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In May, McLean Hospital’s Jane Eisen, MD, was appointed as a professor in residence in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS). The school awards professor in residence positions to senior scholars to fill specific roles in various departments at the school. In her new role, Eisen will focus on faculty development and clinical education, working with Shelly F. Greenfield, MD, MPH, McLean’s chief academic officer.
On her appointment, Eisen said, “McLean and HMS are outstanding institutions. It’s really wonderful to be welcomed and encouraged to create and implement faculty development programs here.”
“I am excited to work with Dr. Eisen on planning programming for faculty and trainees for career development, wellness, and burnout prevention,” said Greenfield. “These areas of focus had already emerged as critical for physicians and other faculty and trainees. However, in the time of COVID-19, programming to serve these needs will have even greater salience.”
While serving as a professor in residence, Eisen will draw on her extensive experience and outstanding national reputation as a clinician, researcher, educator, and health care administrator. Eisen is currently the clinical director of McLean’s Center of Excellence in Depression and Anxiety Disorders. In this position, she manages the integration of clinical work and research in the division. As a clinician, Eisen is engaged in the evaluation and treatment of individuals with complex psychiatric conditions at The Pavilion, McLean’s program for the diagnosis and care of adults with persistent treatment-resistant psychiatric conditions.
Eisen is also deeply involved in supporting and advising faculty members as they move forward in their careers. “I was a residency training director in psychiatry, and I did faculty development in various roles before coming to McLean,” Eisen reported. Currently, she works with Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD, McLean’s chief scientific officer, to create faculty development programs in her division and with Greenfield and the Office of the Chief Academic Officer to create programming for faculty and trainees across the hospital.
“One of the things that Dr. Ressler and I want to do is to help bridge the gap between research and clinical work in the division,” Eisen said. To this end, Eisen has led efforts to bring neuroscience education to McLean clinicians. “I’ve developed ongoing faculty development seminars, series, and case conferences designed to help faculty learn about clinically relevant neuroscience,” she said. This work includes the creation of a retreat about suicide, held last fall.
This half-day event looked at a wide range of topics related to suicide. “We presented cutting-edge research in neuroscience, addressed clinical questions, and helped clinicians deal with the difficulties of working in a field where individuals may commit suicide,” Eisen reported.
With her background as an educator, clinician, and administrator, Eisen is playing a critical role at the hospital during the current COVID-19 crisis. “I’m meeting with the different leaders in the division to discuss how they’re problem-solving,” she said. “We’re looking at the huge amount of changes people have to make to get in gear to switch to virtual programs.” Eisen is also a senior research mentor for the NIMH-funded MGH/McLean Physician Scientist Training Program, contributing her clinical research expertise and mentoring experience to this residency training program.
The move from in-person sessions with patients to virtual services raises many questions and challenges. “Each program has had to decide how to convert what they’re doing to using programs like Zoom,” Eisen stated. “Different areas have come up with their own ways of using the technology.” To help with the process, Eisen takes part in administrative meetings. “I hear what the challenges are, and I fill a sort of oversight role,” she said.
In her day-to-day work at McLean and her new role as a professor in residence at HMS, Eisen brings invaluable knowledge and perspective to her colleagues, students, and other staff. Greenfield adds that “as a senior faculty member, Dr. Eisen has already made significant contributions to the McLean community. I feel so privileged to have an opportunity to work with Dr. Eisen in her multiple roles to enhance faculty and trainee career development. The McLean community will continue to benefit from all of Dr. Eisen’s many talents as a clinician, educator, and researcher.”