Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center / Weill Cornell Residency Program in Psychosomatic Medicine

The Psychosomatic Fellowship combines the resources of two renowned institutions: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center (NYPH/WCMC), both of which operate under the academic umbrella of Weill Cornell Medical College. The program trains approximately six fellows each year.

The combined program takes advantage of the strong history of psychosomatic medicine at the two institutions. The core educational mission at MSKCC has centered on fellows for over 25 years, during which time members of the department essentially created the field of psycho-oncology. During that same period, the Consultation-Liaison Service at NYPH-WCMC has been a core educational experience of Weill-Cornell psychiatric residents, medical students, and fellows from other medicine specialties.

Since the creation of the combined fellowship in 2006, the fellows have spent two months per year at NYPH/WCMC, and nine months at MSKCC. In addition, NYPH/WCMC psychiatry residents have spent part of their core second-year C-L rotation at MSKCC. The first year of the fellowship is primarily clinical, while the optional second year provides additional time for research and administration. Liaison experiences at NYPH-WCMC are available throughout the fellowship.

There are several advantages to a combined program. The fellowship retains an emphasis on psycho-oncology, but the two-month general hospital experience significantly diversifies the clinical and educational opportunities. The enhanced exposure to Weill-Cornell psychiatric residents and medical students expands teaching responsibilities, and NYPH-WCMC liaison experiences can be both interesting and a way to develop specialized clinical expertise and research experience.

The faculty of the combined program may be the strongest of any fellowship program in the country. For example, three of the fellowship's faculty members have been president of the national organization, the Academy for Psychosomatic Medicine (APM), while over a dozen have been named APM fellows.

Andrew Roth, M.D. is the Director of the Fellowship. Full-time faculty at MSKCC include David Kissane, M.D., the Alfred P. Sloan Professor and Chair of Psychiatry; Jimmie Holland, M.D., the Wayne E. Chapman Professor and former Chair of Psychiatry; William Breitbart, M.D., the Chief of the Psychiatric Service and Vice Chair of the Department; as well as Drs. Abraham Bartell, Philip Bialer, Miriam Friedlander, Julia Kearney, Marguerite Lederberg, Tomer Levin, Mary Jane Massie, Jamie Ostroff, and Steven Passik. Further information about the MSKCC site can be found [[here]] (

While on their clinical months at NYPH/WCMC, fellows are supervised by the four full-time C-L attendings. John W. Barnhill, M.D. is Site Director and is Chief of the C-L Service at NYPH/WCMC. He is also Chief of the Division of Psychiatry at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Dr. Stephen J. Ferrando is Director of the Division of Psychosomatic Medicine and Vice Chair of the Weill Cornell Department of Psychiatry; he has a special liaison focus on liver transplantation. Dr. Joseph Murray does liaison work with the cardiac team at Weill Cornell and is the course director for Medicine, Patients, and Society, a first-year core course for Weill Cornell medical students. Dr. Jeffrey Freedman, who had previously directed the consultation service at St. Vincent's Hospital, has recently joined the NYPH/WCMC C-L service; he is also involved with inpatient psychiatry. Dr. Milton Viederman, the former Director of the C-L Service, does weekly psychodynamically-oriented rounds with all of the trainees. Liaison work has most frequently been done with either Dr. Margaret Altemus or Dr. Mallay Ochiogrosso of the WomenÕs Clinic; Dr. Joann Difede, who directs the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies; or with one of the psychiatrists at the Center for Special Studies (Drs. Jessica Daniels, Todd Loftus, Chloe Nims, and/or Christina Treece).

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