Letter from the Director

The Program and City in a Nutshell

The fellowship schedule has been set up for inpatient experiences in the morning and longitudinal outpatient clinics in the afternoon rather than month to month blocks. The inpatient rotations are 6 months at the VA for med-psych and psych rehab experiences, and 6 months at St. Francis Hospital which is our main private teaching hospital. St. Francis is a Tenet Corporation Hospital with about 80 psychiatry beds, including a dementia/med-psych unit and adult unit. In the afternoon outpatient experiences provide longitudinal clinics for the full year at the VA, University, and nursing facilities. In one NH we are helping to develop a dementia unit. Didactics include geriatric psychiatry seminars and other University lectures including participation in a neuropsychology course with the Psychology Interns at the VA, the lecture series in Neuroscience Center plus other Departmental Grand Rounds.

I am involved with several projects that residents are encouraged to participate in. 3 recent QI projects have been looking at the safety and speed of response with 5x/week ECT over typical 3x/week administration; the practical value of ultra-brief ECT stimulation (it is supposed to lead to lower stimulus levels, less confusion, and better seizures, but at least one publication reported a 33% higher number of treatments); and a project to reduce our high failed appointment rate in our clinics. The first 2 are being written up by residents for presentation, and the last one was presented by a resident in a poster session at the APA. One can easily focus on ways to improve minority and elderly utilization. In addition, I am a co-PI on an NIMH submission to study connectivity patterns for normal, major depression, schizophrenia, and AD patients with and without delusions using a new imaging technology, Magnetoencephalography. In this study, we plan to establish normative data and retest subjects when remission to what patterns are state or trait dependent. Another project planned for an NIMH submission in January is a translational research project that I will be co-PI on regarding BDNF in depression. One of our basic scientists has developed a method to perform in-vivo tests of the BDNF promoter regions in leukocytes in depression (which mirror CNS activity in mice). We are hoping to develop the first meaningful biological marker for antidepressant choice. I also have a strong interest in cultural issues and aging. (Of course you know that a clinician’s involvement in these types of studies is to establish the diagnostic criteria, recruit and test subjects, and learn.)

I think you will get good clinical exposure and didactics from any of ACGME Accredited Fellowships, but you need a mentor to help open doors for. I believe we can offer that.

Memphis is the home of Elvis Presley (Graceland), Justin Timberlake, B.B. King, the World Championship Memphis In May BBQ Competition (featured on the Food Channel), Memphis In May Music Festival, the National Civil Rights Museum (my wife is Director of Development there), world famous Stax, Sun Records, Beale Street, International Blues Challenge, Blues Music Awards, Memphis Grizzlies, Mirimichi Golf Course, Memphis Redbirds, and a lot of faux Egyptian architecture. It is one of the most affordable cities in the U.S. and quite a charming city.

Kenneth Sakauye, M.D.,
Program Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship

Psychiatry symbol

Department of Psychiatry
920 Madison, Second Floor
Memphis, Tennessee 38105

Program Director:
Kenneth M. Sakauye, M.D.

Leigh Ann Barns
Phone: 901-448-2302
Fax: 901-448-1684

Sponsoring Information:
The University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

A Recent Publication:

Geriatric Psychiatry Basics
W.W. Norton & Co., New York

"Geriatric Psychiatry Basics is that increasingly rare exposition by a master clinician. Seasoned clinicians and resident students alike can learn from him."
Dan G. Blazer MD, Ph.D., (Duke University)

"...the best practical guide yet for those who have to navigate the complex world of geriatric psychiatry. Psychiatric residents, mental health professionals, family physicians, and psychogeriatric specialists should all have this excellent book in their libraries."
Joel Sadavoy, M.D. (University of Toronto)