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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Department of Psychiatry

photo of Michael Garrett

Michael Garrett, MD
Vice Chairman and
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry

Vice Chair Message

The ultimate purpose of all learning in Psychiatry, whether the application of what is already known, or generating new knowledge through research, is patient care. At SUNY Downstate we provide high quality psychiatric care to a diverse urban population. Our clinical services consist of one 34 bed inpatient psychiatry unit, the consultation-liaison service, which covers the emergency room and the medical\surgical floors, and an outpatient clinic. On the inpatient unit residents work with a multidisciplinary team to address the needs of acute patients who are temporarily unable to cope with themselves or their lives without structured care. On the unit the natural resilience of people cared for in a humane setting allows patients to recover with the aid of medication and psychological treatments. On the C\L service, residents work at the interface between psychiatry and other medical sub-specialties. Here they acquire the special knowledge base and clinical skills necessary to work effectively with patients in a medical setting. In the outpatient clinic residents learn what it means to have a patient, to be a patient's doctor, to take the patient as he or she is, to do what is necessary in their behalf, with skill and persistence. In the end, a central goal of the SUNY training program is to instill in all its graduates a strong sense of moral purpose which directs the clinician's care of patients, and the knowledge and clinical skills to accomplish this purpose. In this way, not only will patients receive high quality care, but trainees and graduates of our program will develop an emotional and intellectual base which will sustain them through a long, productive career, which is both personally satisfying and which does good in the world.