sexson

Each year the field of child and adolescent psychiatry brings with it more opportunities for improving the lives of children and their families; yet it finds itself faced with many challenges – challenges brought about by the pressing need for more evidence based therapies and by the absolute need for greater access for those in need of psychiatric services to well-trained child and adolescent psychiatrists.  It is with these opportunities as well as these challenges at the forefront that we in the Division of Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry here at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University anticipate a new training year, one devoted to improving our academic rigor and expanding our learning environment to
facilitate professional growth and development among both our trainees and our faculty.

Some of the excitement and goals for 2014-2015 academic year are highlighted below:

  • Addition of two new faculty in summer 2014 and continued recruitment of additional faculty
  • Continued focus on creating an educational environment to encourage greater active involvement of both faculty and trainees at all levels, clinical and didactic.
  • Continued refinement of newly developed rotations in residential treatment, community treatment, and our new acute care inpatient program at a freestanding psychiatric facility.
  • Development of more group experiences for clinical and educational purposes.
  • Development of a walk in clinic for follow-up of patients and families that are challenged by appointment adherence.
  • Integration of CAP residents more fully into patient and family centered care activities in which our institution is a leader nationally.
  • Implementation of our Post Pediatrics Portal Program, which allows fully trained pediatricians to train in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in three years with first trainee already matriculated into this program.

Our trainees continue to be productive academically.  Over the past several years our residents have published papers, presented workshops and posters at various national meetings (including AACAP, APA, GPPA, and IPS). Trainees serve or have served in the past three years on major components of both the APA and AACAP, including AACAP’s Committee on Lifelong Learning. Annually for the past four years one of our residents has been awarded the Advocate of the Year Award by the Georgia Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, giving us representation from our Program and from Georgia at AACAP’s Advocacy Day every year in Washington, DC from May 2010 through 2014.  Trainees have served as the resident representative to the Board of the Georgia Council on Child and Adolescent psychiatry in academic years 2010-11and 2012-13 and now 2014-15. Others are applying for fellowships and appointments, including travel awards to annual psychiatric meetings, working on projects that will lead to presentations and/or publications.  Two of the three academic projects from 2013-14 have already been submitted for publication. Opportunities abound and our trainees are encouraged to take advantage of both regional and national ones as they arise.  

Our training program in child and adolescent psychiatry is well established and has enjoyed the highest accreditation status available from the ACGME for its past several accreditation cycles without citation.  Every member of our faculty is dedicated to educational excellence and our goal is to provide qualified applicants with a comprehensive experience that will allow the development of competence as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, understand normal and pathological development across the continuum from infancy through adolescence.  Our graduates are prepared to practice in almost any academic, clinical or consultative setting, and indeed our graduates go on to academic, community, and private practice professional careers.

Please browse our website to learn more about our clinical and didactic programs, and their goals and objectives.  We are fully integrated with our general psychiatry program and can offer an integrated child and adolescent psychiatry training program with the general program over 5 years for highly motivated and interested applicants.  Our program offers some unique experiences through some cultural and spirituality conferences where residents learn experientially about relevant cultures and faith traditions of patients and families they will be seeing.  A popular experience is “Movie Club” which one year deals with cultural issues and the alternate year deals with psychopathology.  Recently we have seen and discussed a number of very interesting films including “A Winter’s Bone,” “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules,” “Smoke Signals,” “The Kids are All Right,” “Charlie Bartlett,” “Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” and “The Muppet Movie,”  and “The Great Santini.”   Trainees and faculty together choose movies to watch and discuss from developmental, cultural, or psychopathological perspectives.  

Our faculty is diverse and members have broad interests as you can see from our website, including  ADHD,  Psychotic Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and the hearing impaired.  Opportunities for research experiences are readily available throughout training.  Faculty members are actively involved both regionally and nationally in leadership roles in CAP.  Drs. Lewkowiez and Sexson are on the Board of the Georgia Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Dr. Lewkowiez is the President.  Dr. Peeples is active on the Media Committee of the AACAP.  Dr. Harris is an active member of AACAP’s Committee on Lifelong Learning.  Dr. Londino is a member of the Question Writing and Video and Vignette Committees for the ABPN CAP Written Exam and also serves and an examiner for the oral CAP exam.  Dr. Sexson is the immediate past-Chair of the APA Council on Medical Education and Lifelong Learning, serves as the AADPRT representative to the AAMC, chairs the AACAP’s Committee on Lifelong Learning and is a member of the Workgroup on Training and Education.  She is immediate Past-President of the Society of Professors of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Chairs the American College of Psychiatrists’ PIPE Commission. She also serves on the ABPN CAP Video and Vignette Exam Writing Committee and is a regular examiner for both the oral CAP examinations and Part II examinations of the ABPN, serving by invitation as an emeritus Team Leader for the oral CAP examinations in recent years.

Again, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is an exciting and rapidly changing field, which offers practitioners any number of opportunities for combining various experiences into productive and rewarding practices.  For more information about the field, explore the “Medical Students and Residents” section of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry website (www.aacap.org).  For more information about our program, please email me at ssexson@augusta.edu or our Program Coordinator, Sandra Raymer at sraymer@augusta.edu.

I look forward to exploring with you your pursuit of child and adolescent psychiatry training and your interest in joining us here at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Sandra B. Sexson, MD
Program Director 
Professor and Chief 
Division of Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry 
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University