Susan Abbott, M.D., is a prominent child psychiatrist based in New York City. Over the last twenty-seven years, Dr. Abbott has garnered extensive experience in both inpatient programs and her own private practice. Known as one of the foremost specialists on adolescent suicide, and for her unmatched creativity in fields such as psychopharmacology and diagnosis of ADHD, Dr. Abbott maintains a nearly perfect rating on ZocDoc.
Dr. Abbott had always known she wanted to go into medicine but was surprised during her training to develop a passion for child psychiatry. As she tells it:
I loved medicine when I was a kid, and I was also fascinated by the body-mind connection, and I had some experience with children so it all just came together. The program I was in at the University of Pittsburgh allowed me to start working with children on the first day of my residency. Normally you do a four-year residency with adults and then tack on a two-year fellowship with children. And I think that early exposure was crucial in the formation of my skill set, my interests, and my professional identity.
After earning her B.S. in biology from Stony Brook University in 1980, Dr. Abbott enrolled in the University of New York at Buffalo – School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, where she graduated with her M.D. in 1984. She completed her residency at the University of Pittsburgh, where she met her mentor, Dr. Gabrielle Carlson, with whom Dr. Abbott did an additional fellowship focused on suicide in children and adolescents.
Until 1998, Dr. Abbott served as the Founding Director of the Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient program at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in addition to working as a private practitioner. “Inpatient work was very intense and very rewarding,” she notes, “and very challenging as well.” During that time, she also authored a textbook chapter on suicide in children and adolescents. From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Abbott served as the Unit Chief of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry inpatient acute care units at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Today, Dr. Abbott is exclusively a private practitioner. Though her practice encompasses all manner of child and adolescent psychiatric issues, she maintains a specialty in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD with a particular emphases on cases in which it occurs alongside other psychiatric disorders or symptoms, and in populations where it is often under- or misdiagnosed, such as in very "gifted" children and girls. Dr. Abbott is also sought after for expertise in psychopharmacology and is known as one of the rare proponents of lithium, which, she explains, can be a miracle drug for patients with bipolar disorder.
After a long and diverse career, Dr. Abbott is an established leader in psychiatry and maintains a unique vantage point from which to observe trends in her areas of specialty. In particular, she has noticed that developments in the study of autoimmune illnesses are starting to have an effect on psychiatry as well:
What’s fascinating now is some of the new evidence regarding immunological causes of psychiatric illness. This is a very new area and we don’t have treatments yet. But it looks like some psychiatric disorders may be autoimmune-mediated and that would open up a whole new category of treatments.
Stony Brook University (B.S., Biology, 1980) • State University of New York at Buffalo – School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (M.D., 1984) • Residency, Pediatrics and Pediatric Psychiatry (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 1984-1988) • Residency, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (1990 (can you confirm?)) Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology