Program Descriptions and Services
Inpatient and Outpatient Psychiatry
- The Division of Inpatient Psychiatry operates 50 acute beds for seven specialty programs including geriatric psychiatry, medical psychiatry, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and crisis stabilization.
- State-of-the-art psychopharmacology and brain stimulation therapies are offered, including Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy (TMS).
- More than 2100 patients are served annually through these inpatient programs. The division serves as a core training site for M-II through M-IV medical students, psychiatric residents, nursing students and graduate/post graduate trainees in social work and pharmacy. About 50 M-III students rotate through the inpatient units at VCU Medical Center.
- Faculty members provide over 2400 consultative emergency psychiatric services to the department of emergency medicine annually.
- Faculty members provide nearly 4500 visits in geriatric psychiatry services through nursing home visits and a community clinic on Parham Road. We work to aide the homeless population and the underserved at community mental health services through Richmond Behavior Health Authority clinics, Rubicon, Inc, and the Daily Planet Clinics.
- The division conducts research in biological psychiatry, psychopharmacology, brain imaging, geriatric psychiatry and animal assisted activities.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- It is the flagship organization for child and adolescent psychiatry in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Southeast region.
- The mission of the VTCC is to provide state-of-the-art assessment and treatment intervention for children and families within its inpatient and outpatient programs, which are multidisciplinary and specialize in Mood Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders, Developmental Disorders, and Substance Abuse.
- The Commonwealth Institute for Child and Family Studies (CICFS), the Division’s research wing, has established itself as an important center of research and knowledge development.
- Our faculty have special expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric conditions in medically ill patients, e.g. patients with cardiac disease, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain and those undergoing transplantation. We work closely with physicians in primary care and other specialties to diagnose and treat patients with co-occurring psychiatric and general medical illnesses complicating management.
- Many of our patients have psychiatric disorders that are the direct consequence of a primary medical condition or its treatment, such as medication-induced depression, delirium or dementia. We work in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
- We have developed nationally accredited training programs, a post-residency fellowship for psychiatrists, and a postdoctoral fellowship for psychologists.
- Our faculty regularly contributes to the scientific literature concerning clinical issues at the interface between mental health and medical illness.
- The specialty of clinical health psychology applies scientific knowledge of the interrelationships among behavioral, emotional, cognitive, social and biological components in health and disease to the promotion and maintenance of health. It focuses on a holistic approach to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of illness and disability; and the improvement of the health care system.
- Our psychologists, like Mary Ellen Olbrisch, Ph.D., focus on obesity, organ transplants, trauma care, cancer and pain management.
Social Work in Psychiatry
- The Department of Psychiatry social workers are comprised of a dedicated group of master’s level and licensed clinical social workers who are proficient in conducting strengths-based interviews, completing bio-psychosocial assessments, creating treatment plans, and providing individual and family support and education.
- Our social workers provide comprehensive discharge services for every patient that is admitted to our psychiatry and crisis stabilization units. Working directly with the patients, interdisciplinary teams, community partners, and the patients’ families, the social workers strive for a safe and successful discharge for every patient.
Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics
- The VIPBG was founded in 1996 to bring together researchers in the VCU Departments of Psychiatry and Human Genetics to pursue the understanding of the genetics of normal and abnormal human behavior. Under the leadership of Drs. Kenneth Kendler, the VIPBG has achieved international recognition for outstanding scientific productivity.
- We have been awarded P20 and P30 grants from the NIAAA to fund our inter-disciplinary Alcohol-Research Center which will provide critical funding for an inter-disciplinary approach to the genetics of alcohol use and misuse with investigators in the Departments of Pharmacology and Human and Molecular Genetics that will involve 5 organisms: C. Elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, mouse, rat and human.
- Our collaborative schizophrenia genetics project with colleagues at Trinity College in Dublin is the first large-scale case-control genome wide association and copy number variant data from our combined Irish samples.
The Mood Disorders Institute and Women’s Mental Health
- VCU Mood Disorders Institute is led by Dr. Susan Kornstein, one of the foremost authorities in depression and women’s mental health in the nation.
- The Institute has participated in more than 70 industry and government-sponsored clinical trials, studying several forms of mood and anxiety disorders, as well as women’s mental health concerns.
- Our goal is to foster scientific research that leads to advances in the treatment of individuals with mood and anxiety disorders, helping them to lead fulfilling and productive lives.
- The findings gained from these studies have resulted in the development of effective treatments that you now see in today’s marketplace.
Medical Student Education:
- VCU medical students consistently have some of the highest scores in the nation in psychiatry.
- The VCU Student Psychiatric Society provides education, mentorship and support for medical students interested in learning about mental illness and/or becoming a psychiatrist. Our group hosts well attended lunchtime lectures covering topics ranging from PTSD to substance abuse to psychiatric crises in the emergency room.
- The VCU Summer Institute in Psychiatry provides medical students from across America with an exciting and intensive experience in Psychiatry, covering topics that are of interest to trainees but may not be presented in a traditional curriculum.
- Our four year residency program accepts about ten residents annually. The program has a long history of filling in the match with excellent, dedicated physicians. Over the course of four years, almost 80 separate courses are taught with syllabi for each course.
- Please click on our Residency Section to learn more about our dedicated faculty and innovative teaching curriculum.
“I enjoy this Residency program because of our excellent faculty psychiatrist and specialists who help us understand more about Psychiatry. They give specific examples and detailed information regarding different topics, including psychopharmacology. Our lecturers are always open to questions and even available to ask questions outside of the didactic time. This makes for an open and fun learning environment in Psychiatry.” - Dr. Kimberly Reese PGY-II
Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine, Dept of Psychiatry
Last Update: August, 2012 according to departmental policy
1200 East Broad Street, P.O. Box 980710, Richmond, VA 23298-0710