Resident physicians are recent medical school graduates, learning the practical aspects of medicine in a clinical setting. In another era, some of them were called “interns.” Most of our residents are training for careers in family practice or internal medicine. They all hold either M.D. or D.O (doctor of osteopathy) degrees. Their residency is typically three years long, and rotates between different medical specialties, spending one to three months in each area of practice. Their work is supervised and approved by doctors highly experienced in their respective specialties. Once the residents complete this program, pass their examinations, and obtain state licensure, they will be board-eligible to practice as fully-qualified physicians.
My office is one of the clinical sites selected by the Trios Health Resident Physician Training program, used to train their resident physicians in psychiatry in a primary care context. This selection stems from our strong, local clinical reputation and my willingness to teach and have residents participate in the care of my patients. Psychiatry is an important part of primary care, so our participation in this resident physician training program is a way for all of us in this practice, including you, to ‘give back’ to our community by helping to train the next generation of primary care physicians in psychiatry.
Operationally, what this means for you, our patient, if you are willing to participate in this program, is that the same initial clinical screening that is customarily done with Tim may be performed by the resident. Additionally, the resident physician may perform a brief physical examination in the resident’s exam room in our building and triage, but not treat, other straightforward medical (i.e., non-psychiatric) issues as well (no non-psychiatric treatment can be provided here). There is no additional charge for working with the resident physician, only the potential benefit of a fresh set of clinical eyes on you. After completing the initial clinical screening with you, and with your permission, the resident physician will then accompany you into my office, where I will do my standard clinical evaluation with the resident monitoring both the interview and the charting process on the second computer monitor. After the resident has sufficient clinical experience, we will switch roles, with the resident conducting the interview. I will supervise and monitor everything essential that occurs in my office at all times, and no treatment recommendations will be made without my approval and your agreement. At the end of each appointment I will review everything and will summarize the clinical situation for the benefit of you and the resident. Finally I will sign off on the charting, as I customarily do.
I or one of my staff will always ask you if you are willing to have the resident participate in your care. If you have an objection, we will revert to the usual procedures we employ when there is no resident assigned here. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have about this resident physician training program. We hope you will join us in this effort to train new physicians.