Award-Winning Residents @ MGH/McLean

Posted: July 1st, 2013

In June, 2013, some of our senior residents were honored for their outstanding work:

  • Hackett Award – Avi Gerstenblith, MD
  • Joyce Tedlow Award – Justin Chen, MD
  • Paul Howard Award – Leah Bauer, MD
  • Ed Messner Award – Justin Chen, MD
  • Anne Alonso Award – Oriana Vesga Lopez, MD
  • Mel Kayce Award – Benjamin Herbstman, MD, MHS
  • Laughlin Award – John Taylor, M.D., M.B.A.
  • Outstanding Contribution to Neuroscience Award – Mike Halassa, MD, PhD

Imbalance, Healing and Transformation during Residency

Posted: June 26th, 2013

In June, the Class of 2013 presented their work in the annual Senior Talks Symposium at McLean and MGH. At McLean, residents discussed the process of disruption and repair, identifying with patients, and the importance of screening and intervention for public health. Two complementary talks addressed the importance of peer education, and the value of peer support during residency. The talks in the Ether Dome at MGH ranged from a philosophical analysis of autonomy to neuroimaging in mouse models. Residents presented on complicating factors such as sociocultural issues, comorbidity, and trauma and their impact on public health.

Speakers are listed below.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013 McLean, de Marneffe, Room 132
  • Benjamin Herbstman, M.D., M.H.S. - "Healing through Disruption and Repair"
  • Christopher Keary, M.D. - "The Resident as Teacher: Experiences designing a resident teaching curriculum"
  • Brian Hurley, M.D., M.B.A. - "Transforming the World by Providing Care to Patients who Use Substances"
  • Ying Wang, M.D. - "Parallel Journeys - Learning and Growing Alongside My Patients"
  • Lazaro Zayas, M.D. and Jonathan Moran, M.D., M.B.A. - "Are we all imbalanced? Attempting to achieve well-being in residency: Getting by with a little help from our friends"
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 MGH, Ether Dome
  • John Taylor, M.D., M.B.A. - "The Burden of Psychiatric Illness in High Utilizers of Healthcare Resources"
  • Justin Chen, M.D. - "Toward suicide prevention in East Asia: A sociocultural, historical, and legal perspective"
  • Avi Gerstenblith, M.D. - "Reflections"
  • Michael Halassa, M.D., Ph.D. - "Why Psychiatry?"
  • Amanda Green, M.D. - "Autonomy"
  • Oriana Vesga Lopez, M.D. - "Remembering and working through"
  • Elizabeth Levey, M.D. - "From the Ashes of Disaster: Growing up in Liberia"
  • Leah Bauer, M.D. - "Three Extraordinary Women and What They’ve Taught Me about Life and Doctoring"

The power of belief

Posted: May 24th, 2012

In a study of responses to St. John's wort, sertraline, and placebo, Justin Chen, Class of 2013, and colleagues showed that patients who believed they were receiving active therapy rather than placebo obtained greater improvement, independent of treatment. They found that patient beliefs regarding treatment may have a stronger association with clinical outcome than the actual medication received, and the strength of this association may depend upon the particular combination of treatment guessed and treatment received.

Chen JA, Papakostas GI, Youn SJ, Baer L, Clain AJ, Fava M, Mischoulon D. (2011) Association between patient beliefs regarding assigned treatment and clinical response: reanalysis of data from the Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group. J Clin Psychiatry. 2011 Dec;72(12):1669-76.

Teaching awards go to our faculty and residents

Posted: May 24th, 2012

Steve Seiner, MD, Associate Director of the Residency Program, won the APA Nancy C.A. Roeske Certificate of Excellence in Medical Student Teaching presented at the 2012 APA Meeting and again during the 2012 Harvard Medical School Psychiatry Medical Student Education Awards Ceremony. Oriana Vesga-Lopez, Class of 2013, was awarded one of the Harvard Medical School Resident Teaching Awards from the HMS Class of 2012.

Controlling sleep spindles with light; K99/R00 awarded

Posted: November 13th, 2011

Michael Halassa, Class of 2013, recently published a first author paper in Nature Neuroscience, describing work he carried out at MIT in the lab of Christopher Moore, now at Brown University.  By selective optical control of thalamic activity, Mike and colleagues demonstrated that sleep spindles can be causally generated with millisecond precision to understand their role in physiology and behavior. The work was carried out while Mike was a PGY1 and PGY2 in the Research Concentration Program.

Mike was also recently awarded a NIH pathway to independence career award (K99/R00) through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the first time such an award has been obtained by a current MGH/McLean resident.