Medical Student Interest Group

What is it? 

A group for any WUSTL medical student interested in learning more about Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP).

Why Child and Adolescent Psychiatry?

  • Psychiatric illnesses are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality; it’s estimated that 70% of psychiatric illnesses start in childhood or adolescence.
  • There are currently less than 10,000 child and adolescent psychiatrists in the country… not enough to serve the growing need.
  • There’s increasing research on how brain development, genetic and epigenetic factors, and environmental influences like trauma and adversity impact psychiatric illness. This puts CAP at the frontier of both understanding brain development and early intervention.

Playing with kids is part of the job !

What is the KTGF conference?

Every year, the KTGF sponsors a 2 day event at one of the participating medical schools where students have the opportunity to meet and hang out with students interested in CAP from all over the country and sometimes all over the world.  Students also have the opportunity to present their work and meet CAP faculty from the other 14 KTGF medical schools.

At the Jan 2020 conference sponsored by Tulane in New Orleans, several 2nd year WUMS presented talks or posters, we heard a film analysis of the developmental perspective on the Twilight Zone from a Yale medical student, saw New Orleans jazz with the training directors from Wash U, Yale, and Mt. Sinai, met CAP trainees from the Netherlands and Australia, and had an impromptu “second-line” celebration.

We’re sure the next conference, January 2021 in Iowa City, will be just as fun!

Why join KTGF?  

  • Meet child and adolescent psychiatrists, fellows, and other students who are interested in CAP to learn more about it.
  • Spend time in the CAP outpatient clinics shadowing or volunteer at related events.
  • Attend the annual KTGF conference – one of the only national conferences specifically dedicated to medical students.

What’s the commitment?

 It’s up to you – some students come just for the panel discussions, some students sign up to shadow in the clinics, some students meet a CAP mentor, attend and even present at the annual KTGF conference.

How do I join?

The student leader (Laura Baratta) will have a sign ups at the activity fair and by class email.

You can also email her directly at, subject: “Sign me up for the KTGF MSP”.

How is this different than the other psychiatry and neuroscience interest groups?

The KTGF compliments them – we work with Psych-SIGN, (for all students interested in psychiatry generally), and many students also volunteer at the SNHC-Psychiatry Nights.  However, we have unique events geared toward learning more about the development of psychopathology and treating psychiatric illnesses during childhood and adolescence.