Robert J. Birnbaum, MD, PhD is the Knowledge Translation Research Director for the Massachusetts General Hospital Academy, the Director of Continuing Professional Development at Partners HealthCare, and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Birnbaum is the founding Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy and the founding Executive Director of the MGH Academy.
The Partners HealthCare office of Continuing Professional Development provides accreditation services for all of Partners HealthCare’s affiliated institutions. Founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Partners HealthCare is a not-for-profit, integrated health care delivery system in Boston, Massachusetts, and the largest private employer in in the state, with approximately 60,000 employees, including physicians, nurses, scientists and caregivers. Partners institutions maintain a total research budget of more than $1.4 billion, and Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital are the largest private hospital recipients of National Institutes of Health funding in the nation. There are a total of 2,699 licensed beds throughout the Partners HealthCare. In 2011, Partners HealthCare had a total of 155,120 hospital discharges and 6,316,603 outpatient visits.
The Massachusetts General Hospital Academy provides trans-national and global education/training programs that include regional live symposia and web-based activities. Instructional design is informed by documented gap analyses and policy priorities dealing with health care redesign and the harmonization of Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Maintenance of Licensure (MOL), and hospital recredentialing requirements. The Massachusetts General Hospital Academy offers activities that touch on a broad array of provider competencies, day-to-day clinical challenges, cutting edge research advances, health care delivery issues, and patient centered care priorities. Along with over 30,000 health care providers, 10,000 patients and their loved ones-including registrants from 121 countries around the globe-the Massachusetts General Hospital Academy identifies barriers to optimal care, fashions appropriate multimedia educational/training interventions, and measures the impact of those interventions on improving health care quality and safety. The Massachusetts General Hospital Academy’s migration to mobile electronic platforms has fostered the dissemination of learning activities to more than 100,000 learners per year.
Dr. Birnbaum’s psychiatry residency training was completed at Massachusetts General Hospital, as was his chief residency in psychopharmacology. His PhD research was in molecular neurobiology. Dr. Birnbaum serves on the Education Review Board of Partners HealthCare. Dr. Birnbaum is Chair of the Massachusetts General Hospital Academy’s Education Outcomes Research Committee, which studies a wide variety of issues related to dissemination and implementation science. Dr. Birnbaum has been a supervisor and consultant focusing on Asian trans-cultural mental health care issues for the Shanghai Mental Health Center and the Institute of Mental Health at Peking University. Dr. Birnbaum is an Education Consultant to the Red Sox Foundation Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program focusing on traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder in veterans returning from Iraqi and Afghanistan and the Lunder-Dineen Health Education Alliance of Maine addressing the health care needs of the citizens of Maine. Dr. Birnbaum has published widely and has spoken to multidisciplinary audiences nationally and internationally on various aspects of professional development and health care reform.