More behavioral health options coming in 2017

Starting next year, more patients in central Illinois will have access to psychiatry services thanks to a new residency program.

The Psychiatry Residency Program at the University of Illinois College of Medicine has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Residents have received their doctor of medicine degree and are training in the psychiatry medical specialty. They care for patients under supervision from medical school faculty.

Suzanna Kitten, MD, (pictured here) psychiatrist at Carle and interim residency program director explained, “The residency will offer in-depth training during the four-year program. Three partnering hospitals - Carle, Presence and VA in Danville - will provide training for the residents in multiple areas, including inpatient and outpatient psychiatry.”

Gerald Welch, MD, psychiatrist at Carle, and head of the Department of Psychiatry at the U of I, says the program will train a new generation of mental health providers and will provide psychiatrist candidates to recruit to the area.

“East central and southern Illinois have suffered from a dearth of psychiatric services for decades.  A residency training program in general psychiatry offers the prospect of alleviation of this problem at several levels. Training programs attract excellent clinicians with a desire to teach as well as practice, thereby improving the overall quality of care in a community and region. This training program will graduate psychiatrists who will be more likely to settle and practice in the area, which has historically been difficult to recruit to,” Dr. Welch said.

Dr. Kitten is excited to welcome the new residents.

“Lifelong learning and residency training are important components of not only medical education, but also contribute to Carle being a leader in education for the area. Teaching psychiatric residents and contributing to enhancement of mental health services in the area is something I very much look forward to doing.”