Clinical Experiences and Education

Clinical Sites

LAC+USC Medical Center

LAC+USC Medical Center is a vast complex of county medical facilities located immediately across the street from the USC Health Sciences Campus. The iconic art deco General Hospital that was once the cornerstone of clinical care and graduate medical education was replaced in November of 2008 with a state-of-the-art 600-bed hospital. LAC+USC Medical Center serves a vital training mission, providing residency education for over 900 physicians annually, including over 60 physicians in psychiatry training programs. The medical center’s size, abundance of rich clinical experiences, and expertise in medical education have established the LAC+USC Medical Center as a dominant medical influence in Southern California for decades and the largest provider of healthcare in Los Angeles. As one of the busiest public hospitals in the United States, we are proud to serve diverse, underserved, and historically marginalized patient populations across Los Angeles County.

Augustus Hawkins Mental Health Center

Inpatient psychiatric services are based at the 62-bed facility at the Augustus Hawkins Mental Health Center, which is located approximately 18 miles south of the LAC+USC Medical Center. The inpatient hospital contains three adult teaching wards (33 beds) and the only adolescent ward in the county (10 beds). Admissions are primarily involuntary. Patients are predominately underserved patients with a high level of psychiatric acuity, often facing complex psychosocial stressors including poverty, substance abuse, housing instability, trauma, and legal concerns.

The USC Health Sciences Campus

The University of Southern California is a large private university with two campuses located seven miles apart. The University Park Campus is southwest of downtown Los Angeles; the Health Sciences Campus is two miles northeast of downtown. The Health Sciences Campus is home to the Keck School of Medicine, which has more than 700 students, and to the School of Pharmacy. The campus includes three modern private hospitals: Keck Hospital of USC, the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Roski Eye Institute.

Veterans Affairs

Rotations at USC-affiliated VA facilities in downtown and West Los Angeles allow for specialized training in addiction and geriatric psychiatry.

Core Rotations & Rotation Schedule

Emergency Psychiatry

Year 1 4 Blocks 2 Blocks 4 Blocks 2 Blocks 1 Block
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Neurology Adult Inpatient Psychiatry Emergency Psychiatry QI/Research
Our Emergency Psychiatry rotation is located in the LAC+USC Emergency Room, which includes a 20-bed dedicated Psychiatric Emergency Room. This is one of the busiest Psychiatric ERs in the country. Residents provide psychiatric & forensic assessments of patient’s risk of suicide or dangerous behavior and capacity for self-care, providing emergency care for patients in crisis.

Our Inpatient Psychiatry rotation is located at Augustus Hawkins Mental Health Center. This rotation provides an intensive experience in diagnostic evaluation and treatment of severe psychiatric illness as well as introductions to major psychopathologies. This rotation also provides extensive experience in forensic and legal issues, including hospital- and court- based hearings.

physcians talking by a door
Year 2 3 Months 1 Month 3 Months 1 Month 1 Month 1 Month 1 Month 1 Month
Adult Inpatient Psychiatry Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatry LAC+USC Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Keck CL Psychiatry Emergency Psychiatry Child CL/Outpatient Psychiatry Addiction Psychiatry Geriatric Psychiatry
LAC+USC Adult Outpatient Clinic (5%)
Our residents rotate through both LAC+USC Medical Center and Keck Hospital for different Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry rotations. Both services train residents to treat patients with complex psychiatric and medical presentations. The LAC+USC rotation offers extensive training in the forensic aspects of CL psychiatry, including consultation to the medical jail ward. The Keck rotation presents opportunities to evaluate and treat patients on specialized medical/surgical services, including transplant and oncology services, with additional opportunities for clinical exposure to electroconvulsive therapy.
psychicians in a group talking
Year 3 12 Months
LAC+USC Adult Outpatient Clinic (70%)
Keck Adult Outpatient Clinic (10%)
Integrated Care (10%)
Research/QI (10%)

 

The adult outpatient psychiatric clinics at both LAC+USC Medical Center and Keck Hospital provide our residents with excellent training in Outpatient Psychiatry. Residents begin a continuity clinic experience in the second year, however this expands greatly starting in the third year. Here residents learn to treat a variety of psychiatric pathologies in a diverse patient population. They also receive robust psychotherapy training, including leading a psychotherapy group and weekly supervision in both cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy. The integrated care clinics provide exposure to both specialty psychiatry clinics and different models of outpatient practice.
resident party in break room
Year 4 1 Month 1 Month 3 Months 7 Months
Child CL & Emergency Psychiatry Integrated Care Senior Core Rotations (Inpatient, CL, Emergency, and/or Outpatient Psychiatry) Electives
Chief Residency (40%)

Many of our residents choose to be chief residents in their fourth year, and all residents have extensive elective opportunities. With some of their elective time most residents choose to continue their therapy training. Popular electives include:

  • Student mental health
  • Palliative care
  • Sleep medicine
  • Neuromodulation
  • Psychotherapy (CBT, DBT, Psychodynamic, IPT, ISTDP, Group)
  • QI/Research
  • USC Coursework

Education

All residents have protected time to attend a half-day of core lectures weekly. The didactic curriculum for each year is designed to augment training and teaching provided on individual clinical services and to ensure comprehensive instruction in all ACGME milestone areas in psychiatry.
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Service-Specific Curricula
Each major clinical service including inpatient, emergency, consultation-liaison, and ambulatory services sponsors a separative curriculum including content specific to each service, including case conferences, ethics discussions, and journal club meetings.