Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship

The ACGME-accredited Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship offers a 12-month training experience in the fundamentals of clinical geriatric psychiatry with renowned faculty in academic settings known for excellence.

The ACGME-accredited Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship offers a 12-month training experience in the fundamentals of clinical geriatric psychiatry. Fellows train with renowned faculty in academic settings known for excellence, allowing fellows to grow not only in clinical expertise, but also in areas such as teaching, leadership, and innovation.​


Fellowship Type(s):
ACGME Fellowship, Clinical Fellowship, Psychiatry Fellowship

Department Faculty
Anna Borisovskaya, MD
Whitney Carlson, MD
Shaune DeMers, MD
Beth Labardi, MD
Gail Li, MD, PhD
Marcella Pascualy, MD
Elaine Peskind, MD
Murray Raskind, MD
Michael Schrift, DO
Mark Snowden, MD, MPH
Stephen Thielke, MD, MS, MA
Nicole Torrence, PhD
Debby Tsuang, MD, MSc
Richard Veith, MD
Lucy Wang, MD

Douglas Lane, PhD, ABPP, VA Community Living Center – American Lake campus
Alice Verstaen, PhD, VA Mental Health Clinic

Our faculty include geriatric psychiatrists who are clinician teachers, researchers, and leaders, as well as other allied professionals including geropsychologists and neuropsychologists. The faculty listed above include those who provide supervision to fellows during clinical rotations, as well as affiliated faculty available for additional supervision and mentorship.

With the number and varied background of our faculty, fellows have the opportunity for one-on-one teaching and mentorship tailored to their interests.

The fellowship builds in same-day supervision for each clinical rotation. Clinical rotation supervision includes faculty with experience in dementia diagnosis and treatment, psychiatric disorders in late-life (including mood and anxiety disorders, PTSD, and serious mental illness), and nursing home psychiatry.

Additional supervision and mentorship, depending on a fellow’s interest, can include supervision in:

  • Psychotherapy, from our geriatric psychology faculty
  • Collaborative Care
  • Research, QI, or scholarly projects
    • Health services
    • Clinical trials
    • Epidemiology
    • Curriculum development

The year is divided into two six-month blocks, where fellows spend a half or whole day per week in a variety of clinic settings located at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System or Harborview Medical Center.

Required rotations

  • VA Puget Sound Memory Care Clinic. One of the core GRECC (Geriatric, Research, Education, and Clinical Center) clinics, this clinic focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Memory and Brain Wellness Center. Located at Harborview Medical Center, the MBWC is the University of Washington’s specialty memory disorders clinic and is a major referral center for the Pacific Northwest.
  • VA Puget Sound Mental Health Clinic. This rotation focuses on mental health disorders in late-life such as depression, anxiety disorders, and PTSD, and includes a multidisciplinary intake and consultation group involving clinicians in geriatric psychiatry, geriatric psychology, geriatric social work, and neuropsychology.
  • VA Puget Sound Memory Disorders Telepsychiatry Clinic. An extension of the Memory Care clinic, this clinic utilizes tele-mental health technology to assess and treat memory disorders in patients who cannot come to the specialty clinic in Seattle.
  • VA Consult-Liaison Psychiatry. Fellows join the psychiatry consult-liaison team and function as their geriatric psychiatry consultant. During this rotation, fellows are exposed to geriatric issues including delirium, dementia-related agitation, decisional capacity, and transition of care.
  • Harborview Medical Center Nursing Home Service. Fellows work with skilled nursing facilities within the Seattle area. This rotation provides exposure to psychiatric consultation in the long-term care setting.

Elective Opportunities

  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), including the opportunity to receive ECT certification.
  • Collaborative Care
  • VA Community Living Center (nursing home)
  • Harborview Mental Health – Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic
  • Neuropsychology
  • Palliative Care
  • Movement Disorders Clinic
  • Research or Quality Improvement

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VA Puget Sound Health Care System
The VA Puget Sound Health Care System houses the Geriatric, Research, Educational, and Clinical Center, which is a hub of research and training innovation. Fellows work in this center’s Memory Care Clinic and telepsychiatry clinic; in addition, they have access to the diverse teaching and research opportunities based here. The VA also has a geriatric psychiatry team in the Mental Health Clinic, where fellows work with a multidisciplinary team to provide psychiatric care for older adults with core psychiatric diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and psychotic disorders.

Memory and Brain Wellness Center
The Memory and Brain Wellness Center is the premier memory disorders clinic in the Pacific Northwest. This clinic hosts a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, neurologists, and neuropsychologists, from which fellows learn the state of art in diagnosis and management of dementia. This center also houses a robust community outreach and education program, as well as the University of Washington Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

Harborview Medical Center

 

The core didactics program is a collaborative effort with the UW geriatric medicine fellowship, and involves hour-long teaching sessions that occur weekly. An example list of didactics topics is below:

  • Agitation in Dementia
  • Atypical Presentations of Dementia
  • Biology of Aging
  • Cognitive Effects of Psychotropic Medications
  • Decisional Capacity
  • De-prescribing in Older Adults
  • Delirium
  • Dementia Diagnosis
  • Dementia Treatment
  • Elder Abuse
  • Ethnogeriatrics
  • Falls & Osteoporosis
  • Frailty
  • Functional Assessment: Physical Therapy
  • Functional Assessment: Occupational Therapy
  • Goal-setting at End of Life
  • Healthcare financing
  • Insomnia in Older Adults
  • Introduction to the Neuropsychological Assessment
  • Late Life Depression
  • Late Life Psychosis
  • LGBT Geriatric Care
  • Medical Ethics
  • Medicare and Geriatric Mental Health
  • Nursing Home Psychiatry
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Prevention of Cognitive Decline
  • Prognosis & Multimorbidity
  • Psychology of Aging
  • PTSD in Older Adults
  • Substance Use Disorders in Older Adults
  • The Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment
  • Thyroid Disorders in Older Patients
  • Transitions of Care

Fellows are also invited to attend optional didactics:

  • Professional development – offered by the palliative care fellowship program
  • Integrated care – offered by the Integrated Care Fellowship

Lucy Wang, MD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship
VA Puget Sound Health Care System
1660 South Columbian Way
S-116-MHC
Seattle, WA 98108
Tel: 206-277-5089
wanglucy@u.washington.edu