Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Department of Psychiatry, 1928


Tufts appointed Dr. Walter Channing its first professor of "mental diseases" - the predecessor of psychiatry - in 1894; he held this appointment until 1902. Students at that time took a course consisting of twelve lectures and a clinical study of patients at the Boston Insane Hospital (later renamed the Boston State Hospital), the Boston Dispensary, and the Massachusetts School for the Feebleminded. By the turn of the century, senior students were attending weekly lectures in "normal medical psychology"; they also received some grounding in psychology and psychiatry from Dr. Morton Prince, the professor of neurology from 1902 to 1912.

Dr. Prince was succeeded by Dr. Edward Lane (1912-1928) and Dr. Douglas Thom, who was appointed Tufts' professor of psychiatry in 1928. With the help of Dean A. Warren Stearns, Dr. Thom organized a teaching program to provide instruction in psychiatry to second-, third-, and fourth-year students. Beginning in 1931 each senior student was required to complete a one-month clerkship in a state hospital.

Dr. Jackson Thomas succeeded Dr. Thom in 1947 and subsequently revised the curriculum so that second-year students would receive sixteen hours of lectures and demonstrations; third-year students would attend five two-hour training sessions in the clinics of the Boston Dispensary, the Beth Israel Hospital, and the Boston Psychopathic Hospital; and fourth-year stu-dents would serve a month as psychiatric clinical clerks at one of the school's affiliated hospitals. Despite these changes, the department continued to lack full-time teachers and a research program at the time of Dr. Thomas' retirement in 1963.

However, that year Dr. Paul G. Myerson,a well-known psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, became the department's first full-time professor and chairman. He went on to institute three series of didactic lectures: the first-year course concentrated on normal development; the second-year course dealt with concepts related to psychoneuroses, psychosomatic illnesses, and character problems; and the third-year course focused on the understanding and management of psychoses. Senior students continued to serve a rotation in a psychiatric hospital.

Under Dr. Myerson's leadership, the department distinguished itself through its commitment to psychodynamically and psychoanalytically oriented therapies, which were integrated into its community psychiatry activities and its work with families. During this time, a number of the department's faculty members held staff positions at the New England Medical Center, where they launched an inpatient program for the treatment of young adults suffering from psychoses and borderline mental illness. The department also performed extensive outreach work with its neighborhing communities, especially Chinatown, North Dorchester, and South Boston. In order to accomplish its teaching missions it developed a strong relationship with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health as well as affiliations with the Boston V.A. Medical Center, the Faulkner Hospital, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, and the Baystate Medical Center.

When Dr. Myerson stepped down as chairman in 1979, Dr. Richard I. Shader was recruited to lead the department. While the departmental base remained at the New England Medical Center, certain goals were established for maintaining and augmenting the department's strengths. One of these goals was to develop psychiatry's role within the realm of classical medicine. The department's teaching emphasis was subsequently shifted from a psycho-social and cultural perspective to a more comprehensive biopsychosocial approach. In addition, the third-year clinic began to be offered only in general hospital settings possessing readily available consultative services from other medical disciplines.

Among Dr. Shader's earliest appointments was Dr. Carol Nadelson as director of residency training and vice chair of academic affairs. A nationally known educator, she became the first woman to be elected president of the American Psychiatric Association. Another major recruitment was that of Dr. David J. Greenblatt, an internist and clinical pharmacologist with an interest in pharmacokinetics and geriatric pharmacology. Dr. Greenblatt became involved in the development of a Division of Clinical Pharmacology to be housed jointly in the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine.

During Dr. Shader's tenure, the department received continuous federal research support. Dr. Shader himself became the recipient of an NIH MERIT Award. While the department's training and research efforts were successful, it also continued its tradition of clinical service by establishing progams for the treatment of sexually abused children and substance abusers as well as a joint training enterprise with the Department of Pediatrics. These achievements have won the department widespread recognition.

In 1991 Dr. Shader stepped down as chairman of psychiatry and became professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. Arthur Z. Mutter, a faculty member since 1969, served as acting chair until Dr. Marshal E Folstein was chosen as professor and chair in 1992. A graduate of Georgetown, he trained in Indiana, Cleveland, and New York City. He has been director of Johns Hopkins Hospital psychiatry division.

Source: COE, 152-55.

Subject terms:
  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
This object is in collection Subject Temporal Permanent URL
Component ID:
To Cite:
TARC Citation Guide    EndNote
Detailed Rights
View all images in this book
Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
 List of Sources