Letter from the Chairman

Welcome to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

I am very happy to welcome you to a department moving through an incredible phase of evolution.  Over the last 15-20 years there has been an explosion of interest, innovation, and research within the domain of mental illness.  Utilizing this new energy our Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Department has taken up the challenge of forging a multidisciplinary force to meet the mental health needs of citizens of Eastern North Carolina from childhood through geriatrics.  Our neighbors struggling with substance abuse, crippling anxiety, insomnia, psychosis, intellectual disability, or autism spectrum disorder can find an institution within ECU Health focused on controlling their symptoms, learning coping strategies for difficulty, and improving their quality of life.

Our department’s mission is to be the premiere academic rural behavioral health department in the United States. We achieve this lofty goal via a team-oriented approach where psychiatry, psychology, social work, and nursing all work together to meet the needs of our patients.  Clinical care forms the foundation of what we do. Our goal is to first and foremost be the best clinicians possible so patients will feel confident we can meet their needs and improve their conditions.  Towards this end we are also building.  Part of our growth trajectory includes the joint venture with Acadia Health Care to build a free standing 144-bed psychiatric facility in conjunction with ECU Health.  We seek to be on the cutting edge of care with active Electro-convulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and ketamine clinics.  Therapy for both adults and children is present to meet behavioral and interpersonal problems as well as depression and anxiety.

Education is another fundamental aspect of what we are striving to achieve.  We have been educating the future generations of psychiatrists now for well over 30 years.  Our trainees have gone onward to distinguished faculty positions, fellowships, and successful private practice. The Department is poised for significant growth over the next several years as we are developing health psychology, geriatrics, psychosomatic, child/adolescent, and addiction fellowships.  Subspecialty psychiatry has been missing in our region for many years and we are dedicated to addressing that care gap by bringing in providers that can treat behavioral health conditions with training that allows for more nuanced care.  We are proud to have one of the oldest and most stable combined medicine-psychiatry programs in the country and we boast a large number of combined trained faculty to help bridge the divide between mental and physical health.

All academic institutions also need to engage in scholarly and academic inquiry to advance the profession and improve the quality of care.  Our providers have published both original research, educational podcasts for our colleagues in medicine, and comprehensive reviews.  These activities serve to enhance our ability to use evidence-based medicine, teach effectively, and choose the most effective treatments while simultaneously providing a caring environment where our patients feel encouraged, empowered, and supported.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or interests.  We are eager to work with you.


Michael C Lang MD, FACP, DFAPA

Professor and Chairman