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Michael Schwartz, MD Leaving Stony Brook for a “Fantastic Opportunity”

Michael Schwartz, MD

July 24, 2014 - Michael Schwartz, MD is leaving the Department of Psychiatry at Stony Brook University to become the director of psychiatric services at Huntington Hospital. For the past 17 years Dr. Schwartz has been the department’s Director of Residency Training. He will leave Stony Brook on August 1 and take up his new responsibilities on August 15, 2014.

Dr. Schwartz came to Stony Brook from the National Institute on Aging in 1983. At the NIA Dr. Schwartz was engaged in some of the first studies of the human brain using CT and PET scanning. In 1983 he was the lead author of an article in Science that described an elevated rate of glucose metabolism in the brains of young people with Down syndrome.

When he came to Stony Brook, Dr. Schwartz was assigned to the Northport VA Medical Center. After a few years, he left the department to practice community psychiatry. He set up offices in Mineola and Huntington; joined the staffs of Huntington Hospital, Winthrop University Hospital and Peninsula Counseling Center; and joined the staff of Nassau County’s Division of Forensic Services, where he established himself as an expert in forensic psychiatry.

In 1992 Dr. Schwartz returned to Stony Brook as an attending physician, splitting his time between CPEP and the outpatient department. Two years later he became the director of the outpatient department where he gave high priority to training residents. In 1995 the residents voted him Teacher of the Year, an honor he has received twice since.

Mark Sedler, MD asked Dr. Schwartz to take over the troubled residency training program in 1997. He revamped the program, bringing all residency positions into the national match and establishing criteria for filtering applications electronically. Over the years, he and residency coordinator Jane Pometti built up the program, recruiting residents from the country’s best schools, fostering the positive relationships between faculty and residents and offering the residents a richer clinical experience. “It takes years to build a residency program,” Dr. Schwartz said, explaining that top quality candidates of are drawn to programs that already have top quality residents.

Harold Pass, PhD, the department’s director of psychotherapy training, attributes the success of the program to Dr. Schwartz’s personal concern for the residents. “Throughout his years as training director,” Dr. Pass said, “I have been impressed by his enthusiasm and his genuine concern for the residents: not just their education but their personal well-being. He is always available to them and enjoys being with them.” In 2013 the American Psychiatric Association recognized Dr. Schwartz’s accomplishments by presenting him with its Irma Bland Award for Excellence in Teaching Residents.

Dr. Schwartz’s duties at Huntington Hospital will include the hospital’s 24-bed inpatient psychiatric unit, emergency psychiatric services and the consultation service. “My aim is to provide a university level of care in a community hospital — to be a source of psychiatric information and care for the people of Huntington,” Dr. Schwartz said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to bring something I value to a community I value.”