Risa Fishman, MD

Risa Fishman, MD, is an attending physician in the Department of Psychiatry at MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC), and she is the medical director of MWHC's Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic. In addition, she serves as a consultant-liaison in Psychiatry at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.

As medical director of the Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic, Dr. Fishman supervises the professional staff and creates policies, procedures and treatment guidelines. She is currently participating in the development and implementation of a quality improvement initiative to decrease missed appointments among patients and to improve continuity of care. In addition, she is working with community agencies to create systems of care to help patients transition from long-term hospitalization to community living and outpatient treatment.

As an attending psychiatrist, she treats patients with various diagnoses, using pharmacotherapy and other treatment modalities. She also supervises psychologists, social workers and other allied health professionals; teaches clinical psychiatric evaluation, diagnosis and treatment to Internal Medicine residents; and conducts treatment team meetings. Dr. Fishman is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Her medical degree is from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed an internship in Medicine and Neurology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and served as chief resident at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.

Research Interests

Dr. Fishman's research interests include

  • Innovations in the delivery of community behavioral health
  • Integration of general and behavioral healthcare
  • Mental healthcare of underserved populations
  • Use of electronic medical records, telehealth programs and other innovative technologies to improve delivery of behavioral health and integrated care

Selected Research

Embedding Psychiatry into Primary Care: Improving the Quality of Behavioral Health Services through an Integrated Care Delivery Model

The primary care setting often provides the initial and only opportunity for patients to access mental health services. Dr. Fishman is the principal investigator for this project, which will implement a care delivery model that will place a mental health specialist, such as a nurse practitioner or a psychiatrist, in the Internal Medicine Ambulatory Care Clinic. This project is funded by the Department of Behavioral Health and the District of Columbia’s Mental Health Planning Council.

Selected Publications

Fishman, R., Downey, J. Depression in Women. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1997;40: 577-588.

  • Research Areas
  • Health Services/Quality/Outcomes
  • Other Medical