Meritus receives fifth psychiatry residency program for a hospital in Maryland

03 May 2024- As critical demand grows for physicians who are specially trained to offer mental health services, Meritus has received initial accreditation for a psychiatry residency program beginning in 2025. 

It’s one of several commitments by the health system to reduce the shortage of physicians  in the region, state and nation. In July 2022, the health system announced its plans to pursue licensure and accreditation of a medical school to reduce the growing physician shortage. Meritus currently offers a family medicine residency training program. The psychiatry residency, which is being introduced in partnership with behavioral health organization Brook Lane, will be only the fifth psychiatry residency program from a hospital in the state of Maryland.  

Meritus has plans to continue expanding residency programs in other specialties in the next several years and plans to have more than 100 resident physicians. 

“Investing in these programs is paramount to providing care for patients for generations ahead,” said Meritus Health President and CEO Maulik Joshi, Dr.P.H. “When you consider the growing physician shortage, the need for medical schools and physician training  programs is essential to ensuring healthcare is accessible for all.” 

“As we continue on our pathway to seeking accreditation of the proposed Meritus School of  Osteopathic Medicine and the graduate medical education program, there is an obvious need for more psychiatrists in the region and nationally,” said Dr. Bradley Miller, D.O., associate dean for graduate medical education who also serves as the program director of  the Meritus Family Medicine Residency.  

The psychiatry residency will have five spaces available over a four-year program for a total of 20 residents once the program is filled out. The first residents will start in July 2025, said Dr. Heather Theibert, D.O, program director for the Meritus Psychiatry Residency.

Dr. Theibert earned her medical degree from Kansas City University of Medicine, in Kansas City, MO. She completed residency at Adena Health in Chillicothe, Ohio. She is board certified in adult psychiatry with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and in addiction medicine with the American Board of Preventative Medicine. 

“Our vision for the Meritus Psychiatry Residency Program is to have an educational model that emphasizes the importance of direct community care and involvement,” she said. “The people of Hagerstown will see our psychiatry residents not only at the hospital but in the community serving our patients with high quality, compassionate psychiatric care.” 

The commitment to expand Meritus Health’s graduate medical education programs is a key  component in Meritus’ mission to improve the health of the community, said Dr. Paula Gregory, D.O., M.B.A., FACOFP, dean of the proposed Meritus School of Osteopathic Medicine. 

“We can’t provide the care our community needs without well-trained physicians,” Dr.  Gregory said. “By increasing our graduate medical education offerings, we are considering the future needs of our neighbors by developing the skills of those who will provide the care. Medical education takes years of training and discipline. Meritus Health’s dedication to education is also a testament to our commitment to care for this community. One cannot exist without the other.