Department Profile

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry | About Us

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Department Profile

BACKGROUND

The Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR), founded by William Healey in 1909, was the first institution in the world devoted solely to the study and treatment of mental health and illness in children and adolescents. IJR has a long and distinguished history of commitment to excellence in child and adolescent psychiatry research, clinical care and education. IJR was initially known as the Court Clinic for the world's first juvenile court (the Juvenile Court of the Circuit Court of Cook County, founded in 1899). It was later part of the Department of Mental Health in the State of Illinois, while maintaining an affiliation with the University of Illinois at Chicago. In the fall of 1990, IJR was transferred into the University of Illinois at Chicago. UIC/IJR now constitutes the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The chief of the Division is Edwin Cook Jr., MD, and the head of the Department is Anand Kumar, MD.

UIC/IJR provides professional training to child and adolescent psychiatry fellows, medical students, general psychiatry residents, social work interns, psychology interns and externs, and post-doctoral fellows, nursing students, and special groups, such as pediatric and family medicine residents. The outpatient clinic is connected with community-based services and schools. UIC/IJR also provides consultation services to mental health facilities throughout the state, including the Department of Children and Family Services. The fully accredited child and adolescent psychiatry training program currently accepts three fellows in each year of training for a total of six fellows.

UIC/IJR is located within the Westside Research Office Building located at 1747 West Roosevelt Road on the UIC Medical Center campus. The Colbeth Outpatient Clinic is located on the first floor and is the site where fellows give clinical care to their patients and families. The fellows’ main outpatient clinics, as well as all of the specialty clinics, are located within this setting.  Fellows' spacious private offices are also located on the first floor within the clinic.  Inpatient services are located down the street at the University of Illinois Hospital as well as Hartgrove Behavioral Health which is a fifteen minute drive from the campus. Classes are held in this building every other year, rotating locations with the Child and Adolescent Fellowship Training Program of Rush University with whom we share didactics.

The core of the CAP psychiatry fellowship is two years of supervised clinical work with infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents as well as with their families, schools and communities. During the first year of training, CAP fellows gain basic skills in assessment, treatment planning and in the broad range of inpatient and outpatient treatment modalities. With supervision, fellows are consultants in multiple settings, such as inpatient and outpatient pediatrics. They also have two inpatient experiences: one on-site within a longer-term, DCFS-sponsored unit for adolescents and the other off-site with a diverse child and adolescent patient population at Hartgrove Hospital. The first year is a period of transition between the general residency and specialization. In the second year, child and adolescent fellows' knowledge and skills are further consolidated as they continue in both the general and specialty clinics of Colbeth Clinic, perform substance abuse evaluations and follow-ups, consult to a suburban special education district, and further develop their knowledge of research methods and pursue an academic area of special interest. This year also focuses on the upcoming transition into clinical practice and/or further academic pursuits.

 

PROCESS AND SCOPE OF TRAINING

The primary goal of the program is to share the educational process with our fellows as they become the child and adolescent psychiatrists of and for the future. Our field is an evolving science in which the process of acquiring, evaluating, integrating, and applying knowledge is a life-skill that, once acquired in training, becomes a part of our graduates' professional identities. At the completion of their training, our fellows will be competent child and adolescent psychiatrists who can skillfully apply both the science and the art of medicine. They will acknowledge and respect the cultural heritage of a variety of patient populations, with special emphasis on IJR's longstanding commitment to public psychiatry and research.

There is much to experience, to learn, and to question. Our fellows will become knowledgeable about the normal developmental theories of the brain, behavior, and personality while having the opportunity to observe young children. They will incorporate the biopsychosocial components of assessments to understand and then to treat the range of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders. This will require structured didactic and clinical training in multiple psychotherapeutic interventions, including cognitive and behavioral, family, dyadic therapies as well as supportive, dynamic and interpersonal therapies for the individual child and adolescent patient. They will become competent psychopharmocologists, able to evaluate current treatments as well as new discoveries and integrate therapeutic modalities into their regular patient encounters. Very importantly, fellows will learn to mobilize family, school and community resources in order to meet the needs of children and adolescents as well as to maintain them in the least restrictive, appropriate setting.

CAP fellows will learn to develop treatment plans from an evidence based perspective while acknowledging the many areas where evidence is limited. To this end they will participate in clinical research programs embedded within specialty clinics that are designed to enhance understanding of the development and treatment of specific disorders. Fellows are expected to become familiar with basic research issues in the field, and to critically evaluate psychiatric literature. Each fellow is given hands-on experience and mentoring in a small group research practicum. This is a supported effort with protected time to help fellows develop academic skills in order to further their pursuit of utilizing evidence based practices throughout their career. At the end of their training, the fellow group presents an area of research or of academic interest and often has a publication.

Fellows will also have supervised experiences in consulting with other mental health professionals, pediatricians, schools, and other community agencies. They are supervised as they learn to collaborate and build team work skills to provide comprehensive clinical care for their patients.  Then as the transition is planned from fellowship to the community, they learn about the realities of current practice, such as work with insurance companies of all types, administration, and negotiating a position after graduation.

Fellows also have the opportunity to teach UIC medical students as well as visiting students.  They co-supervise general psychiatry residents in their outpatient child and adolescent treatment cases.  They work with pediatric and neurology residents, as well as psychology and social work trainees and regularly interact with staff and faculty from neurology, pediatrics, psychology, social work, nursing, school teachers, and administrators in diverse settings.  They are expected to both teach and be taught by these varied professionals.  Fellows gain administrative experience as team leaders, in program development, and as chief fellows.

Through these multiple educational experiences, fellows develop increasing competence in clinical care, consultation, teaching, administration, and understanding and use of clinical and basic research; by the end of the child and adolescent psychiatry training program, we expect that our fellows will have developed a high level of competence in all of these areas and will be able to practice independently without supervision.  These training goals are interwoven into the core competencies, patient care, medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, practice-based learning and improvement, professionalism and system-based practice, and these competencies are built into the overall training program.  Differences between fellows because of varied prior training programs as well as human differences are expected and valued, and individual training needs are therefore addressed.  However, each fellow will have the same basic core clinical and didactic experiences as outlined above, while areas of special interest can be further pursued, especially during the second year selective rotation.

We continually aspire to be a faculty able to model for our fellows’ high moral and ethical standards, dedication to teaching, mentoring, to helping others, and to furthering the betterment of children and their families. A collegial, supportive atmosphere is highly valued, and we actively seek fellows and faculty who will continue in this tradition. Since we are a continually evolving program, the rotations and classes described below are accurate for the current upcoming training year; however, they may be altered somewhat for future fellows. Our goal is to continually evaluate and improve our program, so that we will be a center of excellence for child and adolescent psychiatry training.