Chair and Department Executive Officer


­­­­Welcome to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa! As the Department Chair, I am excited about our educational mission. We are a top psychiatry department nationally in clinical care and research, with rankings in these areas of 19th in U.S. News & World Report and 18th in National Institutes of Health research funding. We similarly believe we are a top department in the educational domain, as we are deeply committed to excellence in teaching. This commitment led us recently to expand our psychotherapy training and to introduce a new approach to teaching comprehensive clinical care.

Our faculty includes some of the world's most distinguished investigators whose presence contributes to a spirit of inquiry. For example, Nancy Andreasen, has made key contributions to our understanding of clinical features and brain structure changes in schizophrenia. And William Coryell has illuminated the long-term course of mood disorders. The research of these and other experts provides residents with the latest information about the causes and treatments for many mental disorders.

Residents have an opportunity to learn and ask questions of leaders in their field, including, geriatric psychiatrist Susan Schultz, for example, who is President-Elect of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and deputy editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry. Other national leaders include Donald Black, an expert on anxiety and impulse control disorders, and President of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists. Faculty members receive high marks for their teaching and for providing high quality patient care.

Teaching occurs through didactic courses and seminars, but also through informal interactions. I personally see a patient each week with our residents and discuss case formulation and management with them. A casual atmosphere encourages interaction between residents and faculty. Many residents have published the results of research projects or literature reviews under the supervision of a faculty member, an activity that provides another valuable educational experience.

Our goal is to provide residents with a broad education that will prepare them for life-long self-learning and dedication to the practice of psychiatry at the forefront of evolving knowledge. We seek to provide residents with a variety of educational experiences so that they may choose among the many available career options. Our residents consistently score high on national examinations and frequently receive national awards. One, Erik Vanderlip, was elected Member-in-Training Trustee of the American Psychiatric Association. Another, Obiora Onwuameze, won the Lilly Resident Research Award from the American Psychiatric Association. The success of former residents in both clinical practice and academic settings attests to their quality and to the effectiveness of our training program.

We welcome your interest in the department, and look forward to getting to know you and letting you know more about the terrific opportunities that exist here in Iowa City. Both the city and the department are wonderfully friendly places with a strong sense of community. Come have a look. You’ll like what you find!

James B. Potash, MD, MPH
Paul W. Penningroth Professor
Chair and Department Executive Officer of Psychiatry