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San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center

VA Medical Center

San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center (SDVAMC), is a 350-bed facility located next to the main campus of UCSD in La Jolla. It is one of the most modern, best equipped VA hospitals in the country. The professional staff consists almost entirely of full-time members of the UCSD faculty.

Inpatient Unit

The General Psychiatry Inpatient Unit, also called "2 South", is a 53-bed inpatient psychiatric unit that is staffed by three full-time attending physicians, three senior residents, 6 junior residents, medical students, psychiatric R.N.'s and L.V.N.'s, occupational therapists, social workers, and psychiatric pharmacists.

Patients receive comprehensive medical and psychiatric assessments, crisis intervention, psychopharmacologic management, ECT, supportive psychotherapy, and group therapy with PGY1 and 2 residents serving as their primary psychiatric physician. Following discharge, residents often follow their own patients in continuity clinics, providing comprehensive general medical and psychiatric care for the next two or three years.

Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program (ADTP)

The ADTP is a twenty-nine-bed, inpatient alcohol and drug treatment program based at the San Diego VAMC. The unit is staffed by two attending physicians, a senior resident, two PGY2 residents, medical students, substance abuse counselors, nurses and social workers. UCSD's nationally-known Alcohol Research Program and Dual Diagnosis Program base much of its research out of the ADTP. Patients receive complete medical and psychiatric care as well as the most up-to-date treatment of their substance abuse. PGY2 residents rotate through this service for a minimum of two months and may elect to return here in their senior year.

Psychiatric Emergency Clinic (PEC)

This is the triage clinic for all patients at the San Diego VAMC. The clinic is staffed by an attending physician, senior resident, PGY2 resident, medicine intern, medical students, and other psychiatric paraprofessionals. The clinic handles a large volume of patient visits that require a wide range of treatment interventions including acute hospitalization, brief counseling and crisis intervention, and routine psycho-pharmacologic management. All PGY2 residents rotate through PEC for at least one month.

Specialty Programs

The VA currently runs several specialty programs residents may elect to rotate on during PGY2-4. These include a women's mood disorder program, a geriatric psychiatry clinic and a bipolar disorders clinical research program. An anxiety disorders program, a PTSD Center of Excellence and a newly formed tele-psychiatry program.

Psychiatric Primary Care Clinic (PPC)

The PPC is one of our most innovative programs, providing residents a combination primary care and psychiatric outpatient experience in the PG2 year. Residents spend one half day weekly in this clinic throughout their second post-graduate training year, and many elect to continue this clinic in years 3 & 4. The clinic is jointly supervised by internal medicine and psychiatry. Patients have a primary chronic psychiatric disorder and are followed for both their psychiatric (e.g., psychotropic medicines and psychotherapy) and medical needs. This experience is meant to compliment the 4-month Primary Care rotations of the PGY1. In addition, it provides residents a continuity care experience exposure to outpatient supportive psychotherapy and an opportunity to continue following inpatients or ER patients post- discharge in the resident's own clinic. Up to 30 patients comprise the resident caseload in this unique program.