clinical Fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine and Psycho-Oncology

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The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center's Psychosomatic Medicine Clinical Fellowship Training Program (ACGME Program Number 4093531020) was first established 25 years ago in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of MSK. As one of the largest and most academic psychosomatic medicine fellowship programs in the country, it has been unique among fellowship training programs in its primary focus on cancer as a model of illness, its highly active research environment, and its nationally renowned teaching faculty.

This program has long enjoyed a national reputation of excellence and has been accredited by the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine for over 15 years. With subspecialty certification of Psychosomatic Medicine in 2005, we initiated a joint Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center fellowship training program in Psychosomatic Medicine and Psycho-oncology, affiliated with the Weill Medical College of Cornell University Department of Psychiatry Residency Program.

This joint program provides opportunities for fellows at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to rotate to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and have exposure not only to the oncology setting and the outstanding faculty at Memorial Sloan Kettering but also to many non-oncology medical subspecialty experiences under the supervision of an outstanding Cornell faculty.

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University invite applications for six to eight postdoctoral clinical fellowship positions in Psychosomatic Medicine and Psycho-Oncology. The training program offers a one year clinical fellowship designed to provide training in Psychosomatic Medicine and Psycho-Oncology. Fellows may elect to train a second year if desired.

The first year emphasizes clinical care, with fellows spending ten months at Memorial Sloan Kettering and two months of required clinical rotations at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The second year provides opportunities to train and participate in clinical research and/or to further develop clinical and administrative skills, and may include a three month elective rotation at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

History and Description of the Fellowship Program

A Psychosomatic Medicine/Psycho-Oncology Clinical Fellowship Training Program was established at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 25 years ago by Dr. Jimmie Holland in order to train psychiatrists in the field of psychosomatic medicine utilizing a cancer center and cancer as a model for training psychiatrists in clinical and research areas related to the interface of medicine and psychiatry. This fellowship program has trained many of the leaders, clinicians, and researchers in the fields of general psychosomatic medicine and psycho-oncology.

The program has enjoyed a national reputation of excellence for over 30 years and had been accredited by the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine for over 15 years. As one of the largest and most academic psychosomatic medicine fellowship programs in the country, we have been unique among fellowship training programs in our focus on cancer as a model of illness and in our highly active research environment, which has been so conducive to fellowship training. With our ACGME accreditation (July 5, 2005/Program Number 4093531020), we have strengthened our relationship with the Weill Medical College of Cornell University Psychiatry Residency Program, and we have initiated a joint fellowship training program that will provide opportunities for fellows to rotate to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and have exposure to many non-oncology medical subspecialty experiences under the supervision of an outstanding Cornell faculty.

An MD applicant must have completed and ACGME accredited residency training in psychiatry. All MD applicants must have or be eligible for a New York State Medical License, and obtain this license prior to the start of the fellowship. The Fellowship Program is accredited to train eight fellows per year, however the number of slots per year is dependent on available funding.

Purpose/Goals/Objectives

The overall purpose and goal of the Clinical Fellowship Training Program in Psychosomatic Medicine/Psycho-Oncology is to provide comprehensive postgraduate training of psychiatrists and psychologists in order to prepare them to become specialists in psychosomatic medicine in a unique oncology setting, while also providing training in disease management subspecialty areas offered at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The specific objectives of the fellowship's clinical and research training are the development of expertise in:

Comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and assessment of medically ill (e.g., cancer or other illnesses) patients, throughout all phases of illness: initial diagnosis, during treatment, recurrence, chronic phases of illness, advanced cancer, end of life care, and during cancer survivorship.

  1. Diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric syndromes associated with medical and surgical conditions (e.g., cancer or other illnesses) and their treatment. Assessment and management of the major psychiatric disorders encountered in the medically ill/cancer patient including: Adjustment Disorders, Anxiety Disorders (e.g., Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), Mood Disorders (e.g., Major Depression), Cognitive Impairment Disorders (e.g., Delirium, Dementia), Psychotic Disorders, and Somatoform Disorders (e.g., Pain Disorder).
  2. Assessment and management of psychiatric syndromes and psychosocial issues impacting families and caregivers of medically ill (cancer) patients, including issues related to palliative care and bereavement.
  3. Utilization of pharmacotherapy in the management of psychiatric symptoms and syndromes in medically ill (cancer) patients, including specific knowledge of the use of antidepressants, anxiolytics, sedatives, neuroleptics, anticonvulsants and mood stabilizers, psychostimulants, opioid and nonopioid analgesics, as well as a knowledge of drug interactions in the medical setting.
  4. Utilization of nonpharmacologic approaches in the management of psychiatric symptoms and syndromes in medically ill (cancer) patients, including specific knowledge of the use of individual psychotherapies (e.g., psychodynamic, supportive, interpersonal), cognitive-behavioral interventions (e.g., relaxation techniques, self-hypnosis, meditation), smoking cessation techniques, group psychotherapy interventions (e.g., supportive, supportive-expressive, existential, and spiritually oriented), and bereavement counseling.
  5. Psychiatric and psychosocial aspects of medical illness (cancer) prevention, including behavior and lifestyle issues (e.g., smoking cessation, compliance with cancer screening), and issues related to high familial or genetic risk of cancer.
  6. Psychiatric and psychosocial aspects of medical illness (cancer) survivorship, including issues of sexual health, infertility, endocrinopathies, cognitive and neurological sequelae of medical (cancer) treatment (e.g., cognitive impairment disorders, pain syndromes), and psychiatric syndromes such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression.
  7. Communication and liaison issues with medical (oncology) staff in facilitating psychiatric consultation and management of medically ill (cancer) patients and their families, including integration into the medical /surgical (oncology) team, assisting in doctor/nurse-patient communication, and staff stress.
  8. Familiarity with clinical research methods used to address psychiatric and psychosocial issues in medical illness (cancer); commitment to continuous learning and application of scientific evidence-based literature to the practice of psycho-oncology.
  9. Professionalism in role as consultant psychiatrist; basic principles and practical applications of medical ethics in the psychiatric care of the medically ill/cancer patient.
  10. Organizational and administrative skills needed to establish a consultation-liaison/psychosomatic medicine/psycho-oncology service.
  11. Knowledge of community mental health resources, legal aspects of mental health, and the application of cost-effective mental healthcare practices.
Deadline
November 30
Eligibility

Applicants should be MDs who have completed residency training in Psychiatry and are eligible for a New York State license or limited permit.

How to Apply

Application Process

Applications are accepted from July 1 until all available positions are filled. Offers for fellowship positions are decided by the Fellowship Training Committee on a rolling admission basis for positions starting the following July 1. ACGME has accredited our program to train eight fellows per year (total amongst year one or optional year two). See ACGME Web site for Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship at  www.acgme.org for more information. The number of slots per year is dependent on available funding.

Applicants should complete the application packet as follows:

  1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center application form (complete the form completely and accurately; do not leave blanks, do not write “see CV”; explain all gaps in education, all previous and current training, or work experience). Indicate Fellowship Program: Clinical Fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine/Psycho-Oncology.
  2. Submit a current curriculum vitae.
  3. Three letters of reference (department chairman, division chief, residency program director(mandatory), clinical or thesis supervisor).
  4. Submit all documents requested in the Memorial Sloan Kettering application form (e.g., diplomas, certificates, licenses, visas, etc.). Candidates are eligible for interviews when their application packet is complete. Candidates for Clinical Fellowship are accepted in the fall and winter for a July 1 appointment. All MD applicants must have or be eligible for a New York State Medical License prior to the start of the fellowship.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences are committed to equal opportunity through affirmative action, and women and members of minority groups are encouraged to apply.

For further information and Application packets, please contact: Adelina Chaparro Training Program Coordinator Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 641 Lexington Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10021 Tel. 646-888-0079 Fax: 212-888-2356 E-mail: chaparra@mskcc.org or by contacting: Andrew J. Roth, MD Clinical Fellowship Training Program Director Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences 641 Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10021 646-888-0024 FAX: 212-888-2356 e-mail: rotha@mskcc.org

Additional Information

Housing

Housing is available to most clinical fellows in Psychosomatic Medicine. The majority of fellows are housed in the Clinical Scholars Residence, a facility adjacent to the hospital. Several other apartment buildings in the neighborhood are owned by Memorial Hospital and may be used to house fellows. Fellows not supplied with housing will have access to the staff parking lot.

Stipends

Stipends are based on years of previous training and are set each year by Memorial's Graduate Training Committee and the Department Chair. Stipends are determined by level of postgraduate training. In 2009, stipends began at approximately $65,000 for a PGY 5 level. Stipends typically increase by four to six percent each year.

Appointments

Appointments are for a 12-month period. The academic year begins July 1 and continues through June 30. The optional second year of the program is available by mutual agreement of the Program Director, Chairman, and the fellow.

Location

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is located at 1275 York Avenue, between 67th and 68th Street, on Manhattan's East Side. New York Presbyterian, Cornell Medical Center, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Rockefeller University are on York Avenue, directly across from Memorial Sloan Kettering. The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences has academic offices at 641 Lexington Avenue and 54th Street. Clinical Fellows have office space in this facility consisting of carrels, telephones, and computers. Adjacent to these academic offices, the Psychiatry Service has an ambulatory care facility called the Memorial Sloan Kettering Counseling Center in the same location. This ambulatory care facility is a full service outpatient psychiatric clinic with five interview/consultation rooms and two rooms for groups.

All inpatient psychiatric consultations are conducted in Memorial Hospital at 1275 York Avenue. An office at Memorial Hospital is reserved for use by the Clinical Psychiatry Fellows for their inpatient clinical activities. This space has computers, telephones, and space to store personal items, lab coats, etc. Memorial Sloan Kettering has additional clinical oncology outpatient facilities at 160 East 53rd Street, Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at 300 East 66th Street, and the Kimmel Center for GU Cancers at 68th Street. New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center is located at 68th Street and York Avenue, directly across from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at 1275 York Avenue, between 67th and 68th Streets.