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Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program

Child Psychiatry Training in Rochester began in 1959. Training in earlier times followed traditional theories and models, and primarily focused on clinic-based assessments and treatments. The 1970s ushered in a significant community and family influence, which slowly began to change the character of the program. A major reorganization in 1985 lead to the present consortium model, which clearly commits us to community involvement of child psychiatry trainees and faculty.

Michael A. Scharf, MDIt is the faculty’s strong belief that child psychiatrists will remain rare but avidly sought-after specialists for the foreseeable future. As such, modern child and adolescent psychiatrists must be clearly expert in those areas for which only they have the most appropriate training; adept in a variety of other areas pertaining to child assessment, treatment, and planning; and above all, able to integrate and then to communicate this expertise through the most useful and appropriate means. This is no longer solely through office or hospital-based practice and primary care, but also involves community liaison and consultation. Within reason, the modern child psychiatrist wears many hats and works in many different places. Our challenge is to coordinate a cohesive training experience, which prepares the child psychiatrist for the coming decades.

With this in mind, the Rochester faculty have developed a program aimed at training expert child psychiatry consultants who are first theoretically and experientially well-grounded in basic techniques of diagnosis, treatment, interdisciplinary planning and primary patient care, and are then actively involved as consultants and/or primary caregivers at community agencies. The latter experience enlarges the patient population to which trainees are exposed, involves them in different models of care delivery systems, and encourages them to deal with the impact of public policy initiatives in their locale.

Of course, this program is intense, but trainees are neither bored nor overwhelmed. The training is carefully orchestrated to be a graduated learning experience, with increasing levels of independence as training progresses. Our program is small enough to allow significant flexibility and most trainees use this flexibility to their educational advantage. The programs at all of our training sites function well with or without trainees; consequently, service is solely in the interest of training. While many training experiences occur at the University of Rochester Medical Center, trainees must be willing to travel some and work in a variety of settings; this is not a program for those interested in academic isolation.

In summary, we at Rochester have designed a challenging and enjoyable program which trains child psychiatrists who will successfully contribute to and prosper in the modern medical milieu.

Michael A. Scharf, M.D.
Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Program
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics

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