This is a wonderful time in child and adolescent psychiatry. It is now widely recognized that there may be no field of psychiatry that is more important or that has greater potential for impact. This realization is occurring as our knowledge base dramatically expands. We are learning that many problems associated with adulthood may first be manifest in children and adolescents and if impacted early can be contained or prevented. To help a child with behavioral disturbance or mental disorder is to provide a great benefit that can influence an entire life.
Knowledge in child and adolescent psychiatry is coming to incorporate the range of possibilities open to our field in an array of biopsychosocial approaches to understanding and treating problems from psychodynamics to psychopharmacology and behavioral interventions. We are incorporating new types of knowledge from developmental psychobiology/neurobiology to cognitive neuroscience and genetics, as well as changing approaches to psychologic and biologic therapies.
Both Columbia and Weill Cornell have long had deep commitments to child and adolescent psychiatry and the joining together of our two hospitals into one, NewYork-Presbyterian, has given us an unprecedented opportunity. We have had enthusiastic help and support from the Hospital administration towards the joining of our two great departments in a combined training effort. There is great collegiality between the members of our leadership group and the opportunity to work together in the training of new clinicians and scholars has been an extraordinary pleasure for all of us.
Our program has a remarkable range of clinical opportunities with outstanding clinicians – both full time and voluntary – in a variety of settings. Our clinicians are expert in a wide spectrum of areas and represent many different approaches so that we can cover problems with unusual breadth and depth. We have outstanding teachers and investigators throughout both of our departments who are available to interact with our child and adolescent trainees. The program allows for individualization, and faculty is eager to provide for specific interests of future specialists. Out of our desire to encourage such goals we have allowed time in our training sequence to permit the start of scholarly explorations, expecting that trainees will find such experiences valuable; for some, those activities may facilitate longer-term research.
We welcome your interest with great enthusiasm. The goal of our joint departmental leadership is to have the preeminent program in the world with clinical excellence, superb teaching, and stellar research. We want to provide a first-rate experience for each person who participates. We pledge ourselves to that effort.
Congratulations on entering the field at such an exciting time!