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On July 1, 2014, the University of South Alabama graduate medical education program expanded to include a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship. The program is directed by Dr. Eddie Finn, assistant professor of psychiatry, in collaboration with AltaPointe Health Care Systems.
The first class to begin training this summer is comprised of three physicians.
“As faculty of the USA department of psychiatry, we are all engaged in the clinical work and teaching programs of AltaPointe and the USA College of Medicine,” said Dr. Finn. “We were eager to address a significant shortage area in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry.”
Because of the shortage of trained child and adolescent psychiatry professionals in the area, several organizations pulled together the resources to launch the program. Dr. Finn says that the Coastal Resource and Resiliency Center at USA was a major contributor.
The fellows in the new program will experience a collaborative model of training characterized by a combination of public, private, and academic environments. The curriculum provides them with a broad base of experience and opportunities as they proceed through the two-year training program. After completing the training program, fellows will be board-eligible in child and adolescent psychiatry.
“Fellows will spend the majority of their first year at BayPointe Hospital, working on the inpatient units and in the residential programs of the hospital, with the remainder of the year devoted to outpatient clinics in specialties such as pediatric neurology, genetics, developmental pediatrics, and adolescent substance abuse,” said Dr. Finn.
During the second year of the program, the fellows will be providing consultation services to various schools within the Mobile County School System, as well as providing outpatient services within the Children’s Outpatient Clinic at AltaPointe. “Fellows will learn to provide telepsychiatry services for outlying clinics in Bayou la Batre and Chatom, Ala.,” Dr. Finn said.
The program offers a variety of electives, including research electives, that work with the Healthy Youth and Families Lab at USA, The Little Tree Preschool, the Pediatric Healthy Life Center, the Lemoyne School.
“There is little room for argument that the community and the region will benefit from this program,” said Dr. Finn. “We expect to see a significant positive impact on the lives of children and adolescents in this region as the program comes online.”
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