The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston

Clinical Programs


The University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center (HCPC)

HCPC serves as the main site for inpatient psychiatry training. Residents spend 9 months in their PG2 year. Electives are available in the PG4 year according to program resources and interests among senior residents. The facility also serves as the inpatient site for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry residency training program.

HCPC is licensed to operate 250 beds. At present, the facility operates 190 inpatient beds and a partial hospitalization program. The inpatient facility handles more than 5,000 admissions per year spanning an age range of 4 years to the late 80’s. The average length of stay averages between 10 and 11 days. The inpatient services consist of 7 general psychiatry wards, each with a capacity of between 12 and 25 beds, a child and adolescent ward of 20 beds each and a 16 bed sub-acute unit for Harris county juvenile offenders.

Inpatients are distributed by ethnicity as follows: African American 40%, Caucasian 39%, Hispanic 18%, other 3%. The diagnostic spectrum is broadly distributed as follows: schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and major depression account for about 68% of the total. The remaining 32% consists of various diagnoses Including schizoaffective disorder, psychoses NOS, other mood disorders, and a variety of additional diagnoses. Many of the patients have co-occurring substance abuse or dependence disorders.

Residents round on patients with their attending physician 5 days a week, Monday-Friday and take call in rotation for the purpose of both hospital coverage and assessment of new admissions. These on-call night rotation schedules are under the supervision of the Chief Resident. Two residents from the PGY II year take call daily. A “short call” resident is assigned to help the primary “long call” resident in the completion of histories and physicals. Generally the “short call” resident is able to go home after the bulk of the new admissions are worked up. As back up to the in house residents, a PG III or IV resident, a child and adolescent psychiatry resident, a general adult attending, and a child and adolescent faculty member are all available by phone for consultation or to come in if necessary. HCPC serves as the primary site for inpatient training, but the residency training offices are located in the Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Building, one mile away. Weekly informational meetings are held for all residents at the Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Building. Monthly meetings with the residents assigned to UT-HCPC and the hospital Medical Director are held to address resident issues and concerns.

The UT-HCPC attending faculty consists of 18 physicians, all members of the Department of Psychiatry. Residents work with a multidisciplinary team which is led by an attending psychiatrist. The resident also makes regular clinical contact with a social worker who functions primarily as a case coordinator and aftercare planner, a primary nurse as well as professionals from other disciplines, including personnel from dietary, chaplain’s office, psychology, activity therapy, and pharmacy who are available as needed to assist with patient care.

The Lyndon Baines Johnson General Hospital

The LBJ General Hospital is one of two of Houston’s public general hospitals. LBJ Hospital, which is located in Northeast Houston, is operated by The University of Texas faculty and housestaff. It is approximately 12 miles from the primary training site. Both city hospitals are referral centers to the Harris County Psychiatric Center. When available, PG4 residents work on consult liaison at this site.

The Memorial Hermann Hospital

The Memorial Hermann Hospital is located 4.6 miles from the Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Building and it is the primary teaching hospital of The University of Texas-Houston Medical School but no longer has inpatient psychiatry beds. The Memorial Hermann Hospital includes Memorial Hermann Children’s Hospital and operates more than 600 beds. It is staffed by 3,000 employees and serves some 15,000 patients and their families each month.

The Memorial Hermann Hospital adjoins and is connected to the Medical School and has over 165,000 square feet of space. The hospital is the first that was designated by the state as a trauma center and is now the largest trauma center in the city. It serves more than 40,000 patients each year. The emergency service includes the Hermann Life Flight helicopter system.

The University of Texas Department of Psychiatry provides consultation services for children, adolescents, and adults weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Memorial Hermann Hospital. The Memorial Hermann consult services was re-established in May 1999 and has two full time attending as well as a PG4 resident to the service on a regular basis during the week.

The Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Building(BBSB)

The BBSB is the ambulatory care facility of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of The University of Texas – Houston Health Sciences Center. The building in which this program is located is a six-floor facility in which the department of Psychiatry occupies the first three floors.

Parking facilities for the residents and faculty are located across the street from the BBSB building. All seminars for the PG-3 and PG-4 residents take place in the BBSB building.

The clinical programs and resident assignments include:

  • Adult Intake
  • Adult Teaching Clinic
  • Long-Term Psychotherapy

The BBSB offers comprehensive psychiatric outpatient services to children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Patients receive individualized treatment plans from a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychiatric residents, psychologists, and nurses.

The BBSB, under the operation of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences serves as an institute for clinical, educational, and research activities. BBSB offers about 20,000 patient visits per year.

The patient population is very broad in terms of ages, psychiatric conditions, and ethnic backgrounds. The rotations at BBSB consist of 2 days per week required rotation for PG3 residents.


The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is located in Houston on the sprawling campus of the Texas Medical Center. It is one of the world’s most respected centers devoted exclusively to cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. The MDA Cancer Center is conveniently located across the street from the Mental Sciences Institute (appx. .25 miles) . Since 1944, more than 600,000 patients have turned to M. D. Anderson for cancer care in the form of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy or combinations of these and other treatments. This multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer was pioneered at M. D. Anderson. Because they focus only on cancer, experts here are renowned for their ability to treat all types of cancer, including rare or uncommon diseases.

This year, more than 74,000 persons with cancer will receive care at M. D. Anderson, and about 27,000 of them will be new patients. Approximately one-third of these patients come from outside Texas seeking the research-based care that has made M. D. Anderson so widely respected. More than 11,000 patients participated in therapeutic clinical research exploring novel treatments in 2005, the largest such program in the nation. The size of the institution has increased about 50 percent in the last five years. The physical plant includes an in-patient pavilion with 475 beds, clinical research building, outpatient clinic building, a faculty office building and a patient-family hotel.

M. D. Anderson employs more than 15,000 people and enjoys a volunteer workforce of more than 1,600 volunteers who provide more than 290,000 hours of service each year. Faculty, staff and volunteers are dedicated to the core values of Caring, Integrity and Discovery. Together, they work toward fulfilling the M. D. Anderson mission of eliminating cancer as a major health threat.

There is a rotation involving the PG4 residents at University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The residents are supervised by the faculty psychiatrist while rotating at this institution. The residents will be interviewing patients who have been identified as individuals who should have an evaluation in the development of a plan to add psychiatric expertise to the individuals who appear to possibly need psychiatric care in addition to their treatment and evaluation of their cancer.


PES(Psychiatric Emergency Services)/NPC

The Psychiatric Emergency Service/NeuroPsychiatric Center is located next to Ben Taub Hospital.  Fourth year residents will be assigned full-time from 8:00am until 5:00pm, Monday through Friday except official UT holidays.  There is a direct faculty supervisor, Dr. Daryl Knox, who is assigned full-time to this site and works directly with the PGY-4 residents.  Residents have protected time from the service to attend seminars and academic activities on Wednesday afternoons.

The PES is a psychiatric emergency service staffed 24-hours a day with psychiatrists, registered nurses, clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors and psychiatric technicians.  Psychiatrists are on site at all times.  Patients are assessed and treated and may be referred to a hospital or other services as needed.  Patients may walk in for an assessment or be brought in by law enforcement officers under an Emergency Detention Warrant.  The primary goals of this service are to prevent unnecessary psychiatric hospitalization and to prevent inappropriate incarceration because of a psychiatric illness.  Individualized clinical service plans which incorporate medication administration, reinforcement of coping skills, close observation by clinical staff, family meetings, and determination of appropriate community supports are implemented.  The PES has developed standards for precautionary status including seizures, detox, suicide, assault, falls, and elopement.  Of those served, 70% are able to be referred to an outpatient provider, other less restrictive crisis programs or clinic and do not require hospitalization.