Lectures occur every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon. The core lecture series rotation lasts two years.
First- and second-year fellows are separated during the first two months of each year to address the specific academic needs of each class. During the first two months, first-year fellows receive lectures in child and adolescent assessments, interview skills, developmental theories of mind and behavior, parenting skills and resources, and an introduction to various therapy modalities and psychological assessments. Lectures specific to the second-year fellows include professionalism, neurology, licensure and maintenance of certification, and refining teaching and interpersonal communication skills. The two classes are combined beginning in September, and the core lecture series begins.
Our program offers a vast array of lectures taught by affiliated faculty and specialty-specific experts. Lectures are frequently updated to include recent scientific findings with emphasis on evidence-based practices. Fellows will learn how to apply information in their interviews, biopsychosocial assessments, and treatment formulations. Lecturers have been encouraged to incorporate critical aspects of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice into their didactic series to encourage fellows to consider racial and cultural implications of the psychiatric assessment and treatment planning.
Topics covered in the core didactic series include:
- Depressive and anxiety spectrum disorders
- Substance use disorders
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Intellectual disabilities
- Learning disabilities
- Sleep medicine
- Neurodevelopmental disorders
- Psychotic spectrum disorders
- Eating disorders
- Adoption and foster care
- Movement and somatization disorders
- Dissociative disorders
- Trauma and abuse
- Cultural psychiatry
- Death and dying
- Forensic psychiatry
- LGBTQIA and gender identity
Psychotherapeutic interventions are also covered including:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
- Applied behavioral analysis
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Parent management training
- Exposure and response prevention
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
Psychotherapy is a skill set that requires active participation in both clinical cases and in didactic sessions. Our program is designed to allow fellows to carry psychotherapy cases at both their primary clinical sites as well as their 24-month continuity clinic.
Fellows use a Psychotherapy Passport to track their patients and their therapy modality. Trainees are expected to develop basic competencies in several forms of psychotherapy for children and adolescents including Time Limited, Supportive, Cognitive Behavioral, Family, Psychodynamic and Play Therapy. Additionally, fellows learn through didactics about additional types of therapeutic approaches including Parent Management Training and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills.
Psychotherapy supervision occur weekly with clinical faculty with specific expertise in child psychotherapy. Fellows who wish to delve deeper into psychotherapeutic theories and techniques may apply for the two- or four-year program at the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute in Psychodynamic and Psychoanalytic Programs respectively. The ability to develop an effective therapeutic alliance with children, adolescents, and their parents is an invaluable skill set that is essential to all aspects of care provided by a child psychiatrist.
Journal Club is a monthly activity that occurs during the first hour of didactics and is supervised by Dr. Chadi Calarge. Fellows will learn how to critically evaluate psychiatric literature and become familiar with emerging research in the field. Each fellow is assigned a month to present an article. The designated fellow works with Dr. Calarge in choosing an article to review and how best to present the critical analysis of the topic to the group. Dr. Calarge moderates and facilitates the discussion to ensure the fellows understand the core concepts and conclusions of the article.
Past topics of discussion have included medication management, mental health considerations in the LGBTQ+ population, pediatric depression and anxiety, mental health manifestations in the neurodevelopmental population, and psychotic spectrum disorders.
Transition To Practice
The Transition to Practice lecture series occurs during the first Monday of every month. Clinic schedules are blocked to ensure participation in this series. Fellows meet over video with the presenter to discuss various aspects of career development, employment opportunities, and clinical practice considerations in pediatric psychiatry that is otherwise not covered in a formal didactic series. This is where fellows are able to candidly ask the questions they have been curious about pertaining to the subject matter.
Presenters have specific expertise in a wide range of areas including financial planning, contract negotiations, introduction to private practice, community mental health, licensure and maintenance of certification, intensive outpatient psychiatry, billing, telemedicine, consultation and liaison psychiatry, and job opportunities within the Houston area.
Texas Children’s Hospital Conferences
During the Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) rotation, fellows participate in a monthly multidisciplinary developmental behavioral pediatrics and psychiatry conference. Clinic schedules are blocked to allow for fellow participation. Ongoing patient cases are discussed to familiarize attendees with each specialty and foster a collaborative approach to treatment planning and overall care.
Additionally, clinic schedules are blocked every Friday for one hour for fellows to participate in case conferences with TCH attendings Dr. Martin Maldonado, Dr. Ajay Shah, or Dr. Lauren Havel. Complicated and challenging cases are discussed with Drs. Maldonado and Shah. Dr. Havel’s conference focuses on the psychotherapeutic considerations and treatments.
Once a month, Dr. Anh Truong spearheads the Seminal Articles series. This focuses on dissecting clinically pertinent articles in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry to help the fellows formulate evidence-based treatment plans. Additionally, the discussion serves to solidify the fellow’s rationale for treatment and assessments of what therapeutic modalities are most appropriate.