Mental, behavioral or developmental problems affect nearly 20 percent of the nation’s youth. Those challenges present opportunity to Dr. Graham Emslie, director of the Division of Adolescent Psychiatry.
“There is so much more to discover about how the adolescent brain works, and that has fascinated me from the beginning of my career,” he says. “I believe that if we can treat mental health problems in childhood, we can have a much healthier society.”
In his role as a psychiatrist, Dr. Emslie applies his experience in child development and knowledge dealing with unique issues that children face. He advocates for access and quality in mental health care and teaches clinical psychiatry via a clinician-researcher model. His research focuses on the efficacy and effectiveness of medications and psychotherapy for children and adolescents with depression, anxiety disorders and attention-deficit disorder. And in his practice, he delights in the one-on-one opportunities he has to make a difference in children’s lives.
“One of the things I enjoy most is that I get to talk with kids, in a very structured way, in order to identify problems and diagnose for appropriate treatment,” he says. “Asking the right questions is just as important as careful listening.”
Many mental health problems in children and adolescents go under-recognized and undertreated, which fuels Dr. Emslie’s work in teaching and research at UT Southwestern Medical Center, where he is the Charles E. and Sarah M. Seay Chair in Child Psychiatry. He is internationally recognized for his depression research program that studies youth with depression and suicide attempts.
“I enjoy my role as an educator training child psychiatrists. However, given the shortage of child psychiatrists, I also work to better integrate child psychiatry with primary care,” he says.
Dr. Emslie is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He earned his medical degree from Aberdeen University in Scotland, served as a general medicine and neurosurgery intern at Aberdeen Hospitals and completed a residency in general psychiatry at the University of Rochester, New York, and a second residency in child psychiatry at Stanford University, where he also completed a research fellowship.
He is a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Psychiatric Association, Texas Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians, Society of Biological Psychiatry and the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology.
Outside of his practice, Dr. Emslie enjoys playing golf and squash, as well as being involved in the lives of his three grandchildren. An avid traveler, he makes time to go back to his native Scotland every year.
Education and Training
- Medical School
- University of Aberdeen (1974)
- Aberdeen Hospitals (1975), Neurosurgery
- Stanford University Hospitals & Clinics (1981), Child/Adolescent Psychiatry
University of Rochester - Psychiatry Residency (1978), Psychiatry, General
Departments and Programs
- Integration of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of pediatric depression
- Pediatric depression
- Pharmacological treatment of depression in children and adolescents
- Suicidal behavior in youth
- Treatment-resistant depression
- Fluoxetine for acute treatment of depression in children and adolescents: A placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial., Emslie GJ, Heiligenstein JH, Wagner KD, Hoog SL, Ernest DE, Brown E, Neilsson M, Jacobson JG J Am Acad Child & Adolesc Psychiatry, 2002 41(10) 1205-1215
- Mood disorders in children and adolescents: Psychopharmacological treatment, Emslie GJ, Mayes TL. Biol Psychiatry 2001 49 1082-1090
- Fluoxetine in child and adolescent depression: Acute and maintenance treatment, Emslie GJ, Rush AJ, Weinberg WA, Kowatch RA, Carmody T, Mayes TL Depression and Anxiety 1998 7 32-39
- A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of fluoxetine in depressed children and adolescents, Emslie GJ, Rush AJ, Weinberg WA, Kowatch RA, Hughes, CW, Carmody T, Rintelmann JW Arch Gen Psychiatry 1997 54 1031-1037
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- American Psychiatric Association
- Society of Biological Psychiatry
- Texas Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians
Awards and Honors
- Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation Award for Research in Depression or Suicide (2003)
- Joseph Fischhoff, M.D., Honorary Lectureship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Children`s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University (2002)
- Mental Health Association`s Pamela Blumenthal Memorial Prism Award (2000)
- ADDA-SR Award (1996)