MUSC Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences is among the top 10 nationally ranked research departments of psychiatry in the United States. This page is not a patient forum - if you have patient-related questions or comments please contact (843) 792-9888.

Recently, a patient was waiting on her ride after leaving an appointment at the Institute of Psychiatry (IOP) when she realized her home oxygen tank was low. The patient approached the security desk to inform Archie Reid, Security Coordinator of the situation. Archie recognized that the patient might not have enough oxygen to both wait on her ride and for the drive home. He immediately notified 1 North and asked for assistance from the clinical staff. Patrick Riley RN, CSL came to the security desk with an oxygen tank for the patient to use to preserve her home tank. Once the patient’s ride arrived, Archie and Patrick helped the patient get back on her home oxygen tank. Thank you both for collaborating to ensure this patient’s safety!

Amazon: Baby Registry

Being separated from friends and family due to COVID-19 social distancing has been particularly stressful for patients in the Institute of Psychiatry at MUSC. Social contact and support from family and friends is a tremendous part of mental health and healing that is now missing. Donors from across the country have been reaching out to send gifts and surprises to make their hospital stay a little less lonely. To know that there are people thinking of them makes all the difference!

Please consider sending a small comfort to a patient: Welcome to Amazon Baby Registry!

Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Fadus on his selection for the 2020 American Psychiatric Association (APA)/APA Foundation (APAF) Leadership Fellowship Program! This is a two-year fellowship and Dr. Fadus will participate on the APA Council/Committee. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Fadus on this honor.

Overall weekly Charleston appointments have increased from
45% of average to 52% of average for RHN including a significant tele increase

Vet Fest Music Festival This is a festival with music that will go to helping Veterans receive emergency relief and mental health care that they desperately need.

Social Distancing is not Isolation when you Give the Gift of Connection!

Many patients have not been able to see or be physically comforted by their loved ones for many weeks. With help from our community donating new and gently used iPads and tablets and chrome books, children are able to see their parents, elderly can smile with their grand kids, and so many patients can once again connect in the simplest way to speak to their loved ones "face-to-face."

Also, for children who were struggling at school and home and need coping skills to navigate, they would typically turn to MUSC's Child Day Treatment program; however, with the recent move to telehealth services due to COVID-19, many of the kids we serve do not have technology at home and therefore have to sit out on video and group work negatively impacting their self confidence and ability to learn. Donated iPads allow these children to access staff, online activities and much needed treatment.

Please consider giving the gift of connection by donating old iPad or purchasing one from the tax-deductible patient gift registry: Questions: call 843.792.0175 or email [email protected].

Health Focus

Staying Connected to Others During Covid-19 Pandemic by Dr. Rheingold will be broadcast statewide on SC Public Radio on some of SC Public Radio’s most popular shows. The MUSC Public Radio interview will also be available 24/7 as a podcast on the SC Public Radio website: Doctors, medical professionals and researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina are featured weekly on Health Focus. Award winning public

Top 12 tips to relieve COVID-19 stress

The worst part of any crisis is how it disrupts life and leaves people feeling out of control. That’s why therapist Wendy Balliet, Ph.D., offers these tips to help people affected by COVID-19 to adjust and adapt to a rapidly evolving situation.
First, rest assured you are not alone.
Set time aside to breathe.
Know it is OK to ask for help.
Focus on the good and provide acts of kindness.
Find a mantra.
Know timing is everything.
Stay informed by using reliable sources.
Focus on what you can do and accept the things you can’t control.
Find ways to stay socially connected and engaged.
Set daily routines that include being creative.
Explore apps that benefit mental health.
Write it out.
Read more here! Wendy Balliet, Ph.D., offers her top 12 tips to help cancer patients and caregivers find healthy ways of coping with stress due to COVID-19.

Vet Fest Music Festival This is a festival with music that will go to helping Veterans receive emergency relief and mental health care that they desperately need.

Join us for our fully virtual Grand Rounds, Friday, May 1. For questions, email [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) |

NIH Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
COVID-19 Flexibilities
Got Questions? We've Got Answers! The NIH and its individual Institutes/Centers offer an array of Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) in response to inquiries on policies and programs affecting the grants process. Bookmark this page for future reference and watch for updates.

Pilot study suggests promise of new approach to treat adults with autism and depression

In a pilot study in adults with autism and depression, transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, was effective in reducing depressive symptoms and had some effects on autistic symptoms, report researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina in Autism Research. This study suggests that TMS warrants further study as a potential treatment for adults with both depression and autism.

The study was performed by a team of MUSC researchers led by M. Frampton Gwynette, M.D., director of the General Psychiatry Clinic, Project Rex, and the Autism News Network, and Mark George, M.D., a pioneer in TMS, the Layton McCurdy Endowed Chair in Psychiatry, and director of the Brain Stimulation Lab. MUSC study suggests transcranial magnetic stimulation is safe and could reduce depressive symptoms in adults with autism and depression.

Dr. Eva Serber has been selected as a Fellow of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (FAACVPR). Her service to AACVPR, her profession, and to our institution sets her apart as a leader and outstanding professional in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. Congratulations on this great achievement, Dr. Serber!

Dr. Mike Sweat is leading the team of University colleagues helping to model the impact of COVID-19 to our health system and South Carolina. He and his team are working closely with the supply chain team at present, and his expertise is greatly appreciated!

During a time that has been stressful and unsettling for many, our community has responded in so many kind and generous ways to reach out to our patients. One such donation came from Abigail, a four-year old who was more interested in helping patients than having a birthday party. Instead of receiving gifts, she decided to bring gifts to MUSC's Institute of Psychiatry to help other children in need. Specifically, she wanted to help children who were hospitalized to feel more comfortable during their stay, so she donated sheets that are colorful with kid-themed interactive games on them. The sheets provide a safe, comforting place to play games, learn, and have something of their very own. These sheet sets are new, and something that they can be proud of and enjoy, especially now when patients might be confined to their rooms for safety isolation. Holly-Ann Turner, Recreational Therapist, says, "It's like night and day in the rooms. It's making bedtime less scary, and the rooms feel more personalized and child friendly." It is truly from donations like these that are making this time of isolation feel more safe and comforting to our patients.

We are excited to share the incoming class for MUSC Psychiatry, Neurology/Psychiatry, and Internal Medicine/Psychiatry Residency Programs.
Below is a composite of our 17 incoming first year (PGY 1 residents) joining us for the next 3-6 years, all starting orientation in late June. It’s a very strong group with diverse backgrounds and interests coming from medical schools from all around the country.

This year, we had a record number of U.S. Medical School Seniors applying for psychiatry spots nationally. Out of our 1261 applications for psychiatry here, 839 are US MD/DO seniors, which is an all-time high. Med/Psych and Neuro/Psych both had a record number of applications. There is clearly a new landscape in GME applications where U.S. senior students are applying and interviewing at more programs than ever before - reportedly an average of 40 programs and interviewing at more than 15. That was unheard of even 5 years ago.

When the final match statistics are available over the next few weeks we will put things into context and share more about the incoming group.

Thanks so much to all who helped to make this interview season strong and for your continued support in selecting, mentoring, and teaching our graduate physicians!

Help science during your lunch break or between classes! We currently need daily and casual smokers to participate in a brief non-treatment research study. Participation is confidential, and your information will not be shared with anyone outside of our research team. Study takes approximately 2 weeks to complete and visits are very brief, which is perfect for those already on MUSC's campus. Compensation is available. Give us a call for more information: 843-792-4097 or email us at [email protected]. Feel free to share our contact information with any smokers that you know!

Maintain a routine! Keep the same sleep schedule and maintain good sleep hygiene practices. If working from home maintain typical personal hygiene practices (showering, etc.), don’t stay in your pajamas all day, and create schedule for yourself.
Avoid illicit substances and excessive alcohol use. While having an extra glass of wine may initially help take the edge off, it can also disrupt sleep, mood/anxiety and focus.
Exercise: Spring is here and it feels great to be outside. Exercise also helps us stay focused and in good spirits. Avoid exercising in large groups. Maybe have a daily family walk scheduled every day.
Turn off the TV or change the channel: Don’t let yourself slide into watching the news all day long. And make sure your source of information is legitimate (ex,
Make sure to schedule time into your day for pleasurable activities, don’t forget who you are and your hobbies. And if you are struggling to do so, just step outside and hug a tree.
Eat healthy. We often crave carbs, salt and fat when we are stressed, but a balanced diet helps us stay focused and mentally balanced.
Stay connected! Physical distancing does not mean social or emotional distancing. This is a great time to utilize social media and video chat to stay connected with your social networks. And if you have family/friends who are especially vulnerable to isolation (ex, elderly who you may not be able to visit right now), maybe call them instead of texting. Heck, why not even write a letter, remember those!

Sign In

For MUSC employees: In addition to updates provided by MUSC Enterprise, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences will also provide updates through our employee intranet, The Horseshoe. Updates will be provided regularly as new information becomes available. For your convenience, direct links are provided below.
Psychiatry Horseshoe:

Psychiatry Coronavirus Updates:

Telehealth Information for Outpatient Clinics:

MUSC Youth Collaborative

Adolescence is an important period of development, growth, and opportunity. The Youth Collaborative is dedicated to fostering healthy adolescent development and positively impacting the community. We offer clinical services, research opportunities, and education programs focused on preventing and addressing adolescent substance use, while also encouraging young people to pursue careers in science and discovery.

Call 843-792-9257 | Text YOUTH to 44332 | Visit | Email [email protected] The MUSC Youth Collaborative's clinical services, research, and education programs prevent and address adolescent cannabis, alcohol, and substance abuse.

What Charleston residents can do to manage coronavirus anxiety

Dr. Alyssa Rheingold was recently interviewed for The Post and Courier about ways that Charleston residents can manage coronavirus anxiety. The article can be accessed for free here. Mental heath experts offer advice on managing any anxiety associated with the increased coronavirus conversations.

Autism News NetWORK

Dr. Gwynette was lead author of a new study on the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation as a treatment for depression & autism. Check out the press release!

Vet Fest Music Festival This is a festival with music that will go to helping Veterans receive emergency relief and mental health care that they desperately need.

E. Thomas Lewis III, M.D.

Congratulations to E. Thomas Lewis III, M.D., who was recently appointed by the president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to serve on the organization’s Membership Committee. Additionally, Dr. Lewis serves as a South Carolina Representative to the APA Assembly, where he has chaired a workgroup on voter turnout, served on several reference committees and the Area Five Nominating Committee, and co-authored several action papers. He is also president-elect of the South Carolina Psychiatric Association.

During a time that has been stressful and unsettling for many, our community has responded in so many kind and generous ways to remember our patients, young and old. Gifts have included new teddy bears for children, toys and games, clothing and shoes and other necessities. One of these recent gifts, by an extremely generous donor who has donated close to $10,000 to Psychiatry this past month, was an industrial sized blanket warmer for our child and adolescent inpatient unit. Holly-Ann Turner, Recreational Therapist, and Cynthia Dearing, Clinical Nurse, CPNE, shared a story of a patient who “had enormous difficulty at bedtime and would frequently end up in seclusion as a result of disruptive/aggressive behavior.” This child had a history of being abused, and consequently, was very guarded around adults. Cynthia explained that one evening she decided to try a warm blanket and offered the child a seat near her on the recliner. “He agreed but was leery. All of his muscles were tense as if waiting for an attack. I took the warm blanket and wrapped him up in it, and after a few seconds he relaxed against me. It was the first time other than when he was sleeping that I had seen him relax. That night he fell asleep quickly and peacefully. For some it might just seem like a blanket, but for him it was safety. I have used warm blankets with many patients since then, and it always helps them feel cared for and secure.” We are so grateful for generous donors who truly make a difference in our patients’ lives.
#covid19 #coronavirus #community #weareinthistogether

[04/03/20]   MUSC Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences again increased our overall funding for NIH-funded research among U.S. medical school psychiatry departments. According to the annual report from the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, the FFY19 (Federal Fiscal Year) total for NIH-funded medical research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences was $38,582,868, a sixteen percent increase over FFY18. Of note, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences funding makes up 19% of the total College of Medicine NIH-funded medical research. The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences currently ranks 8th in the U.S among psychiatry departments. Despite challenges in NIH funding, the Department has increased our NIH funding by 42% over the past five years.

In 2019, five of our Department faculty were noted as ranking in the top 100 PIs for NIH research funding. These include:

• Dr. Kathleen Brady (4)
• Dr. Aimee McRae-Clark (35)
• Dr. Michael Cummings (41)
• Dr. Chanita Hughes-Halbert (68)
• Dr. Howard Becker (90)

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