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Chapel Hill – A new fellowship training program in psychosomatic medicine is beginning at UNC, a partnership of the UNC School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and the UNC Comprehensive Cancer Support Program, part of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Psychosomatic medicine is focused on the psychiatric care of patients who have medical and surgical conditions. One key area of the UNC program will be cancer.

Don Rosenstein, MD, director of the Comprehensive Cancer Support Program and professor of psychiatry, explains, “Optimum care of patients with cancer often requires the expertise of a psychiatrist with advanced training in psychosomatic medicine and a specific concentration in psycho-oncology. With this new program, we can deepen the skills of these highly trained practitioners and provide them with the skills to become academic leaders in the field of psycho-oncology.”

Two psychiatrists join Rosenstein for the program’s first year: Jonathan Gerkin, MD, and April Welborn, MD.

Gerkin earned his medical degree from Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, completed the residency training program at UNC, is now an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UNC, and has served as clinical director of the psychiatry consult-liaison service.

Welborn earned her medical and doctoral degree in cellular biology and anatomy from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia. She completed the residency training program at UNC, where she served as chief resident.