Our training setting offers a wide range of exciting experiences in clinical health psychology. Fellows provide outpatient clinical services in the Department of Family Medicine's two outpatient primary care residency training clinics, the Lakeland Family Medicine Clinic and the Flowood Family Medicine Center. Within the outpatient clinics, fellows function as behavioral health consultants in treatment teams comprised of family medicine faculty physicians, family medicine physician residents, social workers, nursing staff, pharmacy faculty and residents, and medical students.
Direct consultative and clinical services are provided with patients in exam rooms, keeping the fellows fully embedded in the primary care culture. Fellows conduct behavioral assessments and provide brief problem-focused, empirically-supported interventions, such as health promotion activities, specific manualized psychological treatments, and behavioral interventions targeted at increasing medical adherence. These activities often result in treatment recommendations made to the primary care providers, ensuring the provision of comprehensive services. In addition, fellows also provide informal or indirect consultation during which they do not see the patient but guide a clinician during the assessment and treatment process.
Each fellow is based out of one of the clinics throughout the duration of the two-year fellowship to facilitate continuity with the family medicine residents and patients. Fellows carry caseloads primarily consisting of individual adult patients and families. Opportunities also exist for developing and leading group-based interventions.
We also provide inpatient consults at the Mississippi Baptist Medical Center (MBMC). At MBMC, fellows provide behavioral health inpatient consultation-liaison services to two unreferred call Family Medicine inpatient teams in this 500-bed community hospital. These teams typically include two faculty physicians and six to eight physician residents. Inpatient consultation usually involves the provision of bedside assessments and recommendations, although some cases might require inpatient treatment by the fellow. Many of the patients treated in the inpatient setting are then followed up in one of our outpatient clinics, increasing the continuity of care.
Regular supervision of the fellows' patient care is a crucial component of developing advanced clinical skills. Each fellow receives a minimum of one hour of individual "face-to-face" weekly clinical supervision by a licensed psychologist as well as unstructured clinical supervision as needed.