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Training Experiences

The Primary Care Family fellowship teaches trainees the needed skills to practice family-oriented health psychology in a primary care setting. The focus is on using the biopsychosocial model, and providing collaborative clinical care with medical providers. Fellows participate in seminars that highlight the generalist nature of working in primary care and help hone their clinical, collaborative, academic, and administrative skills. There are three major emphases on the Primary Care Family track, each with specific clinical care settings and supervision: (1) Family Medicine/Geriatric Internal Medicine, (2) Pediatrics, and (3) Women’s Health.

Family Medicine/Geriatric Internal Medicine

This focus includes intensive clinical training in integrated care, primary care behavioral health, and medical family therapy. There are many opportunities for collaborative care with physicians and other health professionals, inter-professional education, family therapy training, teaching, and scholarship in urban primary care settings. Time is equally divided beFamily Medicine/Geriatric Internal Medicinetween two settings: an urban, primary care family medicine clinic and a community based hospital (Highland Hospital) affiliated with URMC. The fellow provides behavioral health consultation and brief therapy to family medicine patients and families, many of whom are disadvantaged. There is daily opportunity for collaboration and consultation with medical professionals, as the fellow serves a critical role in interdisciplinary team-based care. At Highland Hospital, the fellow serves as an educator to internal medicine residents in the Hospital-to-Home program. The fellow provides one-to-one coaching pertaining to geriatric patient care and late-life transitions. Additionally, the fellow has opportunity to develop skills in inter-professional teaching, working with residents from internal and family medicine in multiple group formats.

Highland Family Medicine


Highland Family Medicine

This large, urban family medicine practice, with a diverse patient population, offers a full range of services, including mental health care. Trainees are part of a coordinated, collaborative family care team.



Specific training in this area includes pediatric psychology, integrated primary care psychology, family and broader systems, and family psychology. Coursework and professional seminars are dedicated to expanding knowledge and skills in primary care psychology and medical family therapy principles. The primary placement for the pediatric fellow is in an urban pediatric clinic. The fellow provides therapy to children and their families, collaborates and consults with medical professionals as part of an interdisciplinary team, works with multiple systems such as schools and community agencies, and provides consultation and teaching to pediatric residents and primary care teams. The clinical service at the academic health center offers variety in clinical caseload and skill development, including families who are coping with comorbid medical problems as well as those with relationship difficulties.  In one fellowship year, the fellow also has opportunities for teaching and supervision. Opportunities also exist for partnership with Fellowship faculty working on ongoing scholarly projects, clinical quality improvement, and research in the areas of pediatric primary care and integrated healthcare.

Rochester General Pediatric Associates


Rochester General Pediatric Associates

This large, urban pediatric practice serves children newborn to 19 years, offering a full range of services, including mental health care. Trainees are part of a coordinated, collaborative care team


Women's Health

Specialized training in this area includes providing consultation, assessment, and treatment to women's health patients and their families. Close collaboration with a team of clinicians, including medical clinicians, social workers, and nutritionists, is an essential component of the role. The fellow provides individual, couples, and family therapy to a largely underserved population in a clinic that provides general Pediatricsobstetrics and gynecology, high-risk pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain care, among other services. The fellow also provides psychoeducational groups and brief consultation and counseling for women and couples attending a specialty care Fertility Clinic. The fellow may choose to participate in women’s health-related supervision, teaching and research.



Scholarship Opportunities

All Primary Care Family fellows have the opportunity to participate in scholarship activities. Past projects have included exploration of smoking cessation and fertility, population health approaches to improve women’s health behaviors, examination of the qualitative use of cognitive screening, evaluation of training programs (including preparing master’s students to conduct clinical work, and medical residents to conduct a biopsychosocial interview). Fellows are able to collaborate with faculty on existing projects and to develop their own lines of scholarly inquiry in individual settings.

Doctors at Leadership Opportunities Symposium


Drs. Magdalene Lim, Lauren DeCaporale-Ryan, Ellen Poleshuck, & Tziporah Rosenberg presented, Integrated primary care in family medicine, geriatrics, and women’s health: Leadership Opportunities Symposium at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Toronto,