Welcome to UW Psychiatry


Welcome to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences!

With nearly 1,000 faculty, staff, and trainees, our department serves a five-state region known as WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho). We enjoy many of the same qualities as our Pacific Northwest home: an entrepreneurial spirit, a sense of discovery and a deep appreciation for the beauty and the diversity of our region and its people. We are an integral part of the University of Washington, a leading global university, and of the UW School of Medicine, a top ranked school in research and in primary care.  We are dedicated to improving the health of the public through research and discovery, training the next generation of health professionals and researchers, and improving the lives of people, one patient at a time.

Our scientists are engaged in cutting-edge research that helps us better understand the brain and behavior, paving the way for new treatments that will ultimately improve the lives of people in Seattle and around the world. Our research portfolio includes work in neurodevelopment and healthy brain aging, autism, a wide range of mental health and addiction problems and programs that bring much needed mental health care to underserved populations in the United States and abroad.  One of our best known innovations is the Collaborative Care model in which psychiatrists and other mental health specialists work closely with primary care providers to care for the emotional and physical needs of our patients. Our research has demonstrated that Collaborative Care leads to better patient and provider satisfaction, better clinical outcomes and lower health care costs, helping us achieve the ‘Quadruple Aim’ of Health Care Reform.


In the News

Science Says: What makes something truly addictive
AP News | June 21, 2018
The new “gaming disorder” classification from the World Health Organization revives a debate in the medical community about whether behaviors can cause the same kind of addictive illness as drugs. Andy Saxon, MD, talks about how dopamine comes into play.

World Health Organization says video game addiction is a disease. Why American psychiatrists don't
Los Angeles Times | June 19, 2018
Andy Saxon, MD, discusses why the American Psychiatric Association opted not to include internet gaming disorder to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).

Expanding access to mental health care through telemental health
The Washington Nurse | Spring, 2018 (pg 24)
Cara Towle gives examples of how nurses are vital components of the telemental health services provided by UW Medicine, including the Psychiatry Consultation and Telepsychiatry (PCAT) program, the Psychiatry and Addictions Case Consultation (PACC) series, and thier liaison role in Collaborative Care.

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Department Facts

Please see our Department Fact Sheet for an overview of our department.