Optimizing Fit: Targeting a Residency Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison Rotation to Various Levels of Training

Scott R. Beach, Daniel Shalev, Steven V. Fischel, Robert J. Boland, Carrie L. Ernst

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Determining the optimal timing and structure for a core residency rotation in consultation-liaison psychiatry (CLP) remains a key challenge for program directors and rotation leaders. Previous surveys have been conducted regarding these questions, and guidelines from national organizations have been issued, but practices remain varied among institutions. Methods: We conducted a narrative review of the literature related to the timing of CLP rotations and generated consensus recommendations based on our experience as program directors, rotation leaders, and residents. Results: Explicit goals of CLP training in residency include identifying and treating psychiatric manifestation of medical illness and communicating effectively with primary teams. Implicit goals of training may includeconflict management, limit setting, and “thinking dirty.” Discussion: Although CLP rotations earlier in residency often create a better fit within the overarching curriculum and allow for generating early interest in the field, significant amounts of supervision are required, and consultees may look to attendings as the primary consultant. Conversely, while later rotations are sometimes challenging to structure with other outpatient responsibilities, they allow for greater autonomy and may map better onto the informal curriculum. A hybrid model, with training spread across multiple years, is another approach that may mitigate some of the disadvantages of confining consultation-liaison training to a single year. Compelling arguments can be made for placing the core CLP rotation in postgraduate year 2 or 3 or using a hybrid model. Regardless of placement, program directors and rotation leaders should be mindful of tailoring the rotation to the trainees' developmental stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-654
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • consultation-liaison
  • hidden curriculum
  • residency
  • training


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