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School of Medicine


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Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science

We attract some of the brightest residents within this specialty because of our comprehensive integrated training, highly-productive research division and partnerships with other large health care systems.

Departments

General Psychiatry

The General Psychiatry Residency Training Program at Palmetto Health USC is a four-year program, fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Resident physicians receive comprehensive training in adult psychiatry as well as clinical experiences and education in a variety of psychiatric subspecialties, primary care medicine and neurology. The program uses a multi-disciplinary approach to provide mental health services in the community, while simultaneously promoting academic excellence and research. Residents are trained in psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological interventions and provide care in several medical systems throughout Columbia. Graduates are knowledgeable and confident in all areas of psychiatry, including patient care, research, teaching and systems development.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Child and adolescent psychiatry addresses the biological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of children and adolescents. Recognized by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, our department consists of board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists. We emphasize compassionate and comprehensive care of children, adolescents and their families.

Our child and adolescent psychiatry faculty are skilled clinicians and educators. Our program focuses on gaining an understanding of normal development as a means of recognizing pathology. We are involved in the training of residents to understand the pathology that can affect children and adolescents and to develop treatment plans that incorporate psychopharmacology, psychotherapy and the utilization of community resources.

Residents gain an understanding of the needs of children and adolescents in multiple settings, including:

  • outpatient psychiatry clinics.
  • inpatient facilities.
  • school settings.
  • community settings.
  • as consultants in the children’s hospital.
  • in forensic settings such as DJJ.
  • neurology clinics.
  • pediatric clinics.

We train residents as well as medical students, general psychiatry residents and pediatric interns. Our faculty has areas of expertise in the care of preschool children, the care of Autism spectrum patients, the care of anxiety disorders, the care of patients with Tourette’s disorder or tics, PCIT, CBT, family therapy, interviewing skills, the care of patients in the juvenile justice setting and consultation in the children’s hospital and the schools. Our faculty is involved in regional and national organizations as well.

Forensic Psychiatry

Forensic Psychiatry provides consultative services to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, the South Carolina Department of Corrections and the University of South Carolina Division of Law Enforcement and Safety. Our clinicians perform criminal evaluations for competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility.

We provide forensic consultation in civil matters, like:

  • personal injury cases.
  • disability.
  • testamentary capacity.
  • medical malpractice.

The USC Professionals Wellness Program, which is housed in the forensic division, performs fitness for duty evaluations of the S.C. Board of Medical Examiners, the S.C. Board of Nursing and other professional boards.

We provide violence risk assessments and other consultations as requested by psychiatric providers in the Palmetto Health/USC School of Medicine System. The division supports an ACGME accredited fellowship in forensic psychiatry and provides additional educational opportunities for general psychiatry residents and medical students. We have several active and ongoing research projects.

Geriatric Psychiatry

Geriatric psychiatry addresses the biological and psychological aspects of normal aging, the psychiatric impact of physical illness and the biopsychosocial aspects of psychiatric conditions in older adults.

Geriatric psychiatry is formally recognized by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. The Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine consists of board-certified, fellowship-trained geriatric psychiatrists. We focus on prevention, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in older adults and emphasize compassionate, comprehensive psychiatric care for elderly patients.

Our faculty are skilled clinicians and educators, with an established track record of clinical and teaching excellence and prolific research through federal- and institutionally-funded grants.

We train medical students, residents and fellows in various clinical settings:

  • Inpatient
  • Geriatric consultation-liaison
  • Outpatient
  • Cognitive disorder evaluations
  • Integrated care
  • Geriatric telepsychiatry
  • Nursing home settings

Faculty in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry hold leadership positions both regionally and nationally, in organizations, including the South Carolina Psychiatric Association, American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and the American Psychiatric Association. ​


Medical Student Education

Each of our departments strives to gives the best medical education possible to our students. 

Psychiatry Clerkship

The six-week, six-credit-hour required clerkship provides a strong foundation in psychiatry for medical students. Students learn to recognize major psychiatric illnesses, become familiar with general treatment concepts and medications and are able to differentiate organic/medical problems from other psychiatric disorders.

Students are engaged as active learners and are required to take on a high level of responsibility in all aspects of patient care under close supervision from faculty members. Students have the opportunity to gain experience in inpatient and/or outpatient psychiatric specialty care, including adult, child and adolescent, emergency, forensic, consult-liaison and community-based psychiatry. 

Skills and Knowledge Gained

  • Psychopharmacology
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Treatment planning
  • Effective doctor/patient relationship

Psychiatry Acting Internship and Electives

The Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science offers a structured MIV Acting Internship and robust clinical electives for MIII and MIV students who wish to expand their knowledge and clinical experience in psychiatry.

Students are supervised by attendings and work closely with psychiatry residents and/or fellows at diverse clinical sites (including inpatient and outpatient settings) where they gain clinical skills to evaluate and treat patients with mental health disorders. Students can choose from specialty and subspecialty electives in Consult-liaison psychiatry, addiction, geriatric, forensic, emergency and telepsychiatry.

 

Research

Our research goal is to reduce the burden of mental illness in South Carolina and beyond through cutting edge, translational research, medical education and timely dissemination of research results. Our commitment to evidence based psychiatry, the backbone of quality mental health care, utilizes current pharmacotherapies and other psychotherapeutic modalities to investigate and advance novel, enhanced treatment strategies to improve outcomes and thus reduce disease burden.

We work collaboratively with other PH-USC departments, USC schools, universities across the US, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health and various other state and private agencies to accomplish this goal.  

Areas of Research

  • Autism
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Geonomics
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Mental health service outcomes
  • Schizophrenia
  • Technology 
  • Transitional care in mental health 

Research Mission Statement

Deliver cutting edge research to the door step of our clients and seek opportunities to expand service delivery research using existing tools to achieve early recognition of mental illness and provide evidence supported treatments to reduce the disease burden for citizens of South Carolina.

 

Division of Biological Research 

Our goal is to reduce the burden of mental illness in South Carolina and beyond through cutting edge, translational research, medical education and timely dissemination of research results. Our commitment to evidence based psychiatry, the backbone of quality mental health care, utilizes current pharmacotherapies and other tools to investigate and advance novel enhanced treatment strategies to improve outcomes and thus reduce disease burden.

To achieve our mission, we work collaboratively with other PH-USC departments, USC schools, other universities, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health and other state and private agencies. Our research is supported by grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Patient-Center Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), state agencies, local grants and pharmaceutical companies.

Our team consists of providers who hold dual appointments with the School of Medicine and the South Carolina Department of Mental Health and staff members with years of experience in research. Medical students and psychiatric residents may opt a research rotation. We strive to contribute to national and international efforts to advance mental health treatment through the dissemination of knowledge gleaned from our research.