Surgical Psychology

Acute Care Surgery

Welcome to the home for the section of surgical psychology offered by the department of surgery's division of acute care surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville. The department provides professional services at UF Health Jacksonville, a tertiary care teaching hospital, which serves Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.


A fellowship in trauma & medical psychology was started in 1998 and provided training and supervision in medical psychology. One fellow is accepted each year. The fellowship starts in September and provides 2000 hours of post-doctoral training. This program follows the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) guidelines for post-doctoral fellowships nationwide. In addition, our program has a 100% job placement rate post-fellowship completion and a 100% pass rate for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) National Psychology licensure exam.

The department of surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville offers a variety of graduate medical education training in several programs, including:

We also offer numerous medical student education elective/clerkship courses for third- and fourth-year medical students.

For current healthcare professionals, we are active participants in the UF continuing medical education program.

Patient Care

Our division provides patient care services specifically dedicated to treating the mental and emotional impacts of traumatic injury or other major physical maladies requiring surgical intervention. UF Health Surgical Psychology – Jacksonville employs two of our section’s licensed psychologist faculty and an additional psychology post-doctoral fellow.

Mild Cognitive Impairment and Late-Onset Depression

Cognitive decline in older adults may present as attention and concentration difficulties, slowed processing speed and executive dysfunction. The term pseudodementia sometimes gets mentioned as an explanation for cognitive decline in older adults. This term generally implies a depressed state is the underlying cause of cognitive impairment. However, this term is considered antiquated now with better understanding of the reasons for cognitive changes in later life. The more correct diagnosis is mild cognitive impairment. Instead of the cause, late-onset depression is likely a prodrome for dementia. Individuals with late life depression are prone to be diagnosed with dementia within a few years. It was found that the combination of impaired cognitive and depressive symptoms doubles for every five-year increase in age after 70 and is present in 25% of 85-year olds. Neuroimaging shows both deep subcortical grey and white matter lesions suggestive of a cerebrovascular disease plus cognitive impairment. A better model is depression with memory impairment and executive dysfunction. Thus, the presence of depression should not be an exclusion for the diagnosis of dementia. Moreover, there are treatments available for both depression and mild cognitive impairment if identified early.


Development and implementation of various research projects conducted in the section of surgical psychology focus upon the many opportunities for improvements in the well-being and quality of life of critically ill patients.

Dr. Brian Celso

  • Disordered eating
  • Post-operative delirium
  • Resiliency
  • Social determinates of health care disparities

Dr. Kamela Scott

  • Adolescent violence prevention
  • Collaborative care
  • Suicide prevention
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

In addition to participation in research, faculty play an important role in training residents and fellows in the area of research.

For more information about the ongoing research at the University of Florida Health Science Center Jacksonville, please visit our research page.


Contact Us

For information on the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville division of acute care surgery, please contact:


Division of Acute Care Surgery
UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville
653 West 8th Street, FC12
3rd Floor, Faculty Clinic
Jacksonville, FL 32209