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Drexel University College of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry is committed to developing and implementing programs that are consistent with the College's mission to innovate in education, research, and in the delivery of compassionate care. Priorities have been delineated, with teaching programs being paramount. High-quality clinical care and increased research funding have a high priority, as do service and consultation to the public sector.

These are challenging and exciting times for the field of psychiatry. The Department of Psychiatry embraces change as part of life in our complex health care system. Our department closely collaborates with its clinical partners to ensure that our responsibilities for our academic missions are fulfilled, while supporting the missions and goals of our affiliated clinical partners.

Training medical students and psychiatric residents is central to our mission. Drexel University College of Medicine is a leader nationally in medical education and the College is among the top medical schools in the country for educating medical students who choose to specialize in psychiatry.

Divisions, Centers & Programs

Research

The field of psychiatry is extremely exciting, with research findings that are elucidating the underlying molecular and genetic foundations of psychiatric illness. Treatments are emerging that integrate the latest findings from psychopharmacological studies with those psychosocial interventions that have demonstrated efficacy. Such multimodal treatment strategies are effective in not only reducing psychiatric symptoms, but in promoting wellness.

The Department of Psychiatry, through its educational programs and its affiliated clinical programs, seeks to reduce the gap between emerging research and practice. The support of evidence-based care and the development of new delivery systems that provide state-of-the-art care to patients and their families are central to our clinical mission.

Our faculty have developed broad and productive collaborations with the researchers from Drexel University as well as from other institutions. Such collaboration has led to publication in prestigious journals and grant awards. Our recent research includes:

  • the treatment of substance use disorders
  • autism and autism spectrum disorders
  • developmental studies regarding the impact of acute and chronic stressors in childhood
  • child maltreatment and other stressors contributing to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders of childhood
  • treatment-resistant depression
  • neuropsychological impact of pediatric genetic disorders
  • innovative psychotherapy education and supervision projects

 
News and Announcements
 

Tower Health/Drexel Psychiatry Residents Start in July

Tower Health/Drexel Psychiatry Residency Program at Brandywine matched all eight positions in March 2020. Despite the unprecedented pandemic, all eight residents will start their training on time in July 2020.

2020 "Top Doctors"

Dr. Barbara Schindler, professor of psychiatry, emeritus vice dean for education, medical director of caring together program, and Dr. Asim Rana, a faculty member and staff psychiatrist at Brandywine Hospital, were named "Top Doctors" in Philadelphia magazine's annual list of the region's best physicians. (May 2020)

2020 DUCOM Dean's Special Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching Awards

The following faculty members received DUCOM Dean's Special Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award at the Commencement Ceremony, May 29, 2020:

  • Dr. Mitali Patnaik, assistant professor of psychiatry, medical director of Friends Hospital Crisis Response Center
  • Dr. Mohammad Qasim, assistant professor of psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Coatesville
  • Dr. Indranil Chakrabarti, assistant professor of psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Chambersburg Hospital

PPE for Anxiety in Healthcare Providers during COVID-19

Dr. Sudak, professor of psychiatry, vice chair, director of General Psychiatry Residency Program, delivered a grand rounds presentation titled "PPE for Anxiety in Healthcare Providers during COVID-19" in April 2020. More than 250 faculty, residents, medical students and staff attended this virtual event.

Association of Early-Life Social and Digital Media Experiences With Development of Autism Spectrum Disorder–Like Symptoms

Dr. David Bennett, professor of psychiatry, and Dr. Karen Heffler, published a paper titled "Association of Early-Life Social and Digital Media Experiences With Development of Autism Spectrum Disorder–Like Symptoms,” in JAMA Pediatrics. (April 2020)

Drexel COVID-19 Rapid Response Award

Dr. David Bennett, professor of psychiatry, received a Drexel COVID-19 Rapid Response Award to study the impact of online peer support in women who have substance use disorders. (April 2020)

2020 DUCOM Golden Apple Award

Dr. Du, professor of psychiatry, chair of psychiatry Drexel University College of Medicine, chair of academic psychiatry, Tower Health and interim chair of psychiatry, Brandywine Hospital, Tower Health, received a DUCOM Golden Apple Award. (April 2020)

Dr. Delaney Honored by Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society

Mary Anne Delaney, MD, received a lifetime achievement award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society. Dr. Delaney was honored at the society's Benjamin Rush Gala on November 15, 2019.

Dr. Sudak Appointed to ACGME Psychiatry Review Committee

Donna M. Sudak, MD, professor and vice chair for education in the Department of Psychiatry and director of the Division of Psychotherapy, has been appointed to the Psychiatry Review Committee of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Sudak is the immediate past president of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training.

 
In the Media
 

August 31, 2020: Wei Du, MD, professor and academic chair of the Department of Psychiatry, was interviewed in a Patch.com story about the shift to telemedicine for behavioral health treatment in Chester County, Pa.

August 25, 2020: Wei Du, MD, a professor and academic chair of psychiatry, was quoted in stories in MyChesCo and West Chester Patch about behavioral health services offered by Brandywine Hospital during the pandemic.

August 7, 2020: Wei Du, MD, professor and academic chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and Donna Sudak, MD, professor and vice chair for education in the Department of Psychiatry, were quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer story about the mental health toll of the pandemic in the United States.

May 14, 2020: David S. Bennett, PhD, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry, was featured in a Healio Infectious Diseases in Children article about co-authoring research linking early screen time in infants with development of autism spectrum disorder-like symptoms later in childhood.

May 5, 2020: Research from Karen F. Heffler, MD, a researcher in the College of Medicine, and David S. Bennett, PhD, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry, linking early screen time in infants with development of autism spectrum disorder-like symptoms later in childhood was featured in Mediblurb, Business Daily and Neurology Advisor.

April 20, 2020: Karen F. Heffler, MD, a researcher in the College of Medicine, and David S. Bennett, PhD, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry, were featured in stories in HealthDay, UPI and U.S. News & World Report about their research linking early screen time in infants with development of autism spectrum disorder-like symptoms later in childhood. The story was also reported by various broadcast media outlets nationwide including WTVH-TV (CBS, Syracuse, New York).

October 30, 2019: David Bennett, PhD, professor in the Department of Psychiatry, was quoted in a PsyPost story about his research that suggests gender nonconforming behaviors in early childhood may be a risk factor for development of depressive symptoms in adolescence.

See all College of Medicine faculty in the media

 
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Wei Du, MD, MS, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry

Wei Du, MD, MS
Professor and Academic Chair

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