Quarterly Newsletter: December 2017


Dear faculty, trainees, staff and friends of the Department of Psychiatry,

In this time of reflection, appreciation, and celebration, all of you who have worked tirelessly to advance psychiatric education are at the top of my list! Thank you!

One such individual, Dr. Charles Schulz, has recently passed away. His legacy of support for education will always be remembered. His door was always open to learners at every level, including me. A new University of Minnesota Foundation fund has been established in honor of Dr. Schulz to support psychiatry education.

I am grateful to all who participated and supported our first (hopefully annual) Psychiatry Education Retreat. This cross-institutional, interdisciplinary community impressed me with their ideas and commitment to teaching and learning. I am especially grateful for the powerful reflection on physician wellness from Dr. Oakman, the crystal clear, cutting edge vision provided by Dr. Vinogradov, and the roadmap shared by our special guest, Dr. Hung from UCSF. I continue to benefit from the momentum and energy generated by this day.

Dr. Hung spent another day in our department learning about our educational programs and shared the results of a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) he conducted in advance of our visit. We were delighted by his observation that we have a highly committed community of people striving for excellence. He also challenged us to raise the bar even higher, by revamping the curriculum to take into account new innovations in education and clinical care. Here are some early steps we plan to take in this direction:

  • We will be applying for a National Institute of Mental Health training grant on the topic of Computational Psychiatry.
  • We will continue to move forward to integrate neuroscience education as a thread throughout our curriculum.
  • We will formalize and promote individualized career pathways in other academic areas, such as a clinician-educator or child-adolescent psychiatry.
  • We are piloting a resident research training program and plan to formalize and recruit qualified trainees to this track.
  • We are planning to apply for grant support to expand the psychiatry residency and the child/adolescent fellowship.
  • Earlier this year, I took on the role as Chair of the Scientific Foundations Committee, which oversees the first and second year medical student curriculum at the UMN Twin Cities Campus. This leadership position ensures psychiatry a 'seat at the table' at Educational Council.

I wish you a peaceful winter season and a joyous new year. In the spirit of giving, I have personally contributed a gift to the University of Minnesota Foundation psychiatry education fund, established in honor of Dr. Eric Brown, champion of education, friend, and mentor. Together, 2018 holds much promise for our shared goals!


Kaz Nelson, MD


  • Psychiatry Residency: We are partway through our busy interview season. We are astounded by the number of exceptional applicants. Thank you to everyone participating in the interview process.
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship: The Child & Adolescent program is also in the midst of recruitment season. Two of the four positions have been filled and we continue to accept applications.

  • The Psychology Internship: Diversity and Inclusion Series added to Psychology Internship Didactics -- speakers from within the training program and across the University/community. Let us know if you have a Diversity/Inclusion-related topic that you would be interested in sharing with our Psychology learners! Contact Dr. Lingras via email for more info.

  • Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship: We will miss Dr. Scott McNairy, as he will be retiring in a few months. He has been instrumental in the development of addiction psychiatrists over his long career! The MVAMC is currently in the process of recruiting a new fellowship director to continue this outstanding program.

  • Addiction Medicine Fellowship: Applications are being reviewed for next year. Review Committee News on Addiction Medicine: The proposed new Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Addiction Medicine (subspecialty of anesthesiology, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, preventive medicine, and psychiatry) and accompanying Impact Statement review and comment has been closed. The documents can be viewed here.

  • Consult-Liaison Fellowship: We are so grateful for the many years of skilled program direction for the CL Fellowship from Dr. Jan Apple. We celebrate Dr. Apple's well-deserved retirement upcoming this year! Institutional Sponsorship of this fellowship will be transferring from UMN to Hennepin County Medical Center under the leadership of Dr. JJ Rasimas. Thank you, Dr. Rasimas for leading this program!

  • Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship: Applications are being reviewed for next year.

  • Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship: See Program Spotlight below!

Interested in our Training Program? Apply at our education page here.


The medical students rotating at all clerkship sites will be completing Case Reports or Case Challenges (depending on the nature of clinical cases encountered). This is a wonderful opportunity to engage with students and residents in scholarly work. Faculty, please consider serving as a mentor and supervisor for these students who may consider further developing their paper for submission. Please contact Kaz Nelson for a toolkit of resources to support this effort (including a list of publications which accept case reports, medico-legal and privacy considerations).

Please visit the following links to learn more:
  • Newsletter providing detailed updates for the University of Minnesota Medical School Psychiatry Clerkship. (ADPY 7500 Redesigned December 2016, February 2017, and March 2017 editions)
  • Biannual e-bulletin with opportunities for psychiatry interested medical students. (PsychSIGN Winter and Summer 2017 editions)
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If you would like to join our medical student lecture team, please contact Serena Sherrell at

PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship

Our population is aging. According to the State Demographer, the number of Minnesotans turning 65 in this decade is greater than the past four decades combined. Around 2020, for the first time in history, the 65+ age population will eclipse the number of school age children. In addition to psychiatric symptoms, older adults face the challenges of cognitive impairment, medical and neurological comorbidities and increasing dependence on family members and care systems.

The geriatric psychiatry service at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center trains University of Minnesota and HCMC-Regions psychiatry residents to diagnose and treat older adults with complex medical and psychosocial needs. We also offer elective experiences for medical students and 4th year psychiatry residents.

Since 1991, the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program has been dedicated to meeting the needs of older patients and their families. The one year fellowship emphasizes building expertise in diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric and cognitive disorders, integration with geriatric medicine, practice with neurology and palliative medicine, work with families, and use of a multidisciplinary approach to care. Research opportunities are available to fellows.

Thank you Dr. Susan Czapiewski! Susan Czapiewski, MD was recognized for her many years of exemplary service as the Program Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship. At a recent Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center Psychiatry Training Committee meeting, Dr. Kaz Nelson acknowledged her service with a plaque on behalf of the University of Minnesota Graduate Medical Education office.

For more information or questions about our fellowship, please contact David Atkinson, MD, at or check out our website at here.



Dr. Rana Elmaghraby: APA Nominee

Phenomenal second-year psychiatry resident, Dr. Rana Elmaghraby, will appear on the ballot in campaign for the American Psychiatric Association Resident-Fellow Member Trustee position! This is a highly competitive undertaking. The midwest is underrepresented at the highest levels of the APA. Please help get the word out about this campaign and encourage residents and fellows to vote in this election beginning January 2, 2018!




The Association for Academic Psychiatry (AAP) Annual Meeting in Denver, CO.

  • This is a small, but highly visible, conference focused on education and scholarly work in psychiatry. Attendees included Drs. Ahmed, Homans, Wichser, Pientka, and Nobari. Drs. Frank and Oakman also attended, in addition to Dr. Hung from UCSF, our keynote speaker for the Education Retreat on Nov 8th.

  • Dr. Laura Peintka was awarded the AAP Resident Psychiatric Educator Award presented by the AAP President Dr. Amin Azzam. This acknowledges residents that demonstrate a particular promise as educators and scholars in academic psychiatry.

  • Our poster authored by Drs. Pientka, Elmaghraby, Nobari, LeRoux Smith, and Nelson won an honorable mention for the poster contest. "Taking the "High Road" Addressing Physician Maltreatment"

  • Drs. Wichser, Homans and Nelson presented a wildly popular workshop featuring our original concept entitled, "Teaching Teachers the Interview Arc: A concise and elegant model for engaging learners in the patient interview"

  • Dr. Nelson won the Twitter contest for the most tweets with the hashtag #AAPinCO. Check out this Hashtag to see what people were talking about during the conference and to see several photos of our team!

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC

  • Dr. Ozra Nobari has been selected for The AACAP Educational Outreach Program (EOP) Award. The EOP provides the opportunity for child and adolescent psychiatry residents to receive a formal overview to the field of child and adolescent psychiatry, establish child and adolescent psychiatrists as mentors, and experience the AACAP Annual Meeting. Participants will be exposed to the breadth and depth of the field of child and adolescent psychiatry, including research opportunities, access to mentors, and various networking opportunities. Participation in this program provides up to $1,000 for travel expenses to the AACAP Annual Meeting.
  • Dr. Gandhi's poster on Trends in Bipolar Disorder in youth was presented at the meeting.

Eric Brown, MD, Residents' Caucus Scholarship

Congratulations to Katie Thorsness, MD, Year 4 UMN psychiatry resident, who was awarded the MN Psychiatric Soc. 2017 Eric Brown, MD, Residents' Caucus Scholarship.

American Psychological Association Accreditation

The Psychology internship has been granted APA accreditation for the next 10 years. Thank you, Dr. Robiner, for your countless hours preparing for this site visit!

Selected Published Articles and Posters

Back to Bedside

The ACGME Council of Review Committee Residents (CRCR) designed the “Back to Bedside” initiative to empower residents and fellows to develop transformative projects that combat burnout by fostering meaning in their learning environments; engaging on a deeper level with what is at the heart of medicine: their patients. Of the 223, submissions 30 grants were awarded including our project of Mental Health Electronic Medical Record Clinical Tools by Drs. Dirlam, Bass, Vallera, Thorsness, and Nelson.


American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training (AADPRT)

47th Annual Meeting

New Orleans, LA

Wednesday, February 28 – Saturday, March 3, 2018

Abstract Submissions have closed

Association for Academic Psychiatry (AAP)

2018 Annual Meeting

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

September 5-8, 2018

Abstract submission deadline is January 31, 2018

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)

65th Annual Meeting

Seattle, WA

October 22-27, 2018

Poster Submission deadline is June 15, 2018.

American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL)

49th Annual Meeting

Austin, TX

October 25-28, 2018

Abstract submission has not opened yet.

American Psychiatric Association (APA)

2018 Annual Meeting

New York City, NY

May 5-9, 2018

Abstract Submissions have closed

Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP)

44th Annual Meeting

Hilton Minneapolis

Minneapolis, Minnesota

June 14-16, 2018

Abstract Submission has closed.

The Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP) is an organization for ALL educators and administrative staff dedicated to promoting excellence in behavioral sciences and psychiatric education for medical students.

Our very own Associate Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education, Bob Englander, MD, MPH will discuss his work in developing the Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency. We invite you to submit proposals on any topic relevant to medical student education in psychiatry.

Dr. Eric Brown Memorial Resident/Fellow Fund

Click button to donate to the Dr. Eric Brown Memorial Resident/Fellow Fund


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