About Us

The Columbia University Department of Psychiatry is one of the largest in the country in terms of faculty size as well as state, federal, and foundation research support. We are currently among the top ranked in the nation for Psychiatry in the US News & World Report Best Hospital rankings, as well as in psychiatric research funding from the National Institutes of Health. We have extraordinary clinical, educational, and research resources. Our faculty includes over 400 psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and neurobehavioral scientists. Clinical facilities and laboratories of the Psychiatry Department are located in a large number of institutions and health care systems. These include NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, the New York State Psychiatric Institute, the New York State Office of Mental Health, and the Washington Heights Community Mental Health Center. The Department of Psychiatry also houses the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, the Mind/Brain Institute, a Howard Hughes Research Institute and the Stanley Center for Applied Neuroscience of Bipolar Disorders.

The Setting

The Columbia University Department of Psychiatry is located at Columbia University Medical Center in northern Manhattan, part of an urban neighborhood that is ethnically and economically diverse in a city that has been called the capital of the world. The institutions which comprise the teaching facilities of the Department are described below.

Patient Care

We provide clinical services in programs operated through the ColumbiaDoctors faculty practice, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. We provide the full range of psychiatric treatment for a variety of mental health conditions across both office-based and hospital-based settings. Our clinical faculty include over 175 psychiatrists and therapists that provide over 80,000 visits to adults and children annually. Our hospital-based programs provide over 2000 annual admissions across two sites. Some of our programs are also teaching sites for medical students, residents, psychology interns, and other types of trainees. To learn more about our clinical services, please visit our patient care page.

The New York State Psychiatric Institute

Arial view of the NYSPI building

The New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), established in 1895, was one of the first institutions in the United States to integrate teaching, research and therapeutic approaches to the care of patients with mental illnesses. In 1925, NYSPI affiliated with Presbyterian Hospital, adding general hospital facilities to the Institute's psychiatric services and research laboratories. These facilities were supplemented in 1983 by a 14-floor Psychiatric Research Building, the Kolb Annex.

The NYSPI was further modernized in 1998 by opening of a new hospital building to replace the original one. Overlooking the Hudson River and George Washington Bridge, the new Psychiatric Institute provides a state-of-the art environment for patient care, education, and research. The approximately 320,000 square feet offer space for 60 inpatient beds, 23 specialized outpatient research clinics, educational facilities, and research laboratories. Walkway bridges to and from the Kolb Annex and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital provide comfortable and efficient all-weather avenues for patient and staff travel within the Columbia University Medical Center.

From the beginning, NYSPI has been at the forefront of psychiatry, making major contributions to the clinical care and understanding of the mentally ill. Through the years, distinguished figures in American psychiatry have served as directors of the Psychiatric Institute. It is now led by a noted academic psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

The main Presbyterian Hospital structure is the 745-bed Milstein Hospital building, which offers state of the art advanced medical procedures and its critical care capability. Presbyterian Hospital also includes the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, the Harkness Eye Institute, the Sloane Hospital for Women, the Neurological Institute, and the Vanderbilt Clinic. The Allen Hospital, a 300-bed community hospital component of Presbyterian, is located at the northern tip of Manhattan. In total, Presbyterian Hospital has approximately 1,200 beds. Each year, over 46,000 patients are treated in the hospital and approximately 700,000 patients are seen in the outpatient clinics and doctors' offices. The professional staff consists of over 1,100 attending physicians, 500 residents and many clinical and research fellows.

In 1999 Presbyterian Hospital merged with New York Hospital, a Cornell affiliate, to become NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH). In 2016, the US News and World Report Best Hospitals rankings recognized NYPH as #1 in Psychiatry and overall in New York and #3 in psychiatry and #6 overall in the nation.

The Columbia University Medical Center offers superb primary care to the Washington Heights community and also provides advanced specialty care to patients from throughout the country. Psychiatric services at the Columbia campus of NYPH include 50 inpatient beds, an outpatient department with 100,000 visits/year, a comprehensive emergency service with 3,500 visits/year, a child psychiatric clinic, and a consultation-liaison service. Construction on a new inpatient unit was completed in 2002, and new child psychiatry facilities recently opened.

Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons

Now part of Columbia University, the College of Physicians and Surgeons was founded in 1767 and was the first school in North America to award doctoral degrees in medicine. 'P&S' has developed extensive new facilities over the past few years, including the Hammer Health Sciences Center - a 20-story structure housing an excellent medical library, amphitheatre and teaching facilities. The medical school is considered to be among the finest in America, and has traditionally been one of the nation's primary sources of practicing doctors and researchers.

The Columbia Psychoanalytic Center for Training and Research

This Center, founded in 1945, was the first major psychoanalytic institute to be established in a university medical school. This step was taken with the belief that psychoanalysis and medicine would each benefit through a close relationship, with access to patients, facilities, teaching programs, and research opportunities. The Center is located in the New York State Psychiatric Institute.