Psychiatry Residency & Fellowships | Fellowships
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. Swapnil Rath, Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship
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 have the opportunity to treat patients alongside a behavioral neurologist, as well as to work on multidisciplinary teams treating patients with various movement disorders.
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.
You will have a weekly outpatient continuity clinic, where you will gain valuable outpatient experience as you provide care to older adults either in person or via tele-psychiatry.
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.
Swapnil Rath, MD
Program Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship
Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Overview
The fellowship is a one year ACGME accredited program providing a mix of inpatient and ambulatory training in geriatric psychiatry.
Through our program, fellows will be fully trained in techniques required in the treatment of older adult patients with psychiatric disorders. This fellowship program is fully accredited as a one-year program for residents entering in their PGY-5 year after completion of a General Psychiatry Residency Program.
The Pine Rest Geriatric Psychiatry treatment facility and its partner sites will provide clinical training in the full continuum of care including inpatient, psychiatric inpatient, drug and alcohol detox, long term care, unique outpatient programs including behavioral neurology and continuity clinics, co-occurring treatment, neuropsychological testing, palliative and hospice treatment settings. Fellows will learn to work with and lead multidisciplinary teams in most of these sites. Didactic training will occur through participation in a weekly seminar series, attending Grand Rounds, and weekly Program Director supervision.
The successful completion of this ACGME accredited program will qualify these psychiatrists to be well prepared to sit for the subspecialty certification from ABPN (American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology) and not only function independently, but excel in practice as an geriatric psychiatrist.
Pine Rest’s Older Adult Unit provides inpatient psychiatric care for older adults. Fellows will treat patients as part of the team comprised of internal medicine physician, nurses, physical therapist, occupational therapist, activity therapist, chaplain, social workers, and patient care providers. (26 beds)
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
ECT rotation will take place in an active ECT service. This service provides over 4000 treatments annually, and it is expected that each fellow will have opportunity to provide roughly 300 treatments over the course of the rotation. A substantial percentage of these patients are older adults.
Long Term Care
Two afternoons weekly, fellows will provide integrated care in assisted living and skilled nursing home settings.
Consultation Liaison Rotation
The consultation liaison rotation will take place in an acute care hospital where fellows will provide consultation on busy medical and surgical units, including an inpatient general medicine unit designed specifically for older adults.
Fellows will participate in both inpatient and outpatient experiences with a behavioral neurologist at a local medical hospital.
Fellows will be embedded in an adult outpatient psychiatry clinic, where they will provide care for patients with dementia, mood and anxiety disorders, and thought disorders.
Addiction services are provided by a sub-acute detoxification unit, where older adults are treated along with other age groups.
Fellows will work with psychologists in Pine Rest’s Memory Clinic to evaluate, diagnose and develop treatment plans for older adults with memory loss.
Hospice and Palliative Care
Provided at a nearby hospice residential unit, fellows will work with other specialists to provide palliative care to hospice patients.
Sub-Acute Detox Unit
The sub-acute detox unit provides detoxification services for those who need medically monitored assistance in withdrawing from addictive substances. (12 beds)
Van Andel – Cook Center — Older Adult Inpatient Unit
Housed in the Van Andel • Cook Center for Dementia & Geriatric Behavioral Health on the Pine Rest campus, our older adult inpatient unit includes a distinct close observation wing with 10 private patient rooms, allowing for separation of patients by capability. There are larger rooms for group activities and dining, as well as improved safety features. (26 beds)
The Pine Rest ECT Clinic is an outpatient facility serving both hospitalized and ambulatory patients.
Pine Rest Loeks Residency Clinic
Continuity Clinic for care of older adult patients, under the supervision of geriatric psychiatrists.
Spectrum Health Behavioral Neurology
Inpatient and outpatient behavioral neurology rotation.
Mercy Health St. Mary’s Consult-Liaison
Consultation Liaison rotation at a local medical hospital.
Integrated Care in skilled nursing home and assisted living settings.
A stipend is provided in the following amount:
Benefits are as follows:
Twenty (20) PTO days are allowed each year for fellows at each level. Six (6) calendar holidays are also provided as PTO to fellows: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Pine Rest offers 20 hours of wellness time to residents in addition to PTO, to be used for personal or family wellness appointments.
Conference Time is allowed for PGY2 fellows and above, for one conference per year, up to one week or five (5) CME days.
Conference/Academic/Book Allowance is provided to fellows up to $2500 per year.
Fellows are allowed up to 5 days administrative leave for interviewing. Approval must be obtained in advance.
The Employee Assistance Program at Pine Rest offers confidential individual or family counseling, grief and substance abuse support, financial advising, and other services.
Free parking is provided on Pine Rest grounds.
Food service is available in the cafeteria and in the Resident Lounge.
Pine Rest provides a pager and an iPad to fellows.
Pine Rest provides two lab coats at the beginning of the program to fellows.
Pine Rest provides Professional Liability Insurance with tail coverage.
Pine Rest provides athletic club membership discounts at the YMCA and MVP sports clubs.
See additional health, dental, vision, retirement, life insurance and other benefits here.
This is only intended to be a general overview of the current benefits programs at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services/Michigan State University Psychiatry Residency, and it is subject to change.
Updated March 2022.