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Department of Psychiatry Faculty Selected to Participate in
Highly Competitive AAMC Medical Education Certificate Program

Three members of the Department of Psychiatry faculty have been selected from a large pool of applicants to participate in the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) Medical Education Certificate (MERC) Program.  The MERC program aims to help medical education leaders to learn research skills that will enhance their ability to develop and implement medical education research projects.

Priya Gopalan, MD has served as the Medical Director for the WPIC Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison (CL) Service since July 2014 and the Chair of Psychiatry for Magee-Women’s Hospital since 2012.  Alongside Dr. Azzam, she serves as the Faculty Co-Director for the Residency AACE Track and the Longitudinal Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Curriculum, , where she consistently demonstrates extraordinary leadership and mentorship skills.  She is a gifted teacher who is a three-time recipient of Resident Teaching Awards from WPIC and was presented with the Psychosomatic Medicine Interest Group Award from the American Psychosomatic Society in 2012.

Sansea Jacobson, MD has served as Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship and Triple Board Programs since January 2012.  She was one of the founders of the Academic Administrator Clinician Educator (AACE) Residency Training Track and the WPIC Resident Wellness Initiative. She was also the creator of the WPIC Advanced Psychopharmacology Course. Dr. Jacobson is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of her teaching and mentorship, including the Samuel Gershon Teaching Award, the WPIC Exemplary Child Faculty Teaching Award, and a National Institutes of Health Research Training Award. In addition to her extensive teaching and administrative activities, Dr. Jacobson is a talented and dedicated clinician, serving in both the Services for Teens at Risk (STAR) Center and the WPIC Center for Children & Families (CCF).

Pierre Azzam, MD has served as the Director of the Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Program since July 2014. Since his appointment to the Department of Psychiatry faculty in 2010, Dr. Azzam has established a reputation as a superb clinician educator, administrator, and mentor. Alongside Dr. Gopalan, he serves as the Faculty Co-Director for the Residency AACE Track and the Longitudinal Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Curriculum. Dr. Azzam has engaged and mentored residents in a number of scholarly projects and quality improvement initiatives aimed at improving medical education and patient care.  This work has resulted in numerous peer reviewed publications in journals including Psychosomatics, Academic Psychiatry, and the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, and presentations at national meetings and conferences.

Drs. Jacobson, Azzam, and Gopalan are graduates of the WPIC Residency Training Program who have built successful careers as clinicians and as leaders in medical education and training.  As part of the MERC program, they will participate in a workshop series focusing on a variety of topics including data management, survey research, and program evaluation.   The MERC program also will provide them with an opportunity to build new interdisciplinary collaborative relationships, and to develop opportunities for medical education research both locally and nationally.