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Christiana Care adds Psychiatry Residency Program

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Christiana Care has added a Psychiatry Residency Program to help meet behavioral health needs in the community.

While new to Christiana Care, it is not the health care system’s first residency. Christiana Care has more than 100 years of experience in post-graduate medical education, and there are 15 other residencies.

The new program, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, meets a pressing need.

“The demand for services — both in Delaware and across the United States — far exceeds the supply of psychiatry physicians, particularly given the rise in addiction and the aging population,” said Linda J. Lang, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and medical director of the Behavioral Health Service Line at Christiana Care Health System.

According to a 2017 report published by the National Council for Behavioral Health, there is a 6.4 percent shortage in the psychiatry workforce. Based on estimates of retirement and new entries into the workforce, the need could soar to 12 percent by 2025.

“Given the need and our expanding psychiatric service line, we felt it was time to add a psychiatry residency to our curriculum,” Dr. Lang said. “Christiana Care has an excellent background in training medical residents, and we have a distinguished faculty on board.”

Cristinel Coconcea, M.D., the training director of the psychiatry residency program, leveraged Christiana Care’s vast resources when designing the curriculum. All but one of the rotations take place within the health care system. To gain experience in child and adolescent psychiatry, residents will spend two months at Rockford Center, a private psychiatric facility that serves children and adolescents, as well as adults.

The psychiatry residents spend the first two years focusing on inpatient settings. Christiana Care has an acute-care program providing diagnostic evaluations and short-term treatment.

During the second year, they will gain experience in outpatient psychiatry, which becomes more intensive in the third and fourth years. Residents take electives in their fourth year to get more training in areas that need well-trained specialists, such as addiction psychiatry, community and geriatric psychiatry.

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