In the coming years, we will see a growing number of older persons with psychiatric disorders. They have rich life stories that interact with the challenges of aging and medical illness. Geriatric psychiatrists work at the mind-body connection using somatic, individual and social interventions to treat illness, relieve suffering and enhance function. In addition, geropsychiatrists play a unique and meaningful role on interdisciplinary teams that care for older adults. Supporting the practice of geriatric psychiatry are clinically proven therapies based on a solid foundation of knowledge and skill.

The University of Minnesota Geropsychiatry Fellowship offers an ACGME accredited, one-year fellowship for interested graduates of an accredited psychiatry residency. Our program emphasizes building expertise in diagnosis and treatment, integration with geriatric medicine and use of a multidisciplinary team approach to care.


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Application Requirements

The application requirements for the Geropsychiatry Fellowship are as follows:

  1. Curriculum vitae
  2. Letter expressing personal interest in the fellowship
  3. Three letters of reference
  4. Visa status, if applicable
  5. Completed application

Send all application materials and inquiries to:
Benjamin Braus, MD

Director, Geropsychiatry Program

Minneapolis VA Health Care System

One Veteran’s Drive

Minneapolis, MN 55417

Phone: 612-467-3966

Application Deadline:
Now accepting applications for the 2024 - 2025 academic year.

Didactic Experiences

We offer fellows a wide assortment of didactic experiences including addiction seminars, occupational therapy driving and ADL evaluations, sleep lectures, neuropsychological testing, ethics committee, family therapy training (with psychology trainees), ECT and many others.  In our weekly Reading Seminar,  fellows learn to present complex cases and critically analyze publications. Weekly psychotherapy supervision is available. Fellows are encouraged to use the many clinical and research opportunities at the VAMC to develop elective experiences of their own to match their interests or career objectives.

Teaching Experiences

Fellows are involved in the education and clinical training of University of Minnesota psychiatry residents, who regularly rotate with the VA geriatric psychiatry team. Fellows also develop their teaching skills through opportunities to present to a wide range of audiences: medical students on their psychiatry clerkships, multidisciplinary VA mental health providers attending grand rounds, and patients attending dementia education classes with their caregivers.


The fellowship does not require overnight or weekend call duty. Fellows provide limited coverage of extended care consults and geropsychiatry outpatient clinic during daytime hours. Moonlighting opportunities are available including the Minneapolis VA Health Care System.


Research and article-writing in geriatric psychiatry are encouraged but not required during the fellowship year. Many of our staff are engaged in research or writing projects, and welcome collaboration.

Training Sites

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Minneapolis VA Health Care System

The primary site for the fellowship is the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. The faculty includes five board-certified geriatric psychiatrists, as well as a team of professionals who specialize in the care of the elderly from many related disciplines:

  • nursing,
  • psychology,
  • social work,
  • occupational therapy,
  • addiction therapy, and
  • pharmacology.

We have an active outpatient clinic, a strong inpatient program and a consultation-liaison service to subacute extended care units. We offer a wide spectrum of training experiences and electives that include many opportunities to work individually with faculty members.


Dementia and Memory Disorders Clinic

Dementia and Memory Disorders Clinic, Minneapolis Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Geriatric, Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC).


Geriatric Medicine Clinic

Geriatric Medicine Clinic, Hennepin County Medical Center, site of accredited fellowship in Geriatric Internal Medicine.


Struthers Movement Disorder Clinic/Day Program

Struthers Movement Disorder Clinic/Day Program, Park Nicollet Clinic.


Minneapolis Veterans Home and Regions/Health Partners Sites

Long term care consultation, Minneapolis Veterans Home and Regions/Health Partners Sites.


United Hospital Inpatient Geriatric Psychiatry

United Hospital Inpatient Geriatric Psychiatry
Training in inpatient psychiatry takes place over three months at United Hospital. The fellow will be directly supervised by Dr. Sarah Kottke, a subspecialty board-certified geriatric psychiatrist. During the rotation, the fellow assumes a primary role in providing direct care to the patients and adjunctive care to their families. Treatment modalities included in the psychiatric hospitalization include crisis management, initial psychiatric assessment, ECT, family intervention and psychopharmacology.



Benjamin Braus

Benjamin Braus, MD
Program Director

Melissa Tholen

Melissa Tholen
Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Coordinator

Program Faculty and Fellows

Program faculty include a diverse group of psychiatrists and psychologists with varying areas of expertise and backgrounds.  Over the two year program, fellows will have the opportunity to work with many of our division faculty, as well as providers from other systems in the twin cities metro area.  Below, is a list of the program faculty who nearly all fellows encounter during their time here, listed by their primary role.  There are additional departmental and division faculty involved in our program via presentation of didactics, elective experiences, service coverage, research opportunities and consultation.

Teaching Faculty