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Train New Trainers Primary Care Psychiatry Fellowship

An interprofessional fellowship certificate program for improved access to mental health care

The UC Irvine Train New Trainers (TNT) Primary Care Psychiatry (PCP) Fellowship is a year-long clinical education program for primary care-oriented trainees and providers who wish to receive advanced training in primary care psychiatry. Primary care psychiatry is targeted at the most frequently encountered mental health-related disorders and treatments. We train primary care providers to:

  • Recognize symptoms of common mild to moderate psychiatric conditions
  • Complete a quick and targeted assessment
  • Provide evidence-based treatment using cognitive therapy techniques, motivational interviewing and appropriate medications

UC Davis launched the fellowship in 2016, enrolling 35 fellows from around California. In 2018 the program was moved to UC Irvine. We have trained over 500 partipcants across the United States!


2019 TNT PCP Fellows

                                                                   2019 Fellows

Mentorship and Teaching

The primary goal of the TNT PCP fellowship is to provide mentorship and teaching skills in the area of primary care psychiatry. Trainees will learn:

  • How to complete an evidence-based and efficient psychiatric interview in the busy primary care or medical setting
  • How to effectively diagnose and treat commonly encountered psychiatric conditions such as mood, anxiety, psychotic and substance misuse disorders
  • How to teach these principles to their primary care colleagues

Note that this is not a traditional or Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-approved fellowship.

2022 TNT PCP Fellowship application cylce is now open!

Meeting the Need: Why Train Primary Care Providers in Psychiatric Care »

Meeting the Need: Why Train Primary Care Providers in Psychiatric Care

A message from the program co-directors, Robert McCarron, DO, and Shannon Suo, MD

Recent reports show an alarming disconnect between supply and demand for psychiatric services in the United States. According to a 2017 report by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the ratio of psychiatrists to population in the U.S. declined by 10 percent between 2003 and 2013. Nearly half the nation’s psychiatrists are private practitioners who operate on a cash-only basis. Fifty-five percent of counties in the continental U.S. have no psychiatrists, and 77 percent have a severe shortage.

Meanwhile, demand for mental health services is on the rise. Depression is now a leading cause of disability in the U.S. Estimates indicate one in four families are struggling with some aspect of mental illness. A recent Milbank Memorial Fund report said among children ages 9 to 17, as many as one in five may have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder.

Primary care practitioners are living with the fallout. An estimated 40 percent of patients seen in a primary care setting on any given day have an active psychiatric problem, while half the patients referred by a primary care provider for psychiatric treatment are unable to access services.

Exacerbating the gap in appropriate care: The vast majority of primary care providers have suboptimal training in psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. 

Are we creating a replacement for psychiatrists? No. Our fellows are trained in the basics of treating mild to moderate illnesses, including anxiety and depression. Patients with more serious conditions still would be referred to specialists.

Who benefits?

Providers in these specialties could benefit from this fellowship:

  • Internal medicine
  • Family medicine
  • Emergency medicine
  • Neurology
  • Pediatrics
  • Physician assistants
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Psychiatric nursing

Mental health providers may also benefit from this fellowship and are welcome to apply.

TNT PCP Curriculum & Core Topics »

TNT PCP Curriculum and Core Topics

The curriculum includes over 50 required hours of training and will lead to a certificate of completion from the UC Irvine Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior. 

  • Two in-person, weekend teaching sessions (24-28 CME hours)
  • One hour per month of in-person or teleconferenced mentoring sessions with a TNT PCP fellowship faculty member/mentor 
  • Twice-per-month, live case-based learning sessions with a focus on integrated primary care psychiatry (20 CME hours). Learning sessions are held on the second Monday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. and the third Monday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. via teleconference.

A minimum of 45 CME hours will be included as part of the fellowship tuition for 100 percent attendance of all sessions.

Reading materials will be provided, including a primary care psychiatry curriculum, which was developed by UC Irvine family medicine, internal medicine and psychiatry faculty. An emphasis will be placed on how best to provide culturally/linguistically competent and person-centered clinical care.

Pre-, midpoint and post-testing will be used to measure changes in practice patterns and general knowledge in primary care psychiatry. Upon completion of this training, fellows will receive a certificate of completion from the UC Irvine Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior.

Core topics

Core TNT PCP topics include:

  • The primary care-based psychiatric interview using the "AMPS model"
  • The mental status examination
  • How to practice culturally and linguistically competent patient care
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Trauma-related disorders
  • Substance misuse disorders
  • Primary and secondary psychotic disorders
  • Somatic symptoms disorders
  • Pain psychiatry
  • Neurocognitive disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Suicide risk assessment in the primary care setting
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Supportive psychotherapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Fundamentals of psychopharmacology
  • Population-based/collaborative care
  • Cultural Psychiatry and utilization of the Recovery Care Model
  • Overview on how to train providers in primary care psychiatry
TNT PCP Fellowship Application Process, Program Requirements »

TNT PCP Fellowship Application Process, Program Requirements

Eligible participants must be licensed physicians, nurse practitioners or physician's assistants. To apply, complete an application online. Upon acceptance to the program, the $15,500 tuition payment must be received before initiation of fellowship year. 2022 TNT PCP Fellowship application cylce is now open. Click here to apply.

Program requirements

TNT PCP fellows must complete the following to receive a certificate of completion:

  • Attend and participate in both weekend learning sessions.
  • Attend at least 80 percent of teleconferenced teaching sessions.
  • Participate in 11 hours of individualized mentorship. (Feb-Dec)
  • Complete all surveys.
TNT PCP Fellowship Social Media »


5 Minute Consult

Sit back as faculty from UCI/UC Davis Train New Trainers Primary Care Fellowship take you through clinical scenarios and impart practical and essential mental health information for busy primary care providers in just 5 minutes.



Contact Information

For more information or questions about the TNT PCP Fellowship, please contact Kamilah McGuire, Program Coordinator, at or 949-824-4910.