Med-Psych residents have the wonderful opportunity to have two combined Med/Psych continuity clinics throughout their residency. From year one, residents are able to combine their Medicine and Psychiatric skills in the outpatient setting under Med/Psych faculty supervision.
MCLNO Lord & Taylor Clinic
Starting intern year, residents work at the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans (MCLNO) Lord and Taylor clinic during their "+1 week" of clinics. Residents go to this clinic every 5th week regardless of being on a Psychiatry or Medicine service, thus enabling residents to maintain continuity with patients despite switching back and forth between Medicine and Psychiatry. This clinic started as a MASH unit set up by the returning Charity Hospital doctors and nurses after Hurricane Katrina. It has developed into a multi-specialty clinic, housed in the former Lord and Taylor department store. Residents specifically see medically and psychiatrically-complex patients in this clinic and are supervised by Dr. Alvarez. Residents work in this clinic each year of residency, allowing long-term continuity and relationships with patients.
Ruth Fertel Community Health Center
Starting intern year also, Med-Psych residents see patients weekly at the Ruth Fertel clinic. This is a community-based clinic which started as a first aid station in front of a French Quarter homeless shelter. It is now identified as a Patient-Centered Medical Home and Federally Qualified Health Center. It occupies its permanent home in the renovated building that once housed the original Ruth's Chris Steak House. Under the guidance of Dr. Alvarez, residents do primary and preventive care for the seriously mentally ill as well as perform psychiatric consultation for their Internal Medicine colleagues. Because it is weekly clinic (except during ICU and some inpatient rotations), it affords residents an opportunity to learn how to implement psychotherapeutic interventions in the primary care environment, see seriously-ill patients more frequently, and build a large and educationally-diverse case load. In addition to joint injections, cancer screening and diabetes management, residents sharpen their skills in motivational interviewing, behavioral activation, cognitive-behavioral therapy and short-term insight oriented psychotherapy. The clinic has a social worker who conducts individual and group therapy, a pharmacist, and a case manager.
We hope to start an integrated clinic at the VA as that hospital is being built and its outpatient operations ramp up. Tulane's Med-Psych residents are at the forefront of the integration movement, bringing high-quality combined care to the populations that need it most.