The Psychiatric Consultation-Liaison Service provides twenty-four hour coverage to the Vanderbilt University Hospital emergency room, the medical and surgical inpatient services and the associated outpatient clinics. PGY 2 residents share weekday coverage of this service to develop and sharpen skills in diagnosis, problem solving, and dispositional planning, all of which must be accomplished within constraints of time. Residents become familiar with community resources with the assistance of the Emergency Psychiatry ("Respond") staff. A broad appreciation of the complex interplay between physical illness and psychiatric signs and symptoms are targeted goals for residents. PGY 1 and PGY 2 residents consult to the emergency room and medical and surgical services at night. During the academic year, medical students are assigned to work with the residents.
Experience on this service offers a wide range of patient contacts from all strata of society with a spectrum of problems commonly encountered in a busy metropolitan hospital. Psychiatric residents work closely with residents and attending physicians from other services as well as with nurses, clerical staff, security personnel, and police officers. This contact fosters the development of skills in interdisciplinary communication. Forensic problems stimulate residents to become aware of the interrelationships of psychiatry and the law.
Supervision is provided by both faculty and the chief resident. An attending physician is also available for consultation with the psychiatry resident at all times, including evenings and weekends. Patients are presented at rounds attended by the supervising faculty, the residents on the service, the students on their clerkship and a psychiatric nurse specialist. Occasional attendees include a neuropsychologist and a representative from the graduate program in medical ethics.