University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

DEPARTMENT OF Psychiatry ~ 2013 Annual Report

Robert Pierattini, M.D., Chair

During this year, Anne Rich, M.D. succeeded Isabel Norian, M.D. as Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry. Their efforts, and those of all the outstanding faculty who teach, are responsible for very high student ratings for the Psychiatry Clerkship hosted at Fletcher Allen Health Care, Danbury Hospital, Central Vermont Medical Center, and Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine. Last year saw a record number of medical students entering residencies in psychiatry.

Three of the six Fletcher Allen house staff receiving the 2013 Gold Humanism in Medicine Teaching Awards were psychiatry residents: Sean Ackerman, M.D., Steve Runyan, D.O., and Sanchit Maruti, M.D. Eleven of the fourteen psychiatry residents were nominated for the award. A second-time recipient of this award, Chief Resident Sanchit Maruti, M.D., also won Resident of the Year from the 2013 graduating medical school class.

Vermont is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irene and the closing of the Vermont State Hospital. The inpatient psychiatry service significantly modified its programs to accommodate the emergency loss of one third of the state’s adult inpatient psychiatry beds. Under the direction of Thomas Achenbach, Ph.D., the Research Center for Children, Youth, and Families has used the Adult Self-Report and Adult Behavior Checklist to assess tens of thousands of people in thirty societies worldwide. Syndromes previously identified in U.S. have been identified in the international data, demonstrating that evidence-based syndromes can be used to assess and model psychopathology in diverse populations around the world.

The Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families, led by James Hudziak, M.D., published over twenty-five peer-reviewed papers on topics ranging from multinational genome-wide association studies of IQ to studies of withdrawn behavior in Vermont children. The Center sponsors a Child Psychiatry Fellowship program directed by David Rettew, M.D., a medical student fellowship program led by Robert Althoff, M.D., Ph.D., and a newly-accredited psychology internship program in collaboration with the Connecting Cultures Program at the The Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit is exploring effects of cognitive behavioral therapy on chronic pain using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the neurobiology of impulsive behavior, and the neurochemistry medicating cognitive changes in menopause (faculty members involved in this work are Magdalena Naylor, M.D., Ph.D., Alexandra Potter, Ph.D., and Julie Dumas, Ph.D., respectively).

Hugh Garavan, Ph.D.'s neuroimaging lab has published 40 papers, most of which focus on the neurobiology underlying successful abstinence from drugs and the neurobiology associated with adolescent reward and cognition and their relationship to adolescent drug use. Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., has expanded his addiction research to investigate other health behaviors. His group published 70 articles and book chapters, obtained seven new NIH research grants, and submitted nine additional NIH grant applications.

Last modified December 20 2013 11:52 AM