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Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship

Program Director

Christoffel Le Roux, MD
US Department of Veterans Affairs
Atlanta VA Medical Center
Mental Health Science Line (116), Room GB 160
1670 Clairmont Road
Atlanta, GA 30033
Email: christoffel.leroux@va.gov 

 

 
Level
PGY-5

Positions

3
 
Annual Stipend
$67,510 (2017-18)
Accreditation
ACGME
 
 

Welcome to the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program at Emory University.

The Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program is a comprehensive program designed to meet the educational needs of its individual fellows. The program is ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) accredited and prepare our fellows to comfortably meet the requirements for American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) certification in Addiction Psychiatry.

Two thirds of the year are spent at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Atlanta VA Medical Center and the remainder in diverse community based locations:

First, at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, fellows are supervised seeing patients in the Evaluation, Stabilization and Placement (ESP) outpatient clinic, the Substance Abuse Treatment Program’s (SATP) Consultation-Liaison (C&L) Service and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program. They learn how to screen for signs and symptoms of drug withdrawal using standardized scales like the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS) for opiate withdrawal and Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment (CIWA) for alcohol withdrawal. They learn about supportive psychopharmacological interventions and detoxification for alcohol, opiate and other substance use disorders. They learn the criteria for outpatient detoxification versus inpatient detoxification. The fellows are supervised initiating treatment and following up on patients until they reach medical stability where the patient can enter the next phase of treatment. They coordinate referral of those patients to various rehabilitation programs including Atlanta VA-based Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP’s) and available residential-type treatment based on criteria set by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Fellows develop a full sense of independence and competence to perform substance use assessments and develop initial treatment plans by the end of the rotation.

Second, in the IOP’s at the Atlanta VA, the fellows work with a team of psychologists, social workers, nurses, addiction therapists and attending psychiatrists (addiction-certified).  They learn how to work with a multidisciplinary team to deliver evidence based treatment in groups and individual settings. They get the opportunity to monitor the progress of each patient during the 28-day treatment program. Though 28-days is the standard for IOP, our University Model-IOP offers individualized lengths of treatment to meet patients’ needs based on their progress and availability to attend treatment. Fellows can also follow up with patients in the aftercare program to experience continuity of care beyond the intensive phase. During this typically slower rotation, fellows additionally spend one afternoon a week at Emory University’s Child and Adolescent Addiction Psychiatry Service to learn about the specifics of addiction in adolescents.

Third, at Atlanta’s Grady Hospital and Dekalb County’s Drug Court, fellows learn about treatment of substance use disorders in the community and the legal system, respectively. Additionally, at Talbot Recovery Center, closer to the airport, fellows have the unique opportunity to learn about private models of substance abuse treatment including treating impaired professionals like doctors, pilots and attorneys.

Psychotherapy for addiction: the fellows receive supervision on different modalities of evidence based psychotherapeutic interventions throughout the VA- based portion of the fellowship (8 months) from doctorate-level psychologist faculty.

While clinical exposure is very valuable for the trainees, they are expected to learn and understand the literature on pertinent to the evidence based treatments that they use during their rotations. To that end, we cover most of the APPI Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatments in didactics and landmark articles in our monthly Journal Club. We have an annual How-To-Teach project that is an ACGME requirement for scholarly activity where each fellow develops a lecture on an addiction-related topic of his/ her choice. These get presented in the fellowship program with related fellowship programs e.g. Geriatric Psychiatry and/ or Psychosomatic Psychiatry to refine the trainee’s role as subspecialty teacher. Didactics are typically conducted on Wednesdays.  

In the current climate in the U.S., it is more important than ever that professionals in this field have the training opportunity to be taught to fully conceptualize the disease of addiction and maintain their own integrity while treating patients and families making their way through the maelstrom of addiction. We believe understanding the dynamics of the disease of addiction and showing it respect is the first step towards making a true difference in our patients’ lives and in introducing them to the tenets of recovery.

The strength of our program is directly related to our dedicated faculty. Most of our faculty are former graduates of the program and former program directors of the program, which speaks to our culture of professionalism and mutual support of each other.

I am fortunate to have the invaluable support of Dr. Jocelyn Cox, our Associate Program Director who is a formidable clinician, teacher and individual. She greatly enhances the fellows’ understanding of the clinical and professional implications of being an addiction psychiatrist through her teachings.

Please refer to the links on the top right of this page for important additional information e.g. how to apply.

Specific questions about the program may be directed to me at christoffel.leroux@va.gov or our program coordinator, Ms. Alice Dokter at adokter@emory.edu or 404.727.0399.

Sincerely,

Christoffel Le Roux, MD
Program Director, Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Emory University School of Medicine