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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Physician Assistant Post-Graduate Residency in Mental Health


The mission of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) / Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) Physician Assistant Residency in Mental Health/Psychiatry is to graduate PAs who demonstrate clinical expertise in mental health care, high ethical behavior, strong leadership skills, cultural awareness, unsurpassed professionalism and a commitment to lifelong learning, who are prepared to care for the mental health needs of veterans and the general community.


Training for the year-long residency occurs in a dynamic clinical and academic environment, to expose the residents to basic and advanced psychiatric concepts and techniques. Training is provided in outpatient clinics, hospital inpatient units, and in psychiatric specialty clinics. Under the mentorship of our outstanding faculty, the resident gains the confidence and experience necessary to practice in a wide range of clinical settings.


The overriding goal of the program is to provide additional mental health/psychiatric education to assure that our PA residents will, by completion of the residency, exhibit competency in the following six areas: Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism and Systems-Based Practice through increased mastery of knowledge, skills and attitudes required to function as a MH provider within the VA and other settings.


• Generous stipend: $83,922 for 2017
• Vacation time, sick leave
• Eligible for health, vision, dental and life insurance
• Liability coverage
• Potential for Education Debt Reduction Program

Educational Components

• PA Residency didactic lecture series
• Service-based specialty lecture content
• Grand Rounds
• Conferences
• Faculty mentorship and supervision in clinical training
• Required psychiatry CME
Residents complete clinical rotations with mental health inpatient, outpatient, and specialty clinics. Including:

• General Mental Health Clinic
• Inpatient Mental Health Wards
• Substance Dependence Clinic
• ACT Team
• Emergency Department Psychiatry
• Mental Health Consult Liaison Service
• Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), Mental Health
• Pain Management Clinic

Additional Focus Areas

• Sleep Medicine
• Primary Care Mental Health
• Cognitive Assessment
• Post-Deployment Mental Health
• Mental Health Research
• Team-based, interdisciplinary care
• Mental Health Teaching/Academic Medicine

Admission Requirements

Qualified applicants must have each of the following by the time of application:

• Graduation or anticipated graduation from an ARC-PA accredited PA Program
• Certification by NCCPA or eligible to sit for exam
• US citizenship

Required documents include: transcripts from PA program and any graduate-level programs, documentation of NCCPA certification or eligibility, two letters of recommendation, personal essay. Competitive applicants will be interviewed.
*If accepted, students must graduate and receive board certification before beginning residency.

Applications are being accepted. Please contact:

J. Michael Smith, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C, CAQ - Psychiatry
 Physician Assistant Residency in Mental Health/Psychiatry

Michael E DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center
2002 Holcombe Blvd., ECL (110)
Houston, TX  77030
Tel: 713-791-1414, extension 26937

Key Faculty

J. Michael Smith, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C, CAQ-Psychiatry, Residency Training Director
Bengi B. Melton, MD, Residency Medical Director
Carl Fasser, PA-C, Baylor College of Medicine PA Program, Academic Advisor