The UAMS Department of Psychiatry offers a number of unique opportunities to residents in order to enhance their education and training, leading them to become excellent and well-rounded psychiatrists). If you’re looking for a variety of conveniently located training sites, a diverse patient population, research opportunities, and a number of different treatment programs, then UAMS is the right place. We prioritize resident education by having protected didactic lecture time every week, during which residents are free from rotation responsibilities. We also frequently evaluate and adjust rotation responsibilities to ensure that residents are there to learn, and not just do scut work. Residents also enjoy a number of social activities to enhance comradery, such as lunch together before didactics every week, and other activities throughout the year. These are just some of the exciting things that make this a strong program. Follow the links below to learn more about what we have to offer.

Electroconvulsive therapy – Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the FDA approved procedures in psychiatry. It is approved for multiple acute psychiatric illnesses, including depression, mania, and psychosis. UAMS residents are exposed to ECT in their first year of residency while working on the inpatient unit at PRI. Residents learn the indications, pre-ECT work up, procedural steps, and observe improvements in patients over the course of initial series treatment and maintenance therapy. Exposure varies based on the needs of the patients but there are an average of 10-15 treatments per day, three times a week. There are also opportunities for residents to receive additional training through elective rotations. This is also one of only two ECT centers for Central Arkansas.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) involves the use of a very short pulsed magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. With TMS, there are none of the side effects commonly associated with antidepressant medication and patients remain awake and alert throughout the treatment. TMS is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of depression, and has shown to be effective in helping those patients who have failed to benefit from medications. TMS experience is available to residents through elective rotations.

The PRI Women’s Mental Health program focuses on the treatment of mental health issues that uniquely affect women, including peripartum and postpartum mood disorders and psychosis, addiction, and other issues throughout the life cycle. This program also offers research opportunities for residents through the Resident Academic Track.

The Resident Academic Track (RAT) introduces residents to a broad array of clinical research, provides mentorship, and the development of an individualized academic growth plan for residents.  A novel aspect of the RAT at UAMS relative to many of the more formally described and marketed “resident research tracks”, is the recognition that academic careers are not solely dependent on the development of independent research careers.  Rather, careers in academic medicine involve teaching, professional presentations, scholarly and critical literature reviews, collaborative research endeavors as co-investigators, and require a broad appreciation of research methodology.  Residents apply for the RAT at the end of their PGY-1 and participate in the PGY-2 year and beyond.

The Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC) is a center within PRI which conducts several research projects to better understand various aspects of human behavior including addiction, decision making, and the effects of trauma, just to name a few. Here is a list of the current research projects underway. http://psychiatry.uams.edu/research-2/birc/research-studies/

The center includes an Image Processing and Analysis Lab (IPAL), Philips Achieva 3T X-series MRI system, an MRI simulator, waiting room and interview room. Residents may join research projects currently being conducted or propose new project ideas, especially if partaking in the RAT.

 The PRI Center for Addiction Services and Treatment (CAST) utilizes buprenorphine, methadone, individual and group therapies to treat opioid addition. The multidisciplinary team is involved in each patient’s case. Residents work in this clinic during their PGY-2 year while on the Addictions rotation. There is opportunity for additional exposure during electives as well as fellowship training.

The goal of PRI Child Diagnostic Unit (CDU) is to fully understand a child’s symptoms and to provide child and family centered care that assists in establishing clarification of diagnoses and the development of appropriate, individualized treatment plans. The unique characteristics of this program are the average 28 day length of stay and the complete medication washout to evaluate baseline symptoms prior to any medication adjustment. The interdisciplinary team of psychologists, social workers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and doctors all provide care for each patient during their admission. Residents have the opportunity to rotate on the CDU as an elective.

External moonlighting – External moonlighting is a way for residents to gain more clinical experience during their residency years while also supplementing the ACGME stipend. It is available after the completion of intern year and requires obtaining an Arkansas medical license.