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Birnbaum, Robert, MD, PhD

Director, Continuing Professional Development, Partners Healthcare
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School


Robert J. Birnbaum, MD, PhD is the Director of Continuing ProfessionalDevelopment at Partners Healthcare and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at HarvardMedical 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 ProfessionalDevelopment provides accreditation services for all of Partners HealthCare’saffiliated institutions.  Founded byBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, PartnersHealthCare is a not-for-profit, integrated health care delivery system inBoston, Massachusetts and the largest private employer in Massachusetts, withapproximately 60,000 employees, including physicians, nurses, scientists andcaregivers. Partners institutions maintain a total research budget of more than$1.4 billion, and Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospitalare the largest private hospital recipients of National Institutes of Healthfunding in the nation. There are a total of 2,699 licensed beds throughout thePartners HealthCare.  In 2011, Partners HealthCarehad a total of 155,120 hospital discharges and 6,316,603 outpatient visits.

The Massachusetts General Hospital Academy providestrans-national and global education/training programs that include regionallive symposia and web-based activities. Instructional design is informed bydocumented gap analyses and policy priorities dealing with health care redesignand the harmonization of Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Maintenance ofLicensure (MOL), and hospital recredentialing requirements. The MassachusettsGeneral Hospital Academy offers activities that touch on a broad array ofprovider competencies, day-today clinical challenges, cutting edge researchadvances, health care delivery issues, and patient centered care priorities.Along with over 30,000 health care providers, 10,000 patients and their lovedones, including registrants from 121 countries around the globe, the MassachusettsGeneral Hospital Academy identifies barriers to optimal care, fashionsappropriate multimediaeducational/training interventions and measures the impact of thoseinterventions on improving health care quality and safety. The MassachusettsGeneral Hospital Academy’s migration to mobile electronic platforms hasfostered the dissemination of learning activities to more than 100,000 learnersper year.

Dr. Birnbaum’s psychiatry residency training was completedat Massachusetts General Hospital, as was his chief residency inpsychopharmacology. 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 EducationOutcomes Research Committee (ORC), which studies a wide variety of issuesrelated to dissemination and implementation science. Dr. Birnbaum has been asupervisor and consultant focusing on Asian trans-cultural mental health careissues for the Shanghai Mental Health Center (SHMHC) and the Institute ofMental Health (IMH) at Peking University (PKU). Dr. Birnbaum is an EducationConsultant to the Red Sox Foundation Massachusetts General Hospital Home BaseProgram focusing on traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder inveterans returning from Iraqi and Afghanistan and the Lunder-Dineen HealthEducation Alliance of Maine addressing the health care needs of the citizens ofMaine. Dr. Birnbaum has published widely and has spoken to multidisciplinaryaudiences nationally and internationally on various aspects of professionaldevelopment and health care reform.