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  • Einstein Team of Psychiatry Residents Crowned Champions of National "Mind Games" Competition

    Published: 07/31/2012


    Philadelphia, PA, June 29, 2009 - To qualify for the competition, the Einstein team beat out more than 90 teams of psychiatry residents from across the United States and Canada by answering 150 questions in a one-hour timed online test.  Based on this preliminary test, only three teams were eligible to compete and receive a $5,000 travel stipend to participate in the May 19 APA event in San Francisco. After an intense battle, the Einstein team emerged as the victor, beating out the teams from University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas in Houston. 

    National Champions - 2009 Mind Games
    (L to R): Michael Vergare, MD, former Chair of Psychiatry at Einstein Healthcare Network, who was Chair when the team started their residency, shown with the winning team: Basant Pradhan, MD, Mildred Fajardo, MD, and David Leach, MD.  Also shown (far right) is Vinu George, MD, Associate Director of the Psychiatry Residency Program for Einstein Medical Center and the "team coach."

    "The event was a nail-biter, with the teams competing in front of a live audience of psychiatrists," says Vinu George, MD, Associate Director of Einstein's Residency Program in Psychiatry, who served as the team coach.  The Einstein team secured an early lead over the other two teams, but the Penn team quickly caught up, narrowing Einstein's lead to just 100 points.  The excitement escalated and victory hinged on the Final Jeopardy question: What is the term which refers to an involuntary resistance by the patient to passive movement by the examiner seen in a catatonic patient?   Answer: Gegenhalten.  Both teams wagered their entire score on Final Jeopardy, and both gave the correct answer.  Since the Einstein team had been in the lead, they emerged as the national champions.  "Our team worked incredibly hard to win and their perseverance paid off," says Dr. George.

    Getting ready for the competition was no easy feat.  Preparation included several dry run rehearsals in a Jeopardy format to sharpen the response skills of each team member and get them used to the buzzer system.  In the two months leading up to the event, the team devoted hundreds of hours to building on their knowledge base by studying standard textbooks and journals, and reviewing online resources in psychiatry and board review materials.  Reading also involved brushing up on pop trivia ranging from psychiatry in the movies to psychiatry in rock music. One of the "lighter" questions in the category Psychiatry and TV was:  Who played the psychiatrist in the TV show M*A*S*H?  Answer:  Allan Arbus.   

    This was the third year the APA offered Mind Games.  It was Einstein's first time in the competition, and the team is planning to defend its title next year.  As for the first place trophy, it is proudly displayed in the office of Einstein's Psychiatry Residency Program.

    Academic Training at Einstein Medical Center
    As a premiere independent academic medical center, Einstein Medical Center is committed to its mission to provide compassionate, high-quality medical care to anyone in need, to provide medical education and training for the next generation of physicians, and participate in clinical research to enhance patient care and advance the science of medicine.  Einstein offers graduate medical programs in more than 20 medical specialties and subspecialties, including: Internal Medicine, Radiology, Psychiatry, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Orthopedic Surgery, among others.  Fellowships are offered in a variety of clinical areas. Einstein Medical Center is a major teaching affiliate of Jefferson Medical College.

    The Department of Psychiatry offers a general psychiatry training program to prepare graduates for hospital and private practice psychiatry.  The educational framework is based on the understanding that a person is a composite of mind, brain, body and environment.  The four-year, American Medical Association-approved program accepts eight to ten qualified residents each year.  Clinical rotations are coordinated between Einstein Medical Center and Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment, both part of Einstein Healthcare Network.  Through regular rotations and electives, residents are exposed to a full range of patient populations ranging from children and adolescents to older adults.

    CONTACT: Judy Horwitz
    Communications Specialist
    Einstein Healthcare Network
    215-456-6767  horwitzj@einstein.edu

  • Communications Team