Pine Rest steps up with psychiatric residency program


Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services offers comprehensive behavioral health services in a compassionate environment. Photo via

Most people have heard that there is a growing shortage of primary care doctors. But are they also aware that there is a shortage of psychiatrists, too?

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services is doing something about this in a way that will benefit West Michigan.

Pine Rest announced that it plans to start a four year residency program for up to eight physicians training in psychiatry. Organizing such a program takes time, and it is hoped that the new residency will begin next summer.

There is great and growing demand for psychiatric diagnostic and treatment services in the community, and the residency will help meet that need. Look, for instance, at the national discussion about mental health following the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.

A majority of new physicians usually start work within 100 miles of the place where they complete their residencies, so it is hoped the residency will increase the number of available psychiatrists locally.

The residents in the program will have their clinical rotations in psychiatric inpatient and outpatient care, general medicine, consultation in acute care hospitals and neurology. Pine Rest has a presence in several communities throughout the state, and residents may have exposure to a variety of communities.

Although Pine Rest will be the main sponsor of the program, the program is being offered with much cooperation by others.

The hospital’s partnership with Saint Mary’s Health Care will mean that the network will play a big role in helping the residency.

The MSU College of Human Medicine will be the residency’s academic and research partner, while the Grand Rapids Medical Education Program will provide accreditation support.

Congratulations on a practical solution to a growing problem!

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