Program Overview

Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Program Overview

Anne Gross MD

Director, OHSU Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship



The OHSU Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Program is funded jointly by Oregon Health & Science University and the the VA Portland Health Care System. The program has received full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Most members of the combined Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)/Portland VA Medical Center Psychosomatic Medicine faculty have American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology subspecialty certification in Psychosomatic Medicine or dual Medicine-Psychiatry Board Certification. Several faculty members are core investigators of the VA Health Services Research & Development funded Center for the Study of Chronic Comorbid Mental and Physical Disorders.



Goal 1. Balance and breadth of clinical experience

The fellowship is one-year in duration and at the PGY-5 level. We provide a balanced experience in Psychosomatic Medicine, with opportunities for the development of clinical, teaching and research skills. Clinical skills are developed in both ambulatory and acute care settings.  In these settings, Fellows may provide consultation to medical colleagues as well as assume continuous care of outpatients. The curriculum, which includes supervised clinical experiences and formal didactic and participatory conferences, allows the Fellow to gain the knowledge, skills, and practical experience necessary to provide expert psychiatric care to patients with comorbid and complex medical and surgical problems and to consult effectively to medical colleagues. By the end of the fellowship, each Fellow will be prepared for the subspecialty board examination in Psychosomatic Medicine.

Goal 2: Meaningful research opportunities

Psychosomatic Medicine residents will have a predominantly clinical experience which meets the requirements set by the ACGME for completing an accredited Psychosomatic Medicine Program, and will be prepared for the board subspecialty examination. Additionally, Fellows are provided with one-half day per week to work on a scholarly project.  Fellows are required to spend at least 6 months on this scholarly project, but have the option of extending the duration of the project for the entire 12 months of the Fellowship.  Abundant research opportunities exist and may include participation in an established research study, initiating a focused project, the scholarly review of a topic, or coursework through the Human Investigations Program (HIP) at OHSU. The HIP, funded through the National Center of Research Resources and sponsored by the School of Medicine, Portland VAMC, and Divisions and Departments at OHSU, provides a curriculum targeted to medical or dental residents and fellows, and faculty of the medical, nursing and dental schools who are interested in developing research skills in human investigations. A non-degree track allows enrollment in individual courses.

A comprehensive, sequential, faculty-supported and supervised approach to research training includes:

  • Exposure to basic research concepts, discussions with the various researchers, site visits to laboratories, theme selection, critical literature review and development of hypotheses.
  • Project design, protocol preparation, solicitation of peer review, revision, and approval by research and human subjects review committee.
  • Project implementation, data collection, analysis, and interpretation

It is hoped that residents who participate in research for 6 months will be able to contribute to a manuscript for peer-review publication. For Fellows participating for 12 months, it is hoped that findings will be presented at a regional or national meeting and that a peer-review manuscript will be under review or in press by the end of the fellowship.

Outstanding active research programs exist in the areas of:

  • Health Services
    • Detection and treatment of mental disorders in primary care
    • Chronic pain
    • Epidemiology of comorbid disorders
    • Suicidal ideation in health care settings
    • Decision-making capacity
  • Dementias
  • Schizophrenia and End-of-Life Care
  • Ethics
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Psychiatric Aspects of End-of-Life Care
  • Telemental health