During the first year, the residents are on call from home. The residents answer any calls from patients in the resident outpatient clinics if the patient’s physician is not available. They also cover emergencies at CHOA-Egleston. Most calls are from the ER about evaluating patients for psychiatric hospitalization; after 7 pm, these cases are evaluated by a mobile crisis team service. The on call resident is required to go into the hospital for assessments that require a psychiatrist’s opinion (this rarely happens). There is always a faculty member on call with the resident.
Residents are on call for some part of their residency because the program considers the on call experience to provide essential educational benefits. Child and adolescent psychiatrists should be familiar with the issues and characteristics of children, adolescents, and families who require emergency assistance and intervention during non-working hours. They should also know how to collaborate with other professionals in these types of situations, to provide consultation and supervision to other professionals over the phone, and to manage/triage patients by phone. The program also considers physicians to have an obligation to be available for their patients during non work hours for emergent issues on some type of reasonable schedule and to participate in the psychiatric on call coverage system for the hospitals within the system that care for children, adolescents and their families. There is no call during the second year.