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Faculty - Psychosomatic Medicine at MedStar Georgetown

Carol Alter, MD

Carol L. Alter, MD, serves as director of policy and community outreach for our Center for Mental Health Outreach and as a faculty member for our Psychosomatic Medicine program. Dr. Alter is actively involved in teaching of fellows, residents and medical students, particularly in the areas of psychosomatic medicine, mental health policy and advocacy.

Dr. Alter received her medical degree from George Washington University in 1985. She completed her residency at New York Hospital-Cornell University School of Medicine in 1989. After completing training, she held positions at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Cornell University and Temple University participating in clinical, teaching and research activities related to AIDS, oncology and general CL services. She has had a longstanding interest in mental health policy and served as the medical director for policy and advocacy at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. She most recently founded and currently directs a policy-action organization, Treatment Effectiveness Now, which is focusing on issues of access to care for patients with co-occurring mental and physical disorders.

Dr. Alter is recognized as one of the nation's leading mental health policy and psychosomatic medicine psychiatrists. We are extremely fortunate to have this outstanding faculty member as a member of our department.


Patricia Bauza, MD

Patricia Bauza, MD, specializes in psychosomatic medicine with a combined interest in integrative medicine. She is an attending psychiatrist on the consultation liaison teaching service at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Bauza completed her psychiatry residency at the Mayo Clinic followed by a fellowship in psychosomatic medicine at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She attended medical school at Universidad Central del Caribe. She has been board certified in psychiatry since 2011.

Joyce Y. Chung, MD

Joyce Y. Chung, MD, received her Bachelor of Science and medical degree from Northwestern University. She completed her psychiatric residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and then a research fellowship in medical anthropology at Harvard Medical School. Her research interests include the study of sociocultural barriers to mental health care, treatment interventions for mental health problems in minority populations, ethnographic and qualitative research methods, and patient-provider discourse and communication. She is the recipient of several research grants.

Dr. Chung has also been active in the area of HIV psychiatry through her clinical practice, educational lectures and published articles about psychiatric complications associated with HIV and AIDS. She helped formulate and was the chief writer for the American Psychiatric Association's Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients with HIV/AIDS. During her eleven-year affiliation with Georgetown, Dr. Chung has served as chief of the Consultation-Liaison service at the Washington VA and as medical director of the Mental Health Care Unit at Georgetown University Hospital. She is a member of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, American Anthropological Association and Alpha Omega Alpha.



Steven A. Epstein, MD

Dr. Steve Epstein is professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry of the Georgetown University School of Medicine and chief of service of the Department of Psychiatry of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale College and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. After completing a residency in psychiatry at Tufts-New England Medical Center, he was a fellow in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry at Georgetown/Fairfax Hospital. From 1990 to 2000 he directed Georgetown’s Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry service and he became department chair in 2001. He currently directs Georgetown’s Psychosomatic Medicine fellowship, Physician-Patient Communication Program, and Physician Health Committee.

Dr. Epstein has conducted NIH-funded research and published extensively in the area of psychosomatic medicine. In 2001, he was awarded an RO1 grant from NIMH to study primary care physicians’ decision-making in the evaluation and treatment of depression. He has also been principal investigator on two other NIMH grants in this area. He has been the recipient of four teaching awards from Georgetown psychiatry residents. In 2011 he was elected by his peers to the MAGIS Society of Masters Teachers of the Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is also co-chair of the Committee on Medical Education for the medical school.

Dr. Epstein is a member of the Psychosomatic Medicine Committee of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He serves as vice president and a member of the Executive Committee of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, the 950 member national organization for consultation-liaison psychiatry. He is president-elect of the Washington Psychiatric Society, as well as a member of the APA Elections Committee and the Physician Health Committee of the DC Medical Society.


Daniel W. Hicks, MD

Dr. Hicks graduated from Purdue University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science with distinction in psychology. He then went on to Indiana University Medical Center, where he obtained his medical degree in 1976. Dr. Hicks also attended Indiana University for his psychiatry residency, where he was chief resident. He graduated from residency in 1979, and received certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1983.

Dr. Hicks is currently involved with the Partial Hospital Program, general outpatient psychiatry, and psychosomatic medicine. His special areas of expertise include consultation/liaison psychiatry, HIV psychiatry, death and dying, ethics, and gay and lesbian Issues. Dr. Hicks is the chair of continuing medical education for the Washington Psychiatric Society, and a member of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and Capital Area Physicians for Human Rights. He is also serves as president of the Lesbian and Gay Caucus of the APA.


Suad Kapetanovic, MD

Dr. Suad Kapetanovic is an associate deputy clinical director of the Intramural Research Program (IRP) at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), where he serves as a staff clinician on the Psychiatry Consult-Liaison Service. He sees both inpatients and outpatients receiving care at the Clinical Center, shares on-call responsibilities and supervises residents and fellows on this service. In addition he has faculty appointments at the University of Southern California/Keck School of Medicine and Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Dr. Kapetanovic’s expertise is in the area of the psychiatric aspects of HIV and AIDS. He is the mental health program director of the District of Columbia-NIH Partnership for AIDS Progress (DC PFAP) and co-chairs the steering committee of the new intramural interdisciplinary, inter-institute program that is investigating neurocognitive disorders in patients with HIV and/or AIDS.

Dr. Kapetanovic earned his medical degree at University of Zagreb in Croatia and completed his general psychiatry residency and child and adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center. He was then jointly recruited by the University of Southern California/Keck School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the USC Maternal Child and Adolescent Center for Infectious Diseases and Virology because of their growing need for research and clinical care in mental health for HIV-infected women, children and youth. Here he served as the director of the Mental Health Program, joining a multidisciplinary team of clinical and translational faculty and researchers.

He joined the NIH Clinical Center in August 2010 to facilitate development of self-sustainable research capacity in the field of mental health aspects of HIV and AIDS in Washington, D.C., and to establish interdisciplinary collaborations with NIH intramural investigators from the Clinical Center and other institutes.

Dr. Kapetanovic currently serves as lead associate investigator on two intramural inter-institute collaborative research protocols. He also serves as co-investigator, collaborator and mentor on multiple collaborative projects in the District. He has authored or co-authored 17 full-length manuscripts in peer-reviewed scientific journals.


Karen M. Johnson, MD

Dr. Johnson served most recently an associate professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. She also served as: medical director and director for academic affairs at Augustus F. Hawkins Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center in Los Angeles; interim vice-chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; and past president of the Association of Black Women Physicians.

Dr. Karen Johnson is a graduate of the University of Panama School of Medicine, who trained in psychiatry at King-Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles. She completed a fellowship in consultation liaison psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine, where she held the appointment of director of the Consultation Liaison Service and the Women's HIV Mental Health Program at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, before transferring to Harbor UCLA Medical Center where she served as director of the Consultation Liaison Service, director of the inpatient programs and medical student clerkship site director.

Over the years she has been awarded various teaching awards from these institutions, and brings a wealth of clinical, academic and administrative experience.

Maryland Pao, MD
Dr. Pao is clinical director of the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. She is chief of the Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Service (Adult and Child) in the Clinical Center. She is currently chair of the Medical Executive Committee of the NIH Clinical Center and has served as the NIMH Institutional Review board chair in the past.

A native of Bethesda, MD, Dr. Pao attended Wellesley College before completing a Bachelor of Arts/medical degree program at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed pediatric and psychiatric residency training as well as a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Pao was the director of the Pediatric Consultation Liaison Service in the Children's Center of Johns Hopkins Hospital as well as the director of pediatric consultation liaison and emergency psychiatric services at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She is board-certified in pediatrics, general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Pao is a past recipient of the NIMH Outstanding Resident Award (1991) and has received teaching awards both during her time at Johns Hopkins and at Children's National Medical Center. She also received the NIMH Hannah Cashman Memorial Award for Excellence in Psychiatric Consultation Liaison Service (2003).

Dr. Pao's clinical and research interests are in the complex interactions between somatic and psychiatric symptoms in chronic diseases of childhood such as HIV, other primary immune disorders, pediatric oncology and in pediatric pain management. Dr. Pao is co-chair of the Physically Ill Child Committee in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and co-chair of the Pediatric Significant Interest Group of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine where she is also currently serving as a councilor. She was elected to the American College of Psychiatrists in 2010. She has written more than 60 papers and chapters and served as a senior editor for the Quick Reference for Pediatric Oncology Clinicians: The Psychiatric and Psychological Dimensions of Pediatric Cancer Symptom Management (2009). Dr. Pao is recognized for her leadership and training in pediatric psychosomatic medicine.