Welcome from the Training Director

Image of Program Director Craigan Usher MD

In the training program we are eager to review best clinical practices as outlined in research literature and articulated by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). We also value best educational practices as outlined by the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), by which we are fully accredited. We also feel it essential to voice our individual values, conceptualizations of health, and to ask and listen for those values that the young people and families with whom we are privileged to work hold dear. We thus adhere closely to the three pillars of evidence-based medicine, anchoring the training program by 1-focusing on research evidence; 2-enhancing clinical judgment—; and 3-listening closely to patient preferences and values.

Theoretically, borrowing from collaborative problem-solving, we start with a simple statement: people do well when they can. Though this philosophical point of departure is simple, the paths we take (to learn about why children, teens, or families are not doing well and what we can do to help) are not. Our endeavors take us to geographic locations around the city, to inpatient units, bookstores, residential treatment programs, preschools, day treatment centers, hospital rooms at Doernbecher Children's Hospital. In our seminars, we also travel an array of intellectual paths, ranging from critical theory to collaborative problem solving, epigenetics to evolutionary psychology, psychopharmacology to psychotherapy.

In the division of child and adolescent psychiatry, you will find faculty members with knowledge in a wide array of biopsychosocial approaches. Our core team includes individuals with expertise in functional neuroimaging, biomedical/genetic research, sleep medicine, psychopharmacology, systems and family therapy, psychoanalytic and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, community psychiatry, and many other facets of psychiatry. Our program values curiosity, about people, practice, evidence—and sometimes lack of evidence—about what works and for whom.

Finally, it is important to share that training at OHSU means becoming part of a community of practice and thought. Our fellows and faculty provide service, teaching and also learn from other disciplines through our work on campus with the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center, on the Doernbecher Children's Hospital Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic, on the Pediatric Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison service, and within the OHSU Department of Sleep Medicine. We also have close ties to the general psychiatry training program. We have formed important community partnerships, providing a service and learning from our faculty and patients who are "Off the Hill" (for example, at Portland Providence Medical Center, at Trillium Family Services Parry Center Campus, and at Youth Villages/Christie Care). A talented group of off-campus faculty members who provide supervision also help our fellowship stay connected to the community.Choosing a child and adolescent psychiatry training program is an important step in your life. I wish you the best as you try and find a "goodness of fit" and encourage you to email me with any questions.

Fellows kayaking during orientation