The INOVA Experience!



Welcome! For over four decades, the Inova Fairfax–GW Partnership has provided residents with a an experience that is based on intellectual curiosity, compassionate care, formal and bedside teaching, mentorship, and scholarship aimed at developing skilled psychiatrists. 

This rotation is based at Inova Fairfax Hospital, a 923-bed tertiary care hospital located in the Washington DC Metro region, with Northern VA’s only Level I Trauma Center, the 5th busiest obstetrics program in the U.S., a multiorgan transplant center, as well as residency and fellowship programs in internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, family medicine, and obstetrics-gynecology.  Due to our geographic location, residents interact with patients from diverse cultural, educations, and socioeconomic backgrounds who are facing anywhere from common medical conditions to highly complex diagnostic challenges. In addition, our program also has several other clinical faculty members with training in CL psychiatry and expertise in women’s mental health, psychodynamic psychiatry, administrative psychiatry, community psychiatry, and other areas, who participate in teaching rounds and seminars.    

Psychiatry Rotations at INOVA Fairfax Hospital

Our partnership with INOVA Fairfax Hospital allows us to offer comprehensive and enriching learning experiences for first and second-year residents at INOVA hospital system. INOVA Psychiatry program is designed to provide residents with a strong foundation in psychiatry while exposing them to various aspects of inpatient care. Here's what you can expect during your first-year rotations:

First-Year Rotations

Inpatient Psychiatry Unit

During the first year of your psychiatry residency, you will have the opportunity to spend three months on the inpatient psychiatric unit at INOVA Fairfax Hospital. This experience is divided between two specialized units:

Mood Disorder Unit

On the Mood Disorder Unit, you will gain valuable exposure to patients dealing with a range of mood disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and various personality disorders. This rotation allows you to develop essential skills in assessing, diagnosing, and managing these conditions. You are able to hone your skills in both therapy and psychopharmacology. Residents typically manage 6-8 patients at a time. 

Psychotic Disorder Unit

The Psychotic Disorder Unit rotation focuses on patients with a wide spectrum of psychotic disorders like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. You will work with excellent attendings to learn how to assess, treat, and provide support for individuals dealing with severe and persistent mental illnesses. 

Supervision and Mentorship

Throughout your first-year rotations, you'll receive one-on-one supervision with experienced INOVA attending physicians. This close mentorship will provide you with invaluable insights into the practice of psychiatry and help you refine your clinical skills.

Weekly Seminars

In addition to hands-on clinical experience, you will participate in weekly seminars where you'll discuss challenging cases and the latest developments in the field of psychiatry. These sessions offer an excellent opportunity for learning and collaborative discussion.

Psychopharmacology Didactics

The first year rotation at INOVA psychiatry also includes dedicated psychopharmacology didactic sessions, ensuring that you gain a strong understanding of the medications commonly used in psychiatric treatment. You'll learn how to make informed decisions regarding drug therapy for your patients.

Second Year Rotations at INOVA Fairfax Hospital - Expanding Your Expertise

In your second year of psychiatry rotations at INOVA Fairfax Hospital, we continue to provide you with diverse and immersive experiences to help you become a well-rounded psychiatrist. Our program includes a variety of clinical rotations designed to broaden your understanding of psychiatric care. Here's what you can expect during your second year:

Psychiatry Consult Liaison Service

One of the key highlights of your second year INOVA experience is the Psychiatry Consult Liaison service rotation. In this role, you will provide essential support for a wide range of psychiatric issues affecting hospital inpatient services. This rotation will enhance your skills in assessing and managing psychiatric conditions in patients who are already admitted to the hospital for other medical or surgical reasons. You will collaborate closely with medical teams to deliver comprehensive care and timely interventions, making a significant impact on patients' overall well-being.

CATS (Chemical Addiction Treatment Services) Unit 

During your second year, you'll also have the opportunity to rotate on the CATS unit. This experience will provide you with the knowledge and expertise to manage patients with substance use disorders, specifically alcohol and opioid addiction. You'll gain hands-on experience with benzodiazepine protocols and subutex protocols, which are crucial in treating individuals going through detoxification. This rotation equips you with the skills to provide comprehensive addiction treatment, addressing a growing need in healthcare as substance use disorders on the rise. 

Geriatric Services

As part of our well-rounded curriculum, you will also have rotations on the Geriatrics service at INOVA hospital. This rotation allows you to focus on the unique mental health challenges faced by older adults. You'll gain insights into the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in the elderly population, developing expertise in addressing the specific needs of this demographic. 

Why is rotating at INOVA Fairfax an invaluable learning experience?

  • Comprehensive Clinical Exposure: Our first and second-year rotations provide comprehensive exposure to a wide range of psychiatric conditions, enabling you to develop a holistic approach to patient care.

  • Addiction Expertise: The CATS unit rotations will equip you with the necessary skills to address the growing challenge of substance use disorders.

  • Geriatric Focus: Our program includes a specific focus on geriatric psychiatry, allowing you to specialize in the unique needs of older adults.

  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Our Consult Liaison Service rotation emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and communication skills, preparing you for effective teamwork in healthcare.

  • Personal and Professional Growth: You'll continue to receive personalized mentorship, feedback, and support from our experienced faculty, fostering your growth as a compassionate and capable psychiatrist.