Letter from Program Director

Welcome to the ETSU Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Training Program!

You have chosen the most fascinating and intellectually challenging area of medicine. Psychiatry is a field with rapidly expanding horizons in all areas, including psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, neurobiology, and philosophy of mind. As Faculty, it is our challenge and privilege to promote your developing into highly skillful and empathic clinicians well-versed in all aspects of psychiatry.

We offer state-of-the-art psychotherapy and psychopharmacology training in highly diverse environments, including private practice, college student health, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, emergency room, and public health settings. You will learn how to integrate psychotherapy and psychopharmacology in short-, intermediate-, and long-term treatment situations.  During training, you will gain experience in tele-psychiatry, electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and substance use interventions, including the use of the opioid agonist, buprenorphine. There is ample opportunity to become involved in research. Assigned a mentor with whom you will work to develop literature-based presentations, you will be comfortable in communicating with professionals and the lay public concerning psychiatric issues, skilled in providing a public service, and able to promote your own career development.

Once residency is completed, during your initial five years as “Early Career Psychiatrists” and thereafter, we hope to remain in contact to support your ongoing development. This can occur through informal consultations and by inviting you to serve as supervisors of incoming trainee physicians. In addition, we would look forward to seeing you at our “Psychiatry in the Mountains Conference” offered each fall, providing the opportunity to return to the area and gain CME credits. These efforts reflect our faculty’s belief of continuous development of a psychiatrist throughout his/her career.

In our current era, many have lamented that psychiatry, with its rapid progress in biology and structured psychotherapies (both vital to our field), has an insufficient focus remaining on the “mind”. Were this to be the case, it would indeed be a great loss because, historically, it was psychiatry’s expertise with the mind that established its role as an element essential to the field of medicine. In this program, we place a strong emphasis on the mind and on the philosophy of mind.  Developing a grasp of current models of the mind and the application of these models to understanding our patients and ourselves is a fundamental, psychiatric skill. Through didactic trainings, group discussions, supervision, and guided explorations into techniques such as stress reduction, meditation, mindfulness, and contemplative practices, the program offers residents the opportunity to explore and better understand the nature of the mind, from both ideographic and nomothetic perspectives.

We hope you find our website interesting and informative. We are situated in an idyllic region, where verdant hills meet the soaring Appalachians. All four seasons are beautiful but, in particular, our month- long, fall foliage and red buds of spring are not to be surpassed.  We are pro-family and actively engage resident input in all aspects of training. We pursue our professional aims with great enthusiasm and strive to make the residency experience a rewarding one.  We look forward to speaking with you.

Jay Griffith, M.D.
Director of Resident Education
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Phone: 423-439-2225   Fax: 423-439-2250

 Jay Griffith



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