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The fellowship is organized around Major Rotations (4 days per week) and Minor Rotations (1/2 to 1 day per week for 12 months). Major rotations can be combined to allow for participation in rotations simultaneously. The plan of training can be individualized to meet the fellow’s training goals and interests.

Bariatric Surgery

Supervisors: Stephanie Cox, PhD, ABPP or Cassie Brode, PhD

Location: Chestnut Ridge Center/ Department of Surgery

WVU Bariatrics offers a comprehensive surgical weight loss program including bariatric- trained surgeons, mid-level providers, dieticians, and psychologists. The fellow has the opportunity to work as part of this multidisciplinary team in both assessment and intervention capacities. Fellows receive training in pre-surgical psychological evaluations to determine a patient’s appropriateness for surgery. Additionally, fellows can provide treatment to patients both pre and post surgically. Concerns commonly addressed include engagement in behavioral changes, treatment of disordered eating behavior, stabilization of psychiatric symptoms, etc. The fellow also has the opportunity to attend team case review meetings and observe surgical procedures. The fellow will also have the opportunity to lead and/or co-lead a monthly support group for pre- and postoperative patients.

Adult Outpatient Psychology/ Psychiatry

Supervisors: Cassie Brode, PhD, Stephanie Cox, PhD, ABPP, Richard Gross, PhD, ABPP, Colleen Lillard, PhD, or Jennifer Ludrosky, PhD.

Location: Chestnut Ridge Center

Fellows provide assessment and evidence-based treatment to patients with a wide range of presenting problems including those with co-morbid medical and psychiatric concerns. Fellows will have regularly scheduled intakes and new patient evaluations throughout the rotation. Fellows are encouraged to have a mixture of both short-term and long-term therapy cases. Fellows receive supervision primarily from a Cognitive- Behavioral orientation, although fellows may also receive training in other evidence-based approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. We are able to select specific patient populations or disorders of interest in order to advance a fellow’s training in a specific area or to address any gaps in training.

Chronic Pain (optional depending on availability)

Supervisor: Richard Gross, PhD, ABPP

Location: Chestnut Ridge Center/Pain Management Center

Supervisor: Richard Gross, PhD, ABPP

Location: Chestnut Ridge Center/Pain Management Center

Chronic pain is often an associated comorbidity of obesity. For this reason, the fellow may wish to increase expertise in chronic pain. The goal of the rotation is to increase fellow’s knowledge of various chronic pain disorders often encountered in behavioral medicine settings including low back pain/ disk disease, radicular pain, neuropathic pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, and pain associated with malignancy, etc. Assessment is a primary focus of this rotation including evaluations to determine risk for opioid abuse/ misuse and pre-surgical psychological evaluations. The fellow will also participate in treatment for chronic pain patients including both individual and group treatment, including a CBT for chronic pain group. The fellow may also participate in an intensive treatment program for Opioid Use Disorders (COAT Program- Compressive Opioid Addiction Treatment). Opportunities to work across disciplines with various medical sub-specialties and to work within an interdisciplinary pain center also exist.

Supervision: Fellows will meet with each of their supervisors for a total of 2 or more hours per week of individual supervision. Additionally, fellows receive informal supervision in the course of observing therapy or conducting co-therapy with the supervisor, staffing after intake evaluations, and in multidisciplinary meetings.

Major Rotation Components:

Individual Therapy: Fellows will gain experience in individual psychotherapy throughout the year.  Expectations for caseload of therapy patients and evaluations will be determined by the primary supervisor in light of training goals. Depending on the fellow’s previous individual therapy experience, he or she frequently begins observing and modeling a supervisor providing therapy, advances to doing co-therapy with the supervisor and then begins seeing patients independently with supervision.  A strong emphasis is placed on conducting empirically supported treatments from a cognitive-behavioral perspective, both brief and more long-term interventions.

Evaluation/Assessment: Fellows will participate on a 12-month basis in a regularly scheduled intake and new patient evaluations throughout the rotations. During the initial phase of the rotation, emphasis will be given to conducting evaluations with each of the adult supervisors in his/her area of specialization. As the fellow progresses, the fellow will shift to performing evaluations independently with supervision. The most common problems evaluated are for chronic pain management, opioid risk assessments, bariatric surgery, and mood and anxiety disorders. During the fellowship year, the fellow will also gain experience in the interpretation of objective psychological testing.

Group Therapy: Fellows may participate as therapist or co-therapist in group therapy experiences. These may focus on management of chronic pain (with Dr. Gross) or the Binge Eating/ Emotional Eating Therapy Group (Dr. Cox).

Supervision: Fellows will meet with each of their supervisors for individual supervision. Additionally, fellows receive informal supervision in the course of observing therapy or conducting co-therapy with the supervisor, staffing after intake evaluations, and in multidisciplinary meetings.

Minor Rotation Experiences

Fellows may select a combination of Minor Rotations, adding up to 1/2 days per week total. Opportunities include a variety of settings and treatment modalities, inpatient and outpatient, and medical and psychiatric settings. The minor rotations are designed to complement the major rotations so as to ensure a well-rounded generalist training experience. Minor rotations are individualized, with the specific composition of the experiences determined based on the interests and training needs of the individual fellow. Efforts will be made to honor the fellow's preferences, but cannot be guaranteed. Experiences may be brief observational (such a 1-time observation) or last for up to 3 months. The minor rotation plan may be modified as the training year progresses.

At the beginning of the training year, fellows will discuss their preferences with the training director. The rotations will be chosen based on these interests, the training needs as determined by the training director in conjunction with the fellow, and the overall schedule. Modifications to the minor rotation plan may occur through the training year. Additional opportunities not listed may also be available.

Available experiences are listed below (depending on availability):

  • Cardiology
  • Pulmonology
  • Diabetes Clinic
  • OB/GYN
  • Endocrinology
  • Bariatric Surgery OR
  • Cancer Center
  • Psychiatry Consultation and Liaison
  • Family Medicine Inpatient Rounds
  • Primary Care
  • Neuropsychology