The Psychiatric Research Institute, one of only nine such institutes in the US, was built in 2009, and serves as the “home base” for the psychiatry residency. This is where residents meet for weekly didactics as well as lunches and other meetings. PRI features several different clinical experiences for students and residents. There are three different inpatient units – a general adult acute inpatient unit, a women’s unit, and the Child Diagnostic Unit, which is one of only a handful of its type in the nation. There is also an electroconvulsive therapy suite which serves both inpatients and outpatients. This service performs an average of 10-15 treatments daily, and residents assist in the ECT treatments of their inpatients. There is a new transcranial magnetic stimulator as well.
In addition to the inpatient and procedural services, there are a number of outpatient services offered at PRI. We have a general psychiatric outpatient clinic called the Walker Family Clinic. Residents rotate in this clinic during their PGY-3 year. Residents will spend time in their PGY-2 year in the Center for Addiction Services and Treatment, which includes a methadone/buprenorphine program. There are also opportunities to work with the Women’s Mental Health Program, which specializes in the treatment of mental health issues during and after pregnancy. Both of these programs also conduct ongoing research that residents can assist with if interested. PRI is also home to the Brain Imaging Research Center, and houses an f-MRI machine in the basement. There are a number of research studies going on at any given time, and residents have the opportunity to interact with research faculty and assist with existing projects, or develop a project of their own, through the Resident Academic Track.
The Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System is Little Rock’s VA hospital. This consists of two hospitals – one in Little Rock, which houses medical, surgical, and emergency departments, and one in North Little Rock, which is home to both inpatient and outpatient psychiatry services in addition to other outpatient and rehabilitative units. At the Little Rock VA, which is attached via skywalk to the main UAMS hospital, on call residents will see patients in the ER, and will also do their PGY-1 neurology and medicine rotations there. The VA psychiatric consult-liaison service is also located here. At the North Little Rock VA, located across the river, residents work on the general inpatient unit (3K) and the inpatient geriatric unit (1H) during their PGY-2 year. There are also several addiction services available to veterans, and residents work in the anti-craving clinic to prescribe medications to assist with addiction rehabilitation. Residents also spend time in their PGY-3 year in the general outpatient psychiatry clinic, as well as MHICM (Mental Health Intensive Case Management), which serves severely mentally ill veterans in the community. The NLR VA is also home to the geriatric and addiction fellowships.
The Arkansas State Hospital is conveniently located adjacent to UAMS, within walking distance of PRI. It serves the most severely and persistently mentally ill patients in the state, and is the only hospital of its kind in Arkansas. ASH has several general adult inpatient units, as well as two adolescent units (one general unit and an adolescent sex offender unit), and several forensic units. This is also the home for the UAMS Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship. Residents will spend 3 months in their PGY-1 year on Unit A, which is a general acute inpatient unit. Here, they have the opportunity to see chronically ill and treatment resistant patients, and gain experience in civil and forensic commitment procedures for mentally ill patients. This also provides a unique opportunity to be able to observe and testify in the nearby mental health court. Additional opportunities on the other units exist as elective rotations later on. In addition to these rotations, there is a weekly psychopharmacology conference, which is a grand rounds-style lecture series that PGY-3s participate in as lecturers, and all residents are encouraged to attend.
The Little Rock Community Mental Health Center is the public outpatient mental health clinic for Little Rock. Residents will gain experience treating the severely and persistently mentally ill population on an outpatient basis. The clinic has multiple services for their patients, including therapy, nursing services, an on-site pharmacy, housing, and day treatment. Here, residents have the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary environment to maximize the care of their patients. The clinic is located about two miles away from UAMS.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital is nationally ranked for the care they provide for pediatric patients. It is also the primary training site for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship, but general residents also spend considerable time here in their PGY-2 year gaining experience in C&A Psychiatry. The Child Study Center, the outpatient clinic, just moved to a brand new building which opened in August 2016. Residents will treat children between the ages of 3-17 and gain experience in a number of psychiatric disorders affecting children. Additionally, residents rotate on the consult-liaison service for the main hospital. While ACH does not have an inpatient psychiatric unit, residents have the opportunity to evaluate emergent patients in the ER and refer them to other hospitals in the area as needed. ACH is located about three miles away from UAMS and is conveniently located right off I-630.