Psychosomatic Medicine

Application to the UAB Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship
The principal goal of the UAB Psychosomatic Fellowship Program is to prepare psychiatrist in the specialty of psychosomatic medicine to function at the highest level of excellence in providing knowledgeable and compassionate psychiatric consultative service to physicians providing care to patients with psychiatric problems comorbid with medical, surgical, and obstetric conditions and, when applicable, to provide direct care to these patients as part of the multidisciplinary team providing their overall care, and to do this in a collegial, compassionate, flexible, and ethical manner within the boundaries of legal and economic constraints in any clinical setting, from a large tertiary academic medical centers to a small community hospitals.

The individual who successfully completes the UAB Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Program shall be able to pass the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPM) certifying examination in psychiatric subspecialty of psychosomatic medicine and be able to practice psychosomatic medicine at a high standard of excellence in a variety of settings.

To be able to do this the psychiatrist must have a firm foundation of knowledge applicable to psychosomatic medicine and have the clinical skills to apply this knowledge in the delivery of service for the care of patients, operating within the roles and practices of the subspecialty of psychosomatic medicine and fully equipped with all of the competencies of a psychosomatic medicine specialist.

The ACGME core competencies serve as the standards for accreditation of the psychosomatic medicine fellowship program and as the standards for the questions on the ABPN written board examination for certification in psychosomatic medicine.

These core competencies are divided into six domains, here arranged in what is considered to be a logical hierarchical order: (1) Professional appearance, demeanor, and practice; (2) Interpersonal and communication competencies and skills; (3) Fund of medical knowledge applicable to the practice of psychosomatic medicine, including knowledge of conceptual theory and the scientific literature; (4) Clinical application of foundational medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication competencies, and professionalism to the delivery of psychiatric consultation service to physicians caring for patients with psychiatric disorders comorbid with medical, surgical, or obstetric conditions and to the delivery of direct patient care to these patients when applicable; (5) Clinical practice with understanding and appreciation for the broad systems within which medical care is delivered and the adaptation of clinical practice accordingly; and (6) Appreciation that all medical knowledge is incomplete and evolving so that an attitude and practice of continual learning from and applicable to ones clinical practice must be ever present.

Individuals applying to the UAB Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Program must have completed a four-year accredited general psychiatry residency program and be at least board-eligible in general psychiatry, so they would enter the fellowship program at the PGY-5 level or above, depending on additional post-residency training. The fellowship program is one year long and includes structured didactic instruction and a wide variety of inpatient and outpatient supervised clinical experience.