Community Psychiatrists

Roughly 1 in 10 patients with a behavioral health problem receives care from a psychiatrist in any given year due, in part, to the severe shortage of psychiatrists in most of the US. A psychiatric workforce that can partner effectively with primary care is essential to improving this situation. However, most psychiatrists are trained as solo practitioners who provide individual face-to-face care to a relatively small number of patients each year, whether in private practice, a community mental health center or another specialty practice.
Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative
UW Psychiatry is partnering with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to train and support a national network of psychiatrists in Integrated Care Psychiatry. The effort is a result of a $2.9 million Transforming Clinical Practices grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to the APA and will offer both online learning modules and in-person training at APA annual meetings and district branch meetings. Ultimately, psychiatrists will be able to join ongoing learning communities designed to continuously share information and advice about how to implement the skills of integrated care into their practices and to transform clinical practice.
The effort aims to train 3,500 psychiatrists during the four years of the program. Psychiatrists trained in the earlier years will participate in a learning network and serve as trainers for later cohorts. Each of the consulting psychiatrists will support as many as 50 primary care providers and consult on the care of about 400 patients a year. When fully implemented, psychiatrists will be able to support approximately 150,000 primary care providers and consult on the care of well over 1 million patients each year.
Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD, associate director for education at the AIMS Center and director of the University of Washington Integrated Care Training Program, is leading the training effort.
Online Learning
Applying the Integrated Care Approach, an online training module, teaches psychiatrists the principles behind effective integrated care and the skills necessary to provide psychiatric consultation to an integrated care team. Psychiatrists learn how to adapt psychiatric skills for team-based patient assessment and treatment, incorporate Collaborative Care principles into current practice, and start a new Collaborative Care team or improve upon an existing one. The module is full of interactive activities and guided reflections and is available for CME credit.
In-Person Training
In-person Integrated Care Psychiatry training will be made available at APA annual meetings and district branch meetings. APA members interested in receiving training should email
Psychiatric Consultant Role Training Module
The UW AIMS Center developed a training module that introduces the role of the psychiatric consultant on a Collaborative Care team with an emphasis on building connections with the PCP and care manager. Special attention is given to patient assessment and diagnosis, caseload consultations, and role as educator. Running time: 22 minutes