Pediatric residency practices face the challenge of providing both behavioral health (BH) training for pediatricians and psychosocial care for children. The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and Rochester General Hospital developed a joint training program and continuity clinic infrastructure in which pediatric residents and postdoctoral psychology fellows train and practice together. The integrated program provides children access to BH care in a primary care setting and gives trainees the opportunity to integrate collaborative BH care into their regular practice routines. During 1998-2008, 48 pediatric residents and 8 psychology fellows trained in this integrated clinical environment. The program's accomplishments include longevity, faculty and fiscal stability, sustained support from pediatric leadership and community payers, the development in residents and faculty of greater comfort in addressing BH problems and collaborating with BH specialists, and replication of the model in two other primary care settings. In addition to quantitative program outcomes data, the authors present a case example that illustrates how the integrated program works and achieves its goals. They propose that educating residents and psychology trainees side by side in collaborative BH care is clinically and educationally valuable and potentially applicable to other settings.
A companion report published in this issue provides results from a study comparing the perceptions of pediatric residents whose primary care continuity clinic took place in this integrated setting with those of residents from the same pediatric residency who had their continuity clinic training in a nonintegrated setting.