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Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

The University of New Mexico Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in Albuquerque combines innovative educational and research opportunities with excellent clinical care for one of the country’s most beautiful and sparsely populated regions. Our unique position in the state – embedded within the only fully-accredited medical school in New Mexico – means that our faculty, fellows, residents and medical student trainees serve a diverse socioeconomic and medically complex patient population.

Our core mission is clinical care: “Patients are first.” Our other missions: teaching, research and community engagement follow our core mission. To achieve our goals, we build bridges with partners within the university, the greater community and beyond, to leverage resources to be the best we can be.

Education

In addition to our well-regarded general residency program, we have fellowships in:

 We also have recently established tracks for the general psychiatric residency in research and rural and community psychiatry.

Due to the highly rural nature of New Mexico, we are now national leaders in this area of psychiatry. We have developed tele-medical solutions so that health providers in these rural and frontier areas have access to our specialized expertise. We currently partner with the Indian Health Service Tele-Behavioral Health Center for Excellence and others to offer seminars on a variety of important behavioral health topics. This approach to healthcare offers great promise for our state as well as in national and international settings that face large geographical areas with broadly dispersed, but smaller, populations.

Clinical Care

The clinical focus of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is to provide the best possible, cost effective, psychiatric care to the people of New Mexico. However, New Mexico’s behavioral health needs are vast. To that end, our faculty staffs the only 24/7 Psychiatric Emergency Service (PES) in the state.

Our department collaborates with other departments across the UNM Health Sciences Center to provide a seamless and financially sustainable system of care. A key partner is the UNM Department of Family and Community Medicine through patient-based primary care clinics. The availability of a closely integrated system of care also lends itself to health services research and outcome studies on selected populations.

Research

New Mexico offers tremendous prospects for research, especially in the areas of community need and special demographic populations such as Native American and Hispanic. We have productive relationships with many of these stakeholders. We are expanding these partnerships and creating new opportunities to ensure our efforts are truly useful and culturally-sensitive. We also have strong research components in addiction psychiatry with federal and private funding. Other areas of strength include geriatric psychiatry, schizophrenia, ECT, mood disorders and neuropsychiatry.

Community

Our department also shines in community engagement. Our faculty are active in listening to the needs of various communities in New Mexico and, based on those needs, seek ways to provide the best programs and information possible. Our Division of Community Behavioral Health focuses on rural and frontier psychiatry, workforce training, resource development and more. We also have an active public education component which partners with community organizations and other academic institutions to present public lectures and smaller targeted events to combat the stigma that still, sadly, surrounds many of the discussions and decisions around behavioral health.

We fully expect to become an international leader in addiction psychiatry and community and rural psychiatry, with an emphasis on indigenous and Hispanic populations. With what we are learning here, we can truly stand as a model for other universities across the nation, Latin America and developing countries.