HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University hopes to solve a medical problem here in West Virginia. The school of medicine announced last week they’ve been given the green light to start their own psychiatry residency training program.

“We now have accreditation. We are now listed as an accredited program. We will be interviewing fourth-year medical school students that plan to do psychiatry. That will begin in the fall,” said Dr. Suzanne Holroyd.

Starting in July of 2015, the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine will welcome four psychiatry residents into the program per year. Those chosen will get hands-on training at several hospitals including: Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall Psychiatry, Mildred Mitchell Bateman State Hospital, Prestera Center for Community Mental Health, River Park Hospital, St. Mary’s Medical Center and the Huntington Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Holroyd said there’s a serious shortage of psychiatrists across the country and even more so in West Virginia.

“It’s not at all uncommon for a patient to make an appointment with a psychiatrist and literally have to wait months to get their first appointment,” explained Holroyd.

The doctor, who will be heading up the program, said it’s important for people who need treatment to get it in a timely manner. The new program is aimed at keeping those residents here in West Virginia once they’ve completed the four year program. They have some precedence with other residency programs at Marshall.

“A very high number of our residents who graduate from any of our programs stay in the region. We’re very excited about trying to attend to this psychiatrist shortage,” stressed Holroyd.

May is mental health awareness month.

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