Addiction Fellows participate in various educational experiences covering the assessment, diagnosis, neurobiology, and the treatment of substance use and related disorders. These
experiences will be facilitated by various Fellowship faculty and will be based on current cases the Fellow and others are treating, the expert experience of faculty and members, current and
past research, journal articles, review courses, and textbook chapters.
Specifically, the Fellow will receive:
- Weekly supervision from the Director of the Fellowship, covering specific clinical problems, didactic teaching facilitated by the Director, career issues, and any issues that might arise pertaining to the Fellowship as a whole
- Supervision from the faculty at the various sites where the Fellow will be rotating with a frequency to be determined by faculty
- The required opportunity to present didactic material for seminars relating to substance-related disorders that are part of the core curricula of the UIC general psychiatry and family medicine residencies and UIC medical school classes. The amount of teaching of trainees at UIC is a unique aspect of this Fellowship. The Program Director is unaware of any other addiction fellowship program that provides more such opportunities. And, while these experiences are not, strictly speaking, didactics aimed at the Fellow, the net result of preparing and executing these presentations has considerable didactic weight.
- The opportunity to attend national meetings pertaining to substance-related disorders, specifically at the least, the annual meeting of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and/or AAAP’s Review course and/or the annual meeting of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and/or ASAM’s Review Course and/or a comparable meeting to the foregoing. Currently, the UIC Department of Psychiatry does not provide reimbursement to Fellows to attend the foregoing meetings. This is not uncommon with Fellowships nationally and locally. However, there are various ways of funding these opportunities and these can be discussed with the Fellowship Director at the time the Fellow begins the Fellowship.
- The opportunity to attend case conferences and didactic events in the various rotations that the fellow will be assigned to.
- The opportunity to attend UIC/VA PsychiatryGrand Rounds. These are events that take place usually weekly from Fall into the Spring of any academic year. These rounds feature local and national experts in their respective fields and much of this material bears directly or indirectly on substance use disorders.
- The required opportunity to attend the addiction psychotherapy seminar sponsored by the Psychology Service at the VA. Here, various topics in the psychotherapy of addictions will be presented by Psychology Service faculty and discussed by seminar participants. At the least, psychology post-doctoral fellows and other trainees will be attending this seminar. The Fellow will be required to read journal articles and other materials made available by the facilitators. This seminar, which takes place one hour per week, covers a period of about 6 months or longer.
- An opportunity to attend the monthly “Addiction Affiliates” meeting at UIC. This meeting is sponsored by UIC’s addiction research initiative, an important part of which involves NIAAA-funded research into the epigenetics of alcoholism. Here, various UIC faculty, involved in research and other activities related to all aspects of addiction and its treatment, present topics for discussion.
Within the first 3 months of the Fellowship year, the Fellow will be expected to identify an area of special interest in addictions. By the end of the Fellowship year, the Fellow is expected to either have written a publication-quality paper regarding their area of special interest OR to have produced one of several alternatives to this requirement described below.
One alternative, and with the permission of the Fellowship Director, is that the Fellow may choose a topic for research and will be expected to have completed a publication-quality research project and paper before the end of the Fellowship year. Because such research often requires, at the least, lengthy IRB approval, this option will usually not be realistic.
Another alternative would be continuation of research started before the Fellowship. In this case, the Fellow may use time in the Fellowship to complete this project. But, a publishable-quality paper and/or presentation, pertaining to this research, will be required of the Fellow before the end of the Fellowship year.
Yet another alternative would be a UIC Psychiatry Grand Rounds presentation or another UIC department grand rounds (e.g., a Family Medicine Grand Rounds presentation) or another significant presentation (for example at a Positive Sobriety Institute “lunch and learn” event) on a topic in the field of addiction. Because such rounds are scheduled well in advance, the Fellow may need to identify an interest in doing such a presentation before he/she actually starts the Fellowship.
And finally, still yet another option (given that there’s considerable flexibility regarding what constitutes a “scholarly product”) would be another project approved by the Program Director. For example, one of our Fellows is developing and pioneering a special rotation in the VA’s Veterans Justice Outreach program that will run over the course of the Fellowship year. This will involve actual clinical work and developing policies and procedures and goals and objectives for the rotation and activities related to it.
All the above options need to be supervised by the Fellowship Director and/or a mentor designated by the Fellowship Director.
QUALITY ASSURANCE AND/OR PATIENT SAFETY PROJECT:
Fellows are expected to complete a quality assurance and/or patient safety project before the end of the Fellowship year. This project will come from an identified need either involving patient care or even a need for quality improvement in the Fellowship program itself. This project will be supervised by the Program Director or his designate. Examples are a project to install an opiate safety program, a project to provide psychoeducation to patients in a pain program, a project to start a new rotation where one hasn’t existed and where there’s a need for such a rotation, etc.