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Historical Background - Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown

Georgetown University

Georgetown University, founded in 1789, is located on the banks of the Potomac in the nation's capital. After a long and fascinating period of growth, the college at "George Town on the banks of the Potomac" emerged as the realization of a long-cherished dream of John Carroll, later the first Catholic Archbishop of Baltimore.

Georgetown University has a fine reputation for excellence in higher education. The University includes the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School, the Schools of Medicine, Law, Nursing, Foreign Service and Business Administration. Today there are some 12,000 students at the university, on a 104-acre campus that includes 60 buildings, a recreational complex and athletic fields.

Georgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University Medical Center is situated on the campus of Georgetown University, and includes the Schools of Medicine and Nursing. The Georgetown University School of Medicine, founded in 1851, is one of the oldest medical schools in the country. The mission of the Georgetown University Medical Center is the advancement of health through research in the clinical and biomedical sciences, the education of future leaders in medical and nursing practice and academia, and the provision of compassionate and scientifically competent patient care and service to the Washington community and the nation.

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, currently a 609-licensed bed hospital, was established in 1898. MedStar Georgetown is the national capital area's oldest and most recognized academic teaching hospital. Since its founding in 1898, the hospital has been dedicated to promoting health through education, research and patient care.

In the past century, the hospital has grown to include a community physician practice, the Lombardi Cancer Center and scores of clinical departments and divisions. Through its 100-year relationship with Georgetown University, the hospital collaborates in training students from both the School of Medicine (almost 500 residents and fellows annually) and the School of Nursing & Health Studies. Additionally, MedStar Georgetown works closely with the university's research enterprise to help bring innovative therapies from the scientific laboratory to the patient bedside.

In July 2000, Georgetown University Hospital became part of the MedStar Health family. With primary care providers at nine sites in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, MedStar Georgetown's clinical services represent one of the largest, most geographically diverse and fully integrated healthcare delivery networks in the area.

Department of Psychiatry

The Department of Psychiatry dates to 1887 when the first Professor of Mental Disease, Dr. Morris J. Stack, was appointed in the School of Medicine. The formation of a separate Department of Psychiatry occurred in 1939 and the training of psychiatry residents began in 1947.

Eminent psychiatrists have served as chairmen of the department at Georgetown. Among them have been William Alan White, Harry Stack Sullivan, Daniel Blain, George N. Raines and Richard A. Steinbach. In July 2001, Richard L. Goldberg, MD, chairman of the department since 1989 and former residency training director, was promoted to vice president of Medical Affairs, responsible for all graduate medical education at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Goldberg has been president of the hospital since 2010​

Steven A. Epstein, MD, a member of the department since 1990, and former director of the Consultation-Liaison service, was appointed chair in 2001. As a national leader in the field of psychosomatic medicine, Dr. Epstein is vice president of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine and a member of the​ Psychosomatic Medicine Committee of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

The department currently consists of 200 full-time and clinical faculty members who actively participate in the clinical, educational, and research components of the department.