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About Us

The Department of Psychiatry at University of Rochester Medical Center has had a long and distinguished history since John Romano and George Engel founded the Department in 1945. Our department is the birthplace of the "Biopsychosocial Model of Medical Illness" that serves as the cornerstone of education and training of students and trainees across the field of psychiatry. With the biopsychosocial model as the core organizing principle, we strive together to develop the Rochester model of psychiatry as the international leader in clinical care, community service, education, and research in psychiatry. Our aims are as follows:

  • Through our clinical service, we aim to provide excellence in general and specialty psychiatric services along with innovative, integrated care models that deliver cost-effective, quality behavioral health service to all medical and surgical patients.
  • In our community, we aim to advocate for and deliver accessible, quality behavioral health service, assist medical care of psychiatrically vulnerable population, and enhance ongoing educational and research partnerships with local community organizations in the Greater Rochester area.
  • Through our education, we aim to train the future leaders — clinicians, administrators, researchers, and teachers — in these times of value-based healthcare and translational science based on a curriculum of collaboration, communication, complementarity, competence, and compassion.
  • Through our research, we aim to expand the department’s existing research strengths in clinical epidemiology and prevention studies and build upon our partnership with the Del Monte Institute to develop translational research in major psychiatric disorders.

75th anniversary logo


H. Benjamin Lee, M.D.
H. Benjamin Lee, M.D.
Department Chair


Together with an array of collaborators, the URMC Department of Psychiatry will creatively and effectively address the mental health needs of the diverse communities and peoples of our region. It will have important, measurably beneficial impacts on their well-being, and it will foster related efforts nationally and internationally. The Department will undertake its mission through the implementation of innovative clinical and prevention programs, research initiatives,and educational activities, and will continuously and vigorously strive for excellence in all of these endeavors, while providing intellectual leadership in the Medical Center, our communities, and beyond.


The URMC Department of Psychiatry will be recognized regionally, nationally, and internationally for its creative, innovative, and dynamic educational, research, clinical and prevention programs, which lead to demonstrable improvements in the mental health and general well being of the patients, families, and diverse communities that it serves.


Constant striving for excellence in ourselves and our institution; personal and institutional integrity in all that we do; dedicated, sustained caring and respect for those whom we serve, for those whom we educate, and for those with whom we work; abiding commitment to the communities in which we live; creating and implementing innovative, effective solutions for the challenges that we face.