Laura Fochtmann’s Career Featured in Medical School Publication


An autobiographical account of Professor Laura Fochtmann’s professional career was published in the inaugural edition of The Academic, a publication of the Stony Brook School of Medicine. In it, Dr. Fochtmann described the winding path that led from an early interest in computer programming to her current status as a clinician educator engaged in scholarly pursuits.

Dr. Fochtmann became involved in biomedical research as an undergraduate combining pre-medical with electrical engineering coursework at Washington University. Her residency and chief residency experience at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a research fellowship at the NIH positioned her for a traditional “triple-threat” career as a clinician, researcher and educator, but her overwhelming interest in clinical psychiatry ultimately drew her away from a career in basic research.

Her scholarly interests were not entirely suppressed. She got involved in the Suffolk County Mental Health Project and the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Task Force on ECT, and was hired part-time as the medical editor of the APA’s practice guidelines. Her interest in computers resurfaced when she became involved in the implementation of the electronic health record at Stony Brook. She recently earned a Master’s degree in biomedical informatics and is working to integrate informatics principles into the APA guidelines.

Her career, she concluded, “exemplifies a number of ways that individuals who are primarily clinician educators can take a scholarly approach to clinical issues.”