University of Utah Department of Psychiatry Marks 50th Anniversary of Child and Adolescent Training Program

Nationally recognized program trains physicians to care for young patients affected with autism, mood and anxiety disorders, depression, and other conditions.

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Feb 1, 2010 4:10 PM

Salt Lake City--Utah children and adolescents suffering from psychiatric conditions have one thing in common – the excellent care they receive from physicians who are graduates of the University of Utah Department of Psychiatry’s Child and Adolescent Training Program. The program, the only one of its kind in the Intermountain West, will mark its 50th anniversary this month with events to honor the founders and current leaders of the program, as well as a special presentation by a nationally recognized leader in training child and adolescent psychiatrists.

Utah’s first child psychiatrist arrived in the state in 1949 and the University’s training program in child and adolescent psychiatry was established 10 years later, according to Douglas Gray, M.D., residency training director for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

“We’ve come a long way in the past 50 years, both in diagnosis and treatment for patients and with training for physicians,” said Gray. “Children and adolescents suffering with psychiatric conditions remain society’s most vulnerable citizens. We are committed to making sure that the health care system has the professionals and expertise to provide care for these patients.”

According to Gray, child and adolescent psychiatrists specialize in medications and therapy for conditions such as mood disorders (including depression and bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders (including obsessive compulsive disorder), autism and autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit disorders, and Tourette’s and tic disorders. Child psychiatrists also develop expertise in behavioral health management and suicide prevention.

“We know that early diagnosis is the key to helping young patients,” said Gray. “The earlier we can diagnose a condition, the better the outcomes and the more we can prevent any long-term disability due to the illness. We also help the families manage situations related to their child’s illness. We help the entire family, not just the child.”

According to Gray, the University’s training program is one of the country’s few “Triple Board Programs.” The program integrates physician training in pediatric medicine, child psychiatry, and adult psychiatry. Triple board graduates typically go on to practice caring for patients with complex medical and psychiatric problems.

Special Events Marking 50th Anniversary of the University of Utah Department of Psychiatry’s Child and Adolescent Residency Training Program

Dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at the Alta Club honoring founders and long-time leaders of the program. Honorees include:  Merritt Egan, M.D. (deceased); Tom Halversen, M.D. (deceased); Paul L. Whitehead, M.D.; Claudia Berenson, M.D.; Brent Petersen, M.D.; Richard Ferre, M.D.; Denise Quinn, M.D.; Kristina Hindert, M.D.; William McMahon, M.D.; Douglas Gray, M.D.; and Ross Van Vranken.

A special grand rounds, “The Future of Child Psychiatry Training” will be presented on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 7 a.m. at the School of Medicine in room HSEB 3515-b by Dorothy Stubbe, M.D., child and adolescent training director at Yale University’s Child Study Center.

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Media Contacts

Chris Nelson
Public Affairs
Phone: (801) 581-7387
Anne Asman
Department of Psychiatry
Phone: (801) 581-8019
Cell Phone: (801) 450-9191

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