EVMS Psychiatry Residency - ESH

Training Facility - Eastern State Hospital

The forensic psychiatry rotation at Eastern State Hospital is a part-time rotation for two months in the fourth year of residency. The resident works with the forensic team, which includes an attending psychiatrist, a forensic psychologist, a registered nurse, and a licensed clinical social worker.


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Eastern State Hospital

Patients with criminal legal charges are referred to the team for a forensic evaluation to determine their competency to stand trial. This involves determining their ability to understand the legal charges and the possible outcomes of those charges, as well as determining their capacity to cooperate with their attorney and to participate in court proceedings.

The PGY-4 resident is present one day per week to participate in patient evaluation, court hearings, and co-leadership of a legal issues group for patients. The resident is also an active participant in team treatment meetings and court proceedings to determine if a defendant needs a 30-day emergency treatment or a 180-day involuntary commitment.

Approximately 500 patients are housed and treated in semi-autonomous buildings or building groups. The Hancock Geriatric Treatment Center provides care for patients over the age of 65. The Acute Admissions Unit, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program treat adult populations. Patients are housed on single sex and/or co-ed wards within each building. The program includes a level system which allows patients to gain increasing privileges and responsibilities as they improve during their stay, in preparation for their re-entry into the community.

Treatment is provided by multi-disciplinary teams comprised of physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and activities therapists. Many treatment approaches, such as individual and group psychotherapy, behavior modification, pastoral counseling, milieu therapy, and drug therapy, are used. The hospital offers a full program of activities including music, art, and recreation. A library, gymnasium, auditorium, game room, greenhouse, swimming pool, and picnic area are located on the hospital grounds. Vocational rehabilitation is available at the hospital through the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services. The hospital maintains a professional library with over 65 subscriptions to mental health-related journals as well as a subscription to PsychLit.

Eastern State Hospital maintains cooperative educational programs with many area universities, including The College of William and Mary, The Medical College of Virginia, Old Dominion University, and Eastern Virginia Medical School. Eastern State Hospital's rich historical, educational, and community-oriented background contribute to the clinical experience available in its training programs.