Michael J. Vergare, MD
Professor & Chair,
Department of Psychiatry
& Human Behavior
Our program is affiliated with Jefferson Medical College which was founded in 1825, one of the oldest and largest medical schools in the country and an institution rich with medical history. Jefferson’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Fellowship Program was established in 1977, and its longstanding accreditation was most recently renewed in 2011 for the maximum cycle length of five years by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Our program has a strong legacy of training child and adolescent psychiatrists, and our graduates are successfully practicing both in the Philadelphia region and throughout the country.
Our primary goal is to develop top clinicians practicing child and adolescent psychiatry. We are committed to academic excellence and combine superior patient care, strong teaching, clinical research opportunities, and faculty mentorship to achieve this goal. We provide you with a collegial training environment that will encourage intellectual curiosity and stimulate your professional and personal development.
Why should you consider training at Jefferson? Let me list the main reasons:
History: Our first class of fellows graduated in 1979. We have the benefit of over a quarter century of experience in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric fellowship training.
Variety and quality of clinical experience: Over the two years of the child fellowship, you will experience 13 high-quality clinical site rotations, all with highly regarded on-site clinical faculty supervisors. You will gain ongoing treatment experience with a variety of assigned patients in the Jefferson Outpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic. You will be exposed to the broad age and developmental ranges, treating child and adolescent psychiatric patients with a broad range of clinical diagnoses. You will treat preschoolers to late adolescents in a full spectrum of settings, including inpatient, emergency intervention, community clinic, intensive community based family services, day program, forensic, pediatric consultation and liaison, and pediatric neurology settings. Our inpatient sites, emergency psychiatry service, forensic provider, and intensive based behavioral health programs enjoy reputations as high-quality clinical providers, among the best mental health services for children and adolescents in the Philadelphia region. Through both years, you have direct access to funded clinical research mentors.
Formal Teaching: Our training program provides high-quality formal didactic and seminar-style sessions led by expert child and adolescent faculty and invited lecturers. These sessions include a psychodynamic continuous case conference, journal club, case conferences, and lectures. Our trainees have opportunities to become involved in teaching and supervision activities with medical students, general psychiatry residents, pediatric residents, and multidisciplinary treatment team staff in multiple clinical contexts. Our fellows, supported by a faculty mentor, will present at departmental grand rounds on a clinical topic of their choice during the second year of training. These teaching experiences prepare our fellows for potential careers as academic faculty and clinical supervisors.
Clinical Research Opportunities: During the two years of training, our child and adolescent psychiatric fellows have opportunities to become involved in or develop clinical research interests and projects. The resources of a major academic department of psychiatry and medical school are available to support these projects with library, statistical, and research design guidance. Opportunities include ongoing clinical research activities that occur at major training sites, and participation in the second year in a clinical research continous seminar where the fellow receives direct supervision with a nationally recognized clinical research faculty member. Throughout their training tenure, our fellows will have opportunities and faculty support to pursue their individual research interests.
Collegiality and Faculty Mentorship: Our fellowship training program in child and adolescent psychiatry has a strong reputation for providing the highest quality clinical training experience within an academic department in which they receive collegial peer and faculty support. We have an excellent mix of clinical faculty supervisors who are committed to professional mentorship of our trainees. We are large enough to provide a breadth of training experience, while also remaining small enough to provide effective individualized mentoring and group camaraderie.
Progressive Leadership: With a fellowship training program director, an associate training program director, and curriculum director, we have leadership resources firmly dedicated to support the quality of our training program. We are progressive with a dynamic mix of experience and youth that positions us to continually innovate and strengthen our training program. We have firm support from our department and the medical college to continually develop our core mission of providing highest quality clinical training in child and adolescent psychiatry.
Location: We are located in Center City Philadelphia in the heart of the downtown area, which is literally blocks from Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the National Constitution Center, Chinatown, major shopping districts, and the Market East commuter train station. It is a safe area in which to live, work, and play. For the sports fan, we have a number of major professional sports teams (the Eagles, the recent World Champion Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers). Philadelphia is home to the Wells Fargo Center, which hosts a number of concerts and other major entertainment events, and there are smaller contemporary concert venues in Center City. The Philadelphia Convention Center is a ten-minute walk from Jefferson’s campus. Our city also has the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, home of our world renowned Philadelphia Orchestra. Live theatrical performances surround Jefferson at the Academy of Music and the Walnut Street Theater. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has international stature as a museum of fine art, both historic and contemporary. Lastly, we are within two hours of New York City, Baltimore, and the New Jersey shore communities, and within three hours of Washington, DC. Visit the site www.gophila.com to explore what Philadelphia has to offer you.
A little bit about me: I graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1985, and completed my general psychiatry residency at Hahnemann University Hospital 1985-1988, followed by my child and adolescent psychiatric fellowship also at Hahnemann 1988-1990. I began my academic career at Hahnemann University School of Medicine as Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Service in 1990, transferring to Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute in 1996 as the Director of its combined Child and Adolescent Inpatient Services within the Department of Psychiatry that later became Drexel University College of Medicine. I left inpatient work in 1999 to become Associate Medical Director for Children’s Services at Community Behavioral Health, the non-profit MCO for mental health Medicaid services within Philadelphia. In 2002, I assumed the position of Medical Director for Wordsworth Human Services, a human services agency providing a wide range of special education, foster care, and a broad continuum of clinical services within the Philadelphia region. I became Division Director and Director of Fellowship Training of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry within Jefferson’s Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior in 2007, while remaining Medical Director at Wordsworth. I am also currently a recemt President of the Regional Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, an affiliate of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
What does this mean for you as a prospective fellow? I feel I offer a breadth of clinical, academic, and administrative experience that enables me to ensure that your residency training experience at Jefferson’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has the highest clinical relevance and academic excellence to prepare you for a successful career as a child and adolescent psychiatrist. The Division faculty and leadership stand committed to see that all of our fellows are expertly trained and supported fully in pursuing their unique career goals.
I invite you to explore our web site to learn about who we are.
Michael J. Vergare, MD
Mitchell J. Cohen, MD
Vice Chair for Psychiatric Education
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