The Department of Psychiatry’s faculty, clinicians, and staff are deeply committed to providing excellent care to the diverse populations served by Boston Medical Center, the Boston Veterans Administration Healthcare System, and our Community Health Center partners. The department is also committed to training students, interns, residents, and fellows who help people from anywhere in the world. We provide addiction treatment, emergency psychiatric services, child and adolescent services, adult services, integrated behavioral health services, and global and local research programs. Our programs focus on mitigating the social determinants of health and providing culturally sensitive care, training, and research.
Our department conducts a wide range of research, including basic science, clinical trials, implementation science, health services research, evaluation research, qualitative and mixed-methods research, epidemiologic research, epigenetic research, community-based participatory research, and biobank initiatives. We are dedicated to providing research training and mentorship opportunities for our psychiatry residents, medical students, public health and other graduate students, and undergraduates. We recognize the critical, bidirectional relationship between research and clinical care, as our research informs ongoing development of evidence-based practices, and clinical experiences guide research interests and priorities. Through research, we seek to advance our understanding of the causes of and risk factors for psychiatric illnesses; to facilitate the development of more effective diagnostic, treatment, and prevention strategies for a wide array of psychiatric disorders; and to improve the quality and accessibility of our mental health services.
The Department of Psychiatry’s research initiatives encompass a wide variety of specialties, including maternal and child mental health, veterans’ health and PTSD, addiction psychiatry, Alzheimer’s disease, refugee health, global psychiatry, depression, and serious mental illnesses. Our research is also strongly informed by the unique, ethnically and racially diverse patient population at BMC, the number-one safety-net hospital in the Greater Boston area. To understand the mental health needs of our patients, we engage in research initiatives on refugee health, the intersection of culture and mental health, torture survivors, and the mental health impact of experiences of violence and racial discrimination. In our diverse local community, our researchers explore the myriad intersections of culture and mental health. We apply a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the complex mental health needs of our patients, in both global and local contexts. The department is engaged in clinical, research, and training & education initiatives in more than 15 countries through collaborative, interdisciplinary, bidirectional partnerships with local experts and academic institutions. Through this research, we hope to build a more robust understanding of these historically marginalized and understudied populations in order to provide more effective and informed care.
We provide exceptional clinical care without exception to patients of all ages and backgrounds, using therapeutic modalities most appropriate to the patients’ needs and provided by specialists in the field and by trainees under the supervision of outstanding practitioners and teachers. The major services of the Department of Psychiatry include Emergency Services Programs, Urgent Behavioral Health Care, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Adult and Child Outpatient Mental Health Services, Integrated Behavioral Health, Mother and Child Mental Health, Criminal Justice Diversion Programs, Immigrant and Refugee Behavioral Health, Victim Assistance and Mental Health Recovery Services, and Peer Support Programs. The subspecialty outpatient programs available include Addiction Psychiatry, Restore Center for trauma-informed care, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) program, and Psychosis/Early Episode Psychosis Programs.
A brand-new behavioral health facility in Brockton, Mass., opened in October 2022, providing inpatient behavioral health treatment and clinical stabilization services (CSS) and, effective January 3, 2023, BMC was appointed as a state Community Behavioral Health Center (CBHC) for Boston. CBHCs are designed to serve MassHealth and MassHealth-contracted Managed Care Entity (MCE) members. MassHealth patients will enter through one front door for behavioral health services and will receive prioritized care within specified timelines, including same-day access for initial assessments.
Psychiatry Residency Program
The training program in the Boston University Medical Center Psychiatry Residency Program is designed to provide a breadth of knowledge of psychiatry, neurology, neuroscience, psychotherapies, and psychopharmacology. An integrated bio-psycho-socio-cultural model forms the basis of our approach. Our educational program progresses across four years of training from the basics in the PGY 1 year through advanced courses in the PGY 4. Educational programs include research opportunities, core seminars, and special programs, as well as multiple learning opportunities with clinical rotation, including rounds, clinical case conferences, and case-based learning for residents to learn about patient evaluation, psychopathology, and treatments.
Family Medicine-Psychiatry Combined Residency Program
This new, ACGME-accredited program combines the renowned residencies in family medicine and psychiatry into a curriculum designed to produce dual-trained physicians with broad-based training in both specialties. The mission of the program is to develop an innovative training experience for residents who are interested in dual board certification. The curriculum of the five-year program follows the guidelines of the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, while also providing an innovative curriculum that integrates the two fields. This program is designed to provide a comprehensive, well-rounded, and balanced training experience to residents in Family Medicine and Psychiatry, as well as accommodating the individual residents’ specific interests within these two fields.
There are four fellowship opportunities available within the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University: Addiction Psychiatry, Community Psychiatry, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, and the Boston University Medical Campus-Massachusetts General Hospital Global Psychiatric Clinical Research Training Program (BUMC-MGH GPCRTP). The core training sites include Boston Medical Center, VA Boston Healthcare System, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital/Bedford VA, Bournewood Hospital, Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center, Boston University on the Charles River Campus, the Danielsen Institute, and the Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders. International training sites for the BUMC-MGH GPCRTP include Barbados, Ethiopia, Peru, South Africa, Uganda, and Ukraine. The Department of Psychiatry at BU Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine is nationally recognized for its strength in addiction psychiatry, psychotic disorders, mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma, child and adolescent psychiatry, cross-cultural and community psychiatry, and psychiatry services to a diverse community.