Leslie Tarver (2018)

Coming to the end of my PGY-4 year and looking back on the last four years, I am amazed and extremely grateful for the extraordinary opportunities in the MGH/Mclean Program. I was initially drawn to the incredibly dynamic and stimulating yet supportive community of residents and faculty, which now feels like family. I also feel very fortunate to have been part of the Research Concentration Program (RCP) which has given me the unique opportunity to dedicate a significant portion of my time towards research over the course of residency.
My PGY-4 year has been an unbelievable experience as I was able to truly custom build my year with a substantial focus on research. After spending the last few years gradually developing research experience on how to leverage innovative technologies to expand access to mental health care, I had the opportunity this year to design and carry out a study to test the use of these new technologies. This allowed me to set up a cutting edge study with Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) to evaluate the use of a mobile mental health app for students seeking mental health services using a completely digitized approach to study enrollment. We are currently in the process of running a pilot study with the plan to launch a larger trial to begin in the fall.
In addition to the HUHS study, another major focus of my PGY4 year was organizing a Mental Health Hackathon as part of the newly established Harvard-wide initiative, GlobalMentalHealth@Harvard. Given my interest in global mental health and innovation, this was an exciting opportunity to bring people from across Harvard to work together with faculty, mental health researchers, tech innovators and industry leaders to find novel solutions to expand access to mental healthcare. This was a particularly rewarding coming together of my interests after having had the opportunity during my PGY2 year to work with a group of global mental health researchers on a policy paper for a major meeting with the World Bank/World Health Organization called “Out of the Shadows: Making Mental Health a Global Priority.” My contribution was on the use and potential of technologies to leverage scarce mental health resources in low resource settings and I even got to attend this ground breaking meeting at the World Bank.
It is hard to believe that four years have flown by and I will soon be starting my Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at MGH/McLean. The opportunity to have gained such in-depth research experience as well as the unparalleled clinical training in everything from emergency and C/L psychiatry to psychodynamic psychotherapy has fully equipped me with the skills and confidence to enter this next phase of training. I am looking forward to finally seeing through my passion of working closely with children and families on prevention and early intervention and to be able to push forward my research and policy interests in innovative models to expand access to care in college mental health as well as on the global level.
Having done undergrad at Harvard, being in Boston for residency was truly like coming home and I feel fortunate to be able to continue to enjoy our idyllic life in Cambridge! From walks along the Charles River and exploring the amazing parks with my husband, 4-year old and another little one on the way, we could not be happier!


George Washington University, M.D., 2014
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, M.S.P.H., 2014;
Harvard University, B.A., 2005


Hofmarcher, M., Hawel, B., Tarver, L. (2010, October 1). "Let´s talk Kids: A Dialogue for Children´s Health." Health Policy Monitor.

Hofmarcher, M., Tarver, L., Festl, E. Building a sustainable health sector in times of crisis: containing costs and
promoting job growth. Journal of Health Economics, Policy and Law. 2013 May

Schmidt, A., Tarver, L., Ruppe, G. Innovations in Health Care Quality Measurement and Management in Austria. International Journal for Quality in Health Care. 2013 Jun

Tarver, L. Book Review of Anthropology and Public Health: Bridging the Differences in Culture and Society by Hahn, A. and Inhorn, M. Czech Sociological Review. 2013 May

Hofmarcher, M., Festl, E., Tarver, L. (2016). Health Sector Employment Growth Calls for Improvements in Labor Productivity. Health Policy. 14 June 2016

Larson, J., Lynch, S., Tarver, L., et al. (2015). Do Parents Expect Pediatricians to Pay Attention to Behavioral Health? Clinical Pediatrics. 2015 Aug;54(9):888-93


American Medical Student's Association (AMSA) Advocacy Leadership Institute Participant 2007

University of Wisconsin Medical Student Award for Service and Humanism in Patient care 2008

Lazarus Healthcare Leadership Scholar 2009-2012

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Medical Student Fellow 2013