Dr. Robert Hirschfeld is Professor of Psychiatry and DeWitt Wallace Senior Scholar at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Until March, 2015 he served for nearly 25 years as the Titus H. Harris Chair, Harry K. Davis Professor, and Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston. Dr. Hirschfeld is known internationally for his research on the diagnosis and treatment of depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders. He has made major contributions to our understanding of the classification of depression and bipolar disorders, their clinical course, relationship to personality and personality disorders, and treatment with medication and psychotherapy. He developed the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ), the most widely used screen for bipolar disorder in the world. The MDQ has been translated into nineteen languages.
One of the nation’s leading advocates for the mentally ill, Dr. Hirschfeld spent six years as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association (renamed to DBSA). During that time, he played a key role in transforming the organization into America’s most powerful voice for people suffering from depression.
Dr. Hirschfeld has authored over 200 scientific papers and abstracts in leading scientific and medical journals, and has contributed chapters on mood and anxiety disorders in four major psychiatric textbooks, as well as in nearly two dozen other books on psychiatry. He served as Chair of the original and the revision of the American Psychiatric Association’s Workgroup to Develop Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Patients with Bipolar Disorders.
A native of Detroit, Dr. Hirschfeld received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964, and his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1968. He received a M.S. in Operations Research from Stanford University in 1972 and completed his residency in Psychiatry at Stanford University Medical Center in the same year. He was certified in Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1975.
He subsequently spent 18 years at the National Institute of Mental Health, where he was Chief of the Mood, Anxiety and Personality Disorders Research Branch, and was the Clinical Director of NIMH’s Depression/Awareness, Recognition, and Treatment (D/ART) Program.
Dr. Hirschfeld is the recipient of numerous honors, including the 2010 Award for Research in Mood Disorders from the American College of Psychiatrists, the Edward A. Strecker, MD Award, the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians Psychiatric Excellence Award, the Nola Maddox Falcone Prize from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), the Gerald L. Klerman Lifetime Research Award from the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association, the Jan Fawcett Humanitarian Award from the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association, the Special Presidential Commendation from the American Psychiatric Association, the Gerald L. Klerman Award for Panic Disorder from the World Psychiatric Association, and the Administrator’s Award for Meritorious Achievement, the Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Michigan, as well as the Outstanding Service Medal from the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration. He is listed among The Best Doctors in America, and America’s Top Doctors.
Dr. Hirschfeld serves on Board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, of which he has served as President. He also is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, the Scientific Advisory Council of the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), and the Scientific Advisory Board of the ADAA.