Acute Adolescent Inpatient Services

In addition to evaluating admissions, developing treatment plans and managing medications, you assume a primary therapist role for your own patients during this rotation.

You will receive direct and indirect supervision in using techniques covering the continuum of care. These include:

  • assessment
  • treatment planning
  • psychopharmacology
  • psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • crisis intervention
  • family therapy
  • parent guidance
  • discharge planning

In addition, you will have opportunities to sit in with all attending physicians while they evaluate patients and their families. Videotaping capacity helps you review your interviews and evaluations to improve your skills.

You will work closely with other mental health, medical and nursing professionals on the unit, and you will collaborate with community mental health programs and providers to coordinate discharge planning.

All admissions to the acute adolescent unit come through the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program located at Erie County Medical Center. You will assist the attending faculty in screening and triaging patients on this service.

You will see patients from highly diverse socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds admitted for short stays on a 16-bed inpatient unit at a busy county hospital.

This unit sees more than 300 new admissions per year with patients staying 15 days on average.

Diagnoses include:

  • mood disorders (40 percent)
  • externalizing disorders (80 percent; 30 percent of all patients have ADHD)
  • psychotic disorders (20 percent)
  • pervasive developmental disorders, including autism (5 percent)
  • other developmental disorders (learning, motor and/or communication disorders; 50 percent)
  • significant axis III diagnosis (15 percent)

Patients typically have full scale IQs of at least 65.

In addition to core didactics and teaching conferences, this unit has clinical teaching rounds every morning. You will take part in these activities and teach general psychiatry residents and medical students assigned to the service, under faculty supervision.


You will manage six to eight patients at a time while on this unit, taking on a variety of responsibilities, including:

  • comprehensive psychiatric evaluation
  • family assessment
  • planning treatment
  • evaluating and managing medication
  • psychoeducation
  • individual therapy
  • family therapy
  • parent guidance and training
  • discharge planning

Two to three times per week you will participate in group therapies with the attending physician.

You will be encouraged to pick up some of the inpatients you see during this rotation for ongoing treatment in your outpatient clinic caseload.

Rotation Details

  • Year 1 rotation
  • Length: four months

Clinical Site

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit
Fourth Floor
Erie County Medical Center
462 Grider Street
Buffalo, NY 14215
Phone: (716) 898-5420

Faculty and Staff

  • one child psychiatrist on faculty
  • one general psychiatrist on faculty
  • two social workers
  • collaborating teachers
  • occupational therapist
  • recreational therapist
  • nursing staff

Patient Population

  • ages 12 to 17
  • 60 percent female
  • 40 percent male
  • 60 percent Caucasian
  • 30 percent African-American
  • 8 percent Hispanic
  • 2 percent Native American