Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship

Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship

Our program, with its unparalleled access to a wide range of patients, offers the highest quality of training that produces forward-thinking leaders in the field of Geriatric Psychiatry. The Pine Rest Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship offers a one-year fully immersive clinical training program for psychiatrists to hone their knowledge in both general medicine and neurology to inform their psychiatry practice, and to combine knowledge of neural pathways, common and uncommon degenerative and neurodegenerative illnesses, and psychiatric expertise to care for the whole person.

Welcome from Dr. Louis Nykamp, Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship

So you are probably visiting this page related to an interest — whether vague or solidified — in geriatric psychiatry. Good choice! Anyone looking at the upcoming baby-boom bubble on a demographic chart depicting population age would do well to consider enhanced preparation for those seniors who will be arriving in droves to our offices over the next 20+ years.

Fellowship trained geriatric psychiatrists are in short supply, demand is rising, and the practice of geriatric psychiatry is full of variety and reward. Our new geriatric psychiatry fellowship program at Pine Rest is designed to provide the tools necessary to develop expertise in providing care for older adults. You will be called on to hone your knowledge in both general medicine and neurology to inform your psychiatry practice, and to combine knowledge of neural pathways, common and uncommon degenerative and neurodegenerative illnesses, and psychiatric expertise to care for the whole person.

There is a significant overlap between Geriatric Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, and several subspecialties of Neurology, and as a geriatric psychiatry fellow you will be exposed to those exciting crossroads to develop patterns of understanding which will serve you well in the practice of geriatric and general psychiatry. Fellowship training in Geriatric Psychiatry is career path that will…

…Bring a fun and challenging variety of patients to your office,

…Enable you to work with families to optimize the care of their loved ones

…And get you out of the office to where patients live (and who else gets to do house calls anymore?) in assisted living, dementia care, and skilled nursing facilities.

Colleagues will call you for advice when they have a challenging older adult patient. You’ll likely have career opportunities to participate in administration, medical directorships, committee work, and other positions of leadership related to your additional training and subspecialty expertise. Inpatient and outpatient opportunities abound and are likely to expand with the oncoming wave of growth in the older adult population.

The long-term rewards of an additional year of fellowship training can be enormous. You have chosen wisely!

Why here at Pine Rest?

You will see on this Website many good reasons to consider West Michigan, so I won’t repeat those here other than to say you will likely fall in love with the area as long as you don’t mind actually experiencing all four seasons…usually in order.

More specific to Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship training you will find excellent support in your academic and clinical development from our faculty, and the resources we’ve assembled will offer an enriched setting in which to learn high quality older adult care.

Here are just a few unique highlights of the program…

We have a 26 bed dedicated older adult inpatient unit within which there is a 10 bed advanced dementia care unit. You will provide both psychiatric and general medical care for patients there.

You will provide longitudinal care in a large and lovely local senior living facility offering independent, assisted living, dementia care, and skilled nursing units. This care will be coordinated with a well-respected and academically active group of geriatricians and geriatric internal medicine fellows.

You will work with a palliative care team including fellows from other disciplines providing residential end of life care at a nearby hospice facility.

Throughout the year you will provide psychiatric care for patients with Parkinson’s disease working with an excellent team of movement disorders specialists and you will participate as a valuable member on a multidisciplinary team assessing patients for deep brain stimulation surgery.

You will learn detailed cognitive assessments working with our neuropsychology colleagues.

You will psychiatrically and medically evaluate and treat older adults undergoing electroconvulsive therapy in our ECT Clinic which performs over 4000 treatments annually.

We will work with you to develop a research project with the aim of submitting and presenting at a regional or national psychiatry conference.

This program will provide you with excellent footing from which to develop a vibrant career caring for the psychiatric needs of older adults and I invite you to check us out.

Lastly — and as if that weren’t enough — since my family lives in Holland, Michigan and other faculty here at Pine Rest would wonder what was wrong with me if I didn’t mention this — there is also a beach…

The skills acquired at this training program will equip you to be able to identify, motivate and treat patients that often don’t get the help they need for their chronic disease.



Louis Nykamp, MD
Program Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship