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psychiatry1 Psych residents psychiatry3

department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

History of the Department


Episcopal ChapelO. Spurgeon English, MD was the founding Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Temple in 1937. He remains a legendary figure in American psychiatry, and an unforgettable character for those of our current faculty who had the privilege of being taught by him. Among his many accomplishments were his founding role in the American Psychosomatic Society in 1947, and the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP) in 1946. In the former, he was joined by his Temple colleague, Edward Weiss, along with Drs. Stanley Cobb, Walter B. Cannon and Eric Lindeman from Harvard. Dr. English's distinguished company at the organizing meeting for GAP included Drs. Daniel Blain, Henry W. Brosin, Norman Q. Brill, Roy R. Grinker, William C. Menninger, Karl Menninger, John Romano, Francis J. Braceland, and Leon J. Saul. These men constituted the progressive wing of the psychoanalytic movement who were moving to broaden the research interests and the clinical application of psychoanalytic understanding to medical illnesses (psychosomatics) and the community. The breadth of their vision, their boundless energy and the profundity of their understanding of human behavior is evident in the survival of these seminal organizations to the present time. Dr. English's legacy at Temple is alive in the preservation of his concern with applying psychiatric knowledge to the larger community, and in his interminable willingness to look at new ideas in psychiatry.


Joseph Wolpe, MD, a succeeding Chair, is rightly regarded as the father of Behavior Therapy. His groundbreaking work on the treatment of phobias with Behavior Therapy, and his invention of progressive hierarchical desensitization as a research-testable therapeutic tool remain as fresh today as when he introduced the technique. He further serves as a beacon for those international medical graduates who followed in his footsteps at Temple (he was born in South Africa in 1915).


Charles Shagass, MD is another Chair who did groundbreaking work. His use of the EEG to delineate brain function in various normal and pathological clinical states represents one of the early beginnings of a turn towards a study of the brain as the proper province of psychiatry. His pedigree traces to his early work in physiology as a student under Hans Selye at the University of Montreal, who first described and named the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS), from which all stress research proceeds to this day.


Anthony Panzetta, MD was one of the first psychiatrists to recognize the dramatically changing landscape of health care delivery in the United States, particularly as it applied to mental health. During his tenure at Temple, he became widely known as a national expert on mental health delivery systems, medical markets, and the organization of professional organizations around the new realities.


Burr S. Eichelman, Jr., MD, PhD had a distinguished career in research with national and international recognition for his basic science and clinical work on the neurochemistry, psychopharmacology of aggressive behavior and the general management of the violent patient. He was also active in the area of medical and psychiatric ethics. Dr. Eichelman had numerous peer-reviewed publications and invited presentations in the fields of basic and applied psychopharmacology.