Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship

Overview

The primary focus of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry is the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship as well as the residency training and medical student education. Through its educational mission, Geriatric Psychiatry Faculty are also engaged in patient care. In addition, members of the faculty are involved in research and scholarship.

The Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, established in 1982 by Donna Cohen and Carl Eisdorfer was initially located at Beth Abraham Nursing home where Oliver Sacks described the introduction and impact of levo dopa for patients with Parkinson’s disease in his book “Awakenings”. By 1987 the Division included a geriatric clinic in the Out-Patient Department, a geriatric in-patient unit at Bronx Psychiatric Center, and a rotation at the Margaret Tietz Center for Nursing Care in collaboration with the Division of Geriatric Medicine. Fifteen years later the census at the geriatric in-patient had been reduced to the extent that faculty and fellows were no longer required. It was at this point that the affiliation with the Montefiore Home Health Care Agency again in collaboration with Geriatric Medicine took hold and the current configuration emerged. Presently the Division spans hospital ambulatory, long-term, and community based care systems focused primarily on teaching and training, followed by clinical services and research. The Division has historically excelled in collaborative care across community based agencies and the academic medical center. The rationale and goals for the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry are as follows.

  • Recognition that a unique body of gerontological knowledge developed by the social, biological, and behavioral sciences has yet to be fully incorporated by the disciplines of internal medicine, family practice, neurology, and psychiatry.
  • To provide psychiatrists with special training in geriatrics for positions of leadership in the areas of clinical service, teaching and training, scientific study, administration, and public policy.
  • To offer consultation and training to primary care physicians, general psychiatrists, and community agencies that provide mental health services to older Americans.
  • To respond to the increasing number of older adults in need including disadvantaged minority including LGBTQ, traumatized, and immigrant elders.
  • To influence health policy through the conduct of clinical investigation, community service, and public advocacy.
  • To meet the public health mandate of a major medical school.
  • To gain a greater share of public and philanthropic support for training, service, and research in mental health.

The educational, clinical and scientific objectives of the Division are achieved across six sites, with three full time faculty members, two full time fellows, augmented by close collaboration with the Division of Geriatric Medicine. Medical students, psychology interns, psychiatric residents and geriatric medicine fellows also receive instruction and supervision by the faculty in the hospital, in the nursing home and in the private residences of patients.

 

Key Collaborators

Rubina Malik MD MS is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Co-Director, Center for the Aging Brain and the Director of the Fellowship Training Program in Geriatric Medicine

Jessica Zwerling MD MS is an Associate Professor in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Associate Director, Center for the Aging Brain and Director of the Geriatric Neurology Fellowship Training Program.

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