Quarterly Newsletter: Winter 2018


Dear friends of psychiatry education,

As I write you, I am sitting in New Orleans networking with and learning from hundreds of people dedicated to the mission of psychiatry training in Graduate Medical Education at the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training annual meeting.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Four academic posters authored by Travis Fahrenkamp, Laura Pientka, Aimee Murray, Rana Elmaghraby, Ozra Nobari, Claire Garber, Afshan Anjum, Kaz Nelson, Katie Steingraeber, and Derek LeRoux Smith,
  • Five workshops/presentations presented by Richelle Moen, Jennifer Janacek, Lora Wichser, Jonathan Homans and Kaz Nelson.
  • Social dinner with colleagues from HCMC/Regions, Mayo Clinic, Wisconsin and Ohio,
  • Announcement that Univ of MN APA MindGames team takes 10th place (more information below).
  • Kaz Nelson serves as a member of the AADPRT Executive Council, as co-chair of the AADPRT Curriculum Committee.

Graduate medical education is constantly facing dynamic pressures from many angles. Learning about navigating this territory with colleagues at AADPRT provides me with much needed perspective and resources. Draft common program requirements have been released by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and are currently open for comment. The new requirements place an increased emphasis on trainee and faculty wellness and suicide prevention across medical disciplines- a major theme of this year's conference.

With each quarterly update, I am struck by the quantity and quality of outstanding teaching, mentorship, evaluation, curriculum development, and research being conducted within education. Thank you to all who are working together to advance this mission.


I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the impact on students and our community of national events involving acts of extreme violence and terror in the educational setting. You may be aware that a series of marches that are being promoted nationwide. On Wednesday, March 14, a National School Walkout calls for students, teachers, etc. to walk out for 17 minutes at 10 a.m.

At the departmental level, we know our role is not to promote or inhibit these events. Our primary goal is to ensure excellent patient care, research and psychiatric training and to ensure that learners, faculty and staff members who choose to participate are safe and are able to advocate for their beliefs without significant disruption to the provision of safe and excellent patient care. We also want to ensure those who choose not to participate have valuable experiences in the course of their learning and work. Trainees who participate in events during which they will exercise their right to walk out will be excused as long as there are no disruptions to patient care.

On a related note, from an University of Minnesota undergraduate perspective, the University of Minnesota is dedicated to the promotion of free speech. A student who has been suspended for participation in a lawful protest would not be required to report such activities in the application for admission at the University of Minnesota.

Speaking on behalf of graduate medical education recruitment for the Department of Psychiatry, I would like to affirm that applicants will not be penalized in the application process for legal consequences incurred due to peaceful protest.

For trainees, faculty and staff members interested in learning more or participating in events related to community advocacy, there will be opportunities to join with others interested in exercising their right to protest facilitated by individuals interested in advocating for their perspective.


American Psychiatric Association: MindGames

The APA MindGames competition is a friendly (yet highly competitive) team-based contest of medical knowledge. Lindsay Merriman, CAF1, Alex Herman, PGY3, and Tom Fewer, PGY2, represented our programs by completing an online exam. The University of Minnesota achieved 10th place out of over 90 teams. These teams were announced at the opening session of the AADPRT conference in New Orleans this year. This is the first time we’ve cracked the top 10. Congratulations!

Top 10 programs from the MindGames Qualifying Exam:

1. East Carolina University

2. Duke University

3. Univ of Alabama – Birmingham

4. University of Louisville

5. Wake Forest University

6. Columbia University

7. University of Missouri – Kansas City

8. SUNY Downstate

9. University of Texas Health – Houston

10. University of Minnesota

Dr. Rana Elmaghraby: Resident-Fellow Member Trustee-Elect (RFMTE)

PGY2 psychiatry resident, Dr. Rana Elmagraby, has been elected as the next American Psychiatric Association (APA) Resident-Fellow Member Trustee- Elect. In this role, Rana's responsibilities include serving on the APA board of trustees and representing a trainee perspective regarding legislative and policy matters. This is a two year position. Her official start date is May 2018.

Dr. Katie Steen: Chief Resident 2018-2019

Congratulations to PGY3 resident Dr. Katie Steen for being appointed to the position of chief psychiatry resident for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Dr. Kaz Nelson: Associate Designated Institutional Official (DIO)

The UMN Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME) is pleased to welcome Dr. Kaz Nelson to the GME team in the role of Associate Designated Institutional Official (DIO). As the GME Office works to expand its capacity to meet the development needs of UMN programs and to comply with external expectations, the Office of GME has recognized a role for additional leadership. This will allow for undivided attention to be paid to some critical areas such as faculty & staff development and resident well-being. It is also a fresh set of eyes on existing processes, and that can only be good in evaluating and improving those processes moving forward. She will officially join the team on April 15, 2018.


Dr. Jan Apple, Consult-Liaison Fellowship Director, Retiring

The University of Minnesota Office of Graduate Medical Education and Department of Psychiatry are deeply grateful to Dr. Jan Apple for her outstanding leadership of the consult-liaison fellowship. Dr. Apple has provided knowledge, expert teaching and mentorship to countless trainees during her years of service. Dr. Apple is retiring in December of 2018 and we wish her the very best!

Dr. Scott McNairy, Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Director, Retiring

The University of Minnesota Office of Graduate Medical Education and Department of Psychiatry are so very appreciative Dr. Scott McNairy's committment to serving trainees in addiction psychiatry and for leading this fellowship for many years. Dr. McNairy has inspired the next generation of psychiatrists and equipped them to address increasingly pressing health issues related to substance use. Dr. McNairy is retiring this academic year and he wish him well in this new endeavor!


The education teams extend their sincerest appreciation to the Dept. of Psychiatry Diversity and Inclusion committee for preparing recruitment materials highlighting our Departmental and Institutional values in enhancing and advancing diversity and inclusion. These materials were provided to all residency applicants and are available for broad use to achieve our goals across academic missions. This committee also provided consultation and suggestions for our applicant review process to identify instances of unintended bias in the selection process and maximize inclusive application review procedures.


  • Psychiatry Residency: Dr. Vinogradov has commissioned a task force to revise the residency curriculum to prepare next-generation learners in psychiatry. The Advanced Psychiatry Pathways Longitudinal Experiences (APPLE) Taskforce, chaired by Dr. Lora WIchser, is developing a plan to identify "low-hanging fruit" (get it? apple - fruit) as pertains to curricular goals for the 2018-2019 academic year, while concurrently working on longer-term curricular revisions to develop and strengthen longitudinal tracks of specialization, implement "near peer" teaching models, and enhance neuroscience integration throughout the curriculum. We are also planning a federal grant to support the development of a formal physician-scientist track within the residency. The 2018 Match takes place on March 16th and we anticipate matching with an exceptional and diverse group of applicants.
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship: Child and adolescent fellows have presented their educational research at the AADPRT meeting being held at New Orleans. The Child Faculty Retreat was held on 1/24/18 to craft a vision for the program and brainstorm new ideas for the Fellowship. In attendance were child faculty, child fellows, adjunct faculty our community partners. Dr. Vinogradov addressed the gathering, and discussed her plan for creating discovery clinics to provide cutting-edge and comprehensive care to our patients.

  • Psychology Internship: The Psychology Internship is excited to announce that we filled all six slots. The interns will be: Cara Cordeaux (University of Connecticut, Clinical Psychology), Meghan Sanocki (St. Mary's University, Counseling Psychology), Stephen Molitor (Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy, Clinical Psychology), Emma Ranum (University of South Dakota, Clinical Psychology), Tracy Vargo (Palo Alto University, Clinical Psychology), and Erika Wesonga (Washington University, Clinical Psychology). We look forward to welcoming them on July 1!

  • Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship: The addiction psychiatry fellowship is currently recruiting a fellowship director to be based at the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center.

  • Addiction Medicine Fellowship: The addiction medicine fellowship has been chosen to be a part of the Innovation Program for African Americans with opioid use disorder. We are happy to announce that Dr. Alexandar Hubbell will be joining us in July as one of our addiction medicine fellows.

  • Consult-Liaison Fellowship: The UMN/VA consult-liaison fellowship has transferred institutional sponsorship to Hennepin County Medical Center under the leadership of Dr. JJ Rasimus effective July 1, 2018. We are grateful for the institutional and departmental support provided to the fellowship by the VA Department of Mental Health over many years and delighted this fellowship has a new home.

  • Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship: See Program Spotlight Below!

  • Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship: The Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program is thrilled to announce its 2018-2019 fellows: Dr. Benjamin Braus and Dr. Laura Pientka! The fellowship program is dedicated to meeting the needs of older patients and their families. The one year fellowship emphasizes building expertise in diagnosis and treatment of later-life 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.


I am happy to share with you some changes in the University of Minnesota Medical School Year 2 course. Over the years, the medical school has worked to determine the ideal placement of the psychiatry curriculum. We tried an experiment for a couple of years, where psychiatry was taught with neurology between Thanksgiving and winter holiday. It was determined that this was too condensed and fast-paced, so psychiatry and neurology have now been moved to period 5, which begins March 3, 2018. Psychiatry will be paired with the disciplines of neurology, ophthalmology and otolaryngology. We will be maintaining the structure and content of the Psyche Small groups. We have received wonderful feedback on the small groups last year and we are looking forward to an even better experience this year! The curriculum has been revised to incorporate active learning strategies and accounts for best practices in teaching adult learners.

The Medical School has received application for the new course director of the first year medical student course, "Human Behavior" and is conducting interviews this month.

Please visit the following links to learn more about psychiatry medical education:
  • 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)

PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship

The University of Minnesota Fellowship Training Program in Forensic Psychiatry is a 12 month full time ACGME accredited program that is focused on developing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes leading to proficiency in the following domains:

  • Provision of psychiatric expertise in legal matters
  • Systems issues involved in mental health care delivery to forensic populations
  • Legal regulation of psychiatric practice

Within the Department of Psychiatry, the division of Forensic Psychiatry is also actively involved in education and training of medical students and resident physicians in psychiatry. To this end, the division is now offering elective clinical rotations in forensics to medical students who are curious to learn more about this fascinating sub-specialty. During this elective experience medical students get an opportunity to be involved in forensic psychiatric evaluations in both civil and criminal settings in Hennepin County and other training sites across the state.

Also, beginning 2018 a novel forensic rotation was introduced for PGY 4 Residents whereby residents participate as consultants to the Probate Mental Health Court in Hennepin and perform psychiatric assessments to aid with disposition of Involuntary ECT petitions (Price Sheppard).

The academic contributions of the forensic division continue to be robust. The December 2017 issue of Psychiatric Annals titled “Difficult Defenses in the Courtroom” was published under the editorship of Dr. Chinmoy Gulrajani. The issue also included an article by Dr. Gulrajani titled “Epilepsy in the Courtroom.” Additionally, the winter meeting of MPS was organized by Dr. Gulrajani and was titled: “Forensic Psychiatry in Minnesota: Where are we now, and how did we get here?” Two resident physicians from the department (Rana Elmaghraby and Lyuba Megits) presented a talk on Privilege and Duty to Protect in Minnesota. Resident Dr. Ben Otopalik, presented grand rounds at the Minneapolis, VA and a poster at the annual meeting of the America Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL) on the subject of Assisted Suicide with recent updates from Minnesota. Both Drs. Elmaghraby and Otopalik have also submitted legal briefs for publication to the Journal of AAPL under faculty supervision that are currently in press.


Minnesota Psychiatric Society presents Advocacy Training!

Come together with other psychiatrists and find out what they're taking on in St Paul. Now's the time to speak up for your patients and your profession - BEFORE decisions are made that impact your practice and our patients' well-being!

RSVP by March 13 - Email Linda Vukelich, or call (651) 407-1873.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

6:00-6:30 pm – Light Dinner

6:30-8:00 pm – Advocacy Training Session

Perinatal Mental Health Symposium

In collaboration with Pregnancy and Postpartum Support Minnesota (PPSM), the University of Minnesota, Department of Psychiatry, Women's Wellbeing Program will be sponsoring a reproductive psychiatry training opportunity and perinatal mental health symposium for anyone who intersects with the perinatal population, across all disciplines and levels of training, to learn more about the identification, treatment, and impact of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs).

Tuesday, March 20th, 8am-4:30pm

UMMC Masonic Children's Hospital (South Building)

Wilf Family Center Auditorium

2450 Riverside Ave

Minneapolis, MN 55454

This event is free of charge and all are welcome.

American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training (AADPRT)

2019 Annual Meeting

Wednesday, February 27 - Saturday, March 2
Hilton San Diego Bayfront
San Diego, CA

Abstract Submissions are currently closed

Association for Academic Psychiatry (AAP)

2018 Annual Meeting

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

September 5-8, 2018

Abstract Submissions have closed.

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.

For anyone interested in accessing and sharing resources on mental health and wellness for the general public, check out my podcast, "The Mind Deconstructed". This free podcast provides basic information and demystification of concepts related to mental health and psychiatry. Hosted by my brother George, a county attorney in child protection and former US Marine, The Mind Deconstructed podcast is available wherever you get your podcasts (including iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, FaceBook (@theminddeconstructed), or stream directly from this webpage). Andy Steiner recently featured the podcast in MinnPost.
Dr. Eric Brown Memorial Resident/Fellow Fund

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