2018-12-04-kristi-kleinschmit-portrait-400x600.jpgIt is a time of change and growth in the Division of Child Psychiatry at the University of Utah. I am so excited to be the new training director, taking over the program in October 2015. Our child division continues to grow, having 40 child psychiatry faculty within the Department of Psychiatry who participate in the teaching and supervision of our residents and fellows. We also work with the behavioral health division within the Department of Pediatrics. We have a new Chair of Psychiatry, Dr. Jon-Kar Zubieta, who joined us from the University of Michigan in July, 2015, who is an international expert in the neurobiological bases of mood disorders. He is actively working to expand the research opportunities for our fellows and residents, while also growing our outpatient services, and he is very dedicated to teaching our residents.

Our training program provides excellent learning opportunities in a variety of clinical settings, from a 60-bed acute inpatient hospital at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Unit, to a consultation-liaison experience at the nationally-recognized Primary Children’s Hospital. The catchment area for these hospitals spans the Mountain West. We also provide exposure to children and adolescents in residential and day treatment settings. In the second year, the fellows get opportunities for core and elective rotations spanning normal development, liaison with the schools, mental health integration, a multidisciplinary medical home for persons with developmental disabilities, autism testing and treatment, child abuse evaluations and therapy, preschool day treatment, and outpatient child psychiatry. 

During fellowship, we provide for research time to allow our fellows to follow their scholarly pursuits while developing expertise in a specific area of practice. We are working to expand our integration into medical clinics, and fellows will learn how to effectively liaise with their primary care colleagues. Robust supervision is a key component to our program, and fellows often receive more than the required two hours of weekly supervision.  We expect our fellows to be competent in psychotherapy, so time for psychotherapy and psychotherapy supervision is integrated into each rotation. The fellows work side by side with our triple board residents and participate in a monthly interdisciplinary case conference with the pediatric residents.   

We are excited to accept our fellows from both our internal general psychiatry program and from other universities throughout the country. Regardless of where they come from, most people find Salt Lake City to be a great place to live. Our fellows report being able to have balance between their personal and professional lives, and we maintain good morale with monthly meetings, a yearly retreat into the mountains, and an open door policy. Fellows are able to hike, bike, or ski on their days off, with a short 20-minute drive into the mountains. The amazing scenery of the red rock desert is a few hours’ drive away. Salt Lake City also has a vibrant arts scene, diverse restaurants, many family activities, and sporting events. People enjoy living here, and many of our graduates ultimately decide to make Utah their home.

Kristi Kleinschmit, MD
Residency Training Director