Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship

Post-Graduate Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry

In the coming years, we will see a growing number of older persons with psychiatric disorders. They have rich life stories that interact with the challenges of aging and medical illness. Geriatric psychiatrists work at the mind-body connection using somatic, individual and social interventions to treat illness, relieve suffering and enhance function. In addition, geropsychiatrists play a unique and meaningful role on interdisciplinary teams that care for older adults. Supporting the practice of geriatric psychiatry are clinically proven therapies based on a solid foundation of knowledge and skill.

The University of Minnesota Geropsychiatry Fellowship offers an ACGME accredited, one year fellowship for interested graduates of an accredited psychiatry residency. Our program emphasizes building expertise in diagnosis and treatment, integration with geriatric medicine and use of a multidisciplinary team approach to care.

Training sites

The primary site for the fellowship is the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. The faculty includes five board-certified geriatric psychiatrists, as well as a team of professionals who specialize in the care of the elderly from many related disciplines:

  • nursing,
  • psychology,
  • social work,
  • occupational therapy,
  • addiction therapy, and
  • pharmacology.

We have an active outpatient clinic, a strong inpatient program and a consultation-liaison service to subacute extended care units. We offer a wide spectrum of training experiences and electives that include many opportunities to work individually with faculty members.

Minneapolis VAMC   

In addition to being an integral part of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System geropsychiatry team, fellows spend time in the following core clinical settings:

  •  Dementia and Memory Disorders Clinic, Minneapolis Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Geriatric, Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)
  •  Geriatric Medicine Clinic, Hennepin County Medical Center, site of accredited fellowship in Geriatric Internal Medicine
  •  Struthers Movement Disorder Clinic/Day Program, Park Nicollet Clinic 
  •  Long term care consultation, Minneapolis Veterans Home and Regions/Health Partners sites

Didactic experiences

We offer fellows a wide assortment of didactic experiences including addiction seminars, occupational therapy driving and ADL evaluations, sleep lectures, neuropsychological testing, ethics committee, family therapy training (with psychology trainees), ECT and many others.  In our weekly Reading Seminar,  fellows learn to present complex cases and critically analyze publications. Weekly psychotherapy supervision is available. Fellows are encouraged to use the many clinical and research opportunities at the VAMC to develop elective experiences of their own to match their interests or career objectives.

Teaching experiences

Fellows are involved in the education and clinical training of University of Minnesota psychiatry residents, who regularly rotate with the VA geriatric psychiatry team. Fellows also develop their teaching skills through opportunities to present to a wide range of audiences: medical students on their psychiatry clerkships, multidisciplinary VA mental health providers attending grand rounds, and patients attending dementia education classes with their caregivers.

Research experience

Research and article-writing in geriatric psychiatry are encouraged but not required during the fellowship year. Many of our staff are engaged in research or writing projects, and welcome collaboration.

Hours

The fellowship does not require overnight or weekend call duty. Fellows provide limited coverage of extended care consults and geropsychiatry outpatient clinic during daytime hours. Moonlighting opportunities are available including the Minneapolis VA Health Care System.

Fellowship Director

 David Atkinson

David Atkinson, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota
Staff Psychiatrist, Minneapolis VA Health Care System

Contact Us

David Atkinson, MD
Fellowship Director
612-467-4001
FAX: 612-725-2292
David.Atkinson@va.gov

Jay Stephenson
VA Residency and Fellowship Coordinator
612-467-1504
jay.stephenson@va.gov

Veterans Affairs Health Care System
612-725-2000

University of Minnesota-Department of Psychiatry
612-273-9800