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Integrated Behavioral Health Care in Family Medicine Residencies

Subjects: Education, Clinical Type: Journal Articles Tags: Research, Graduate Medical Education, Training, Family Medicine, Residency, Mental Health

Behavioral health integration (BHI) in primary care settings is critical to mental health care in the United States. Family medicine resident experience in BHI in family medicine residency (FMR) continuity clinics is essential preparation for practice. The purpose of this research study was to survey FMR program directors to characterize the status of BHI in FMR training. This was accomplished using the Council of Academic Family Medicine Educational Research Alliance (CERA) 2017 survey.

The study concluded that almost half of FMR programs have co-located BH care or fully integrated BH as defined by SAMHSA. Highly integrated FMRs use a diversity of behavioral professionals and activities. Residencies currently at the collaboration stage could increase BH provider types and BHI practices to better prepare residents for practice. Residencies with full BHI may consider focusing on supporting BHI-trained residents transitioning into practice, or disseminating the model in the general primary care community.