LSUHSC School of Medicine Psychiatry | LSU Psychology Sample Elective Experiences
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Sample Elective Experiences

Spirit of Charity Trauma Center

The Spirit of Charity Trauma Center at University Medical Center, New Orleans (UMCNO) is the only Level 1 trauma center in Southeast Louisiana.  It is also one of the busiest trauma centers in the country and a national leader in trauma related research, teaching, prevention, and outpatient care programs.  Located adjacent to the LSUHSC main downtown campus, the Trauma Center provides multidisciplinary treatment to patients with acute traumatic injuries such as motor vehicle accidents, gunshot wounds, and other accidental or violent injuries.  The Trauma Psychology team in the Trauma Center is made up of Dr. Erika Rajo, LSUHSC faculty psychologist, Alisha Bowker, LCSW, and psychiatry and psychology trainees. The team provides psychological screening for PTSD and depression for all traumatic injury patients, screening and brief intervention (SBI) for patients with elevated blood alcohol levels, and consultation and brief interventions to inpatients who have psychological problems during their treatment and recovery at UMCNO.  Issues typically include acute stress disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, and other mental illness.  The psychology team works closely with the inpatient psychiatry team and the trauma and orthopedic surgeons to provide comprehensive patient care.


The Trauma Psychology team also provides outpatient behavioral health services at the Trauma Recovery Clinic (TRC), based in the UMCNO trauma surgery clinic. The TRC improves continuity of care from inpatient to outpatient services following traumatic injury and provides short- and long-term psychotherapy and medication management services to trauma patients and their family members. TRC clinicians are are integral members of patients’ medical treatment teams and, in addition to direct patient services, provide consultation to surgeons and other treatment team members to support patients’ physical and psychological healing.


As part of the Spirit of Charity Psychiatry Research Unit, the trauma psychology team also participates in research initiatives including prevention and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and other psychological sequelae following traumatic injury, virtual reality exposure therapy for gunshot victims, and violence prevention programs.


Supervised by Dr. Erika Rajo, psychology interns will have the opportunity to provide psychological screenings, brief interventions, and individual and family psychotherapy treatment for inpatients at the Trauma Center.  Interns are also welcome to participate in the numerous research projects through the Spirit of Charity Psychiatry Research Unit. For more information about UMC and the Trauma Center visit

Clinic rotation involves individual and group psychotherapy and psychological and neuropsychological evaluations with a wide array of patients who are HIV positive. In addition to typical outpatient presentations we address addiction and chronic pain issues.  This rotation is supervised by Dr. Phil Griffin and is located within University Medical Center in New Orleans.

Since 2006, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Department of Psychiatry (LSUHSC) has worked collaboratively to meet the psychosocial and educational needs of students and families in various schools in and around the New Orleans area.  The purpose of the school rotation for psychology interns is to improve the interns understanding of the role a clinical psychologist plays in a school setting. More specifically, the intern learns how to provide effective consultation services to school administrators and teachers regarding challenging students at school and managing difficult behaviors. Interns will also learn about techniques and treatment styles that are different in a school setting from an outpatient setting. Interns will conduct classroom observations, create functional behavior assessments and behavior intervention plans. Clinical psychologists do not always get to experience a child population in a school setting whereas trainees who are seeking specialization in school psychology will be well versed in this aspect of training. It is important for clinical psychology trainees to gain experience working with children in a school setting because children spend most of their day at school. The relationships children build with peers and teachers are important aspects of their development.  This elective is under the supervision of Dr. Michelle Moore.

Interns will spend 1 day per week on the pediatric inpatient psychiatric unit at Children’s Hospital. During this rotation, they will have the opportunity to participate in the psychology consult service, where they will complete psychological evaluations focused on differential diagnosis and cognitive assessment. Opportunities are also available for interdisciplinary learning through attendance at treatment team meetings and observation of groups, family sessions, and individual interviews.  This elective is supervised by Dr. Amy Henke who is a clinical psychologist on faculty in the Department of Psychiatry.