Marshall School of Medicine Approved for Psychiatry Residency Program


The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine announced Thursday they have been approved to start a psychiatry residency program. Marshall’s program will become only the third in the state to train the specialists experts say the region desperately needs.

Administrators at the Marshall University School of Medicine see substance abuse as just one of many problems the new psychiatry residency program can impact. Dr. Suzanne Holroyd is the new chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine.

“There is a huge underserved need for substance abuse training at all levels including psychiatry in this state and so our residents are going to get a wonderful treatment in that,” Holroyd said.

The school of medicine has been awarded initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to offer a psychiatry training program beginning in 2015. The ACGME is the national body responsible for post-doctoral training programs in the U.S. Holroyd said with more psychiatrists in the region, problems like substance abuse can be better handled.

“They’ll be learning very specific things about diagnosis and treatment in specific psychiatric illnesses, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, panic disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, all of which are huge problem that have a huge economic and social and functional impact on the community and families and individuals,” Holroyd said.

Holroyd said there is a lack of psychiatrists not just in the state or region, but throughout the country. She said the program like this could help the region start to catch many of the problems at the beginning, when patients are young.

“There are so many issues for children, depression, bullying, eating disorders, stress and all kinds of things, ADHD and again our residents will be learning all those kinds of information and specific diagnosis and treatments, because ideally it’s best to treat people while young and be preventative if possible,” Holroyd said.

The psychiatry residency will be a four-year program that will begin recruiting Year 1 residents in the fall of 2014 for training beginning July 1, 2015. The residents will do their training at seven sites in the area including Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall Psychiatry, Mildred Mitchell Bateman State Hospital, Prestera Center for Community Mental Health, River Park Hospital, St. Mary’s Medical Center and the Huntington Veterans Affairs Medical Center, all of which are located in Huntington.

Dr. Joseph Shapiro is the dean of the School of Medicine.

“If you think about the general health of the community, the problems of substance abuse, of obesity, metabolic syndrome, these things all go hand-in-glove,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro said the development of a solid psychiatric program can mean better healthcare all around.

“Even though many of the issues that we’re talking about are handled by our primary care providers, the training of these providers can be done more optimally if we have a robust psychiatric and behavioral sciences group,” Shapiro said.

Marshall will be the third psychiatry residency program in West Virginia, joining West Virginia University-Morgantown and West Virginia University-Charleston Area Medical Center.