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Robert J. Birnbaum, MD, PhD

Co-Chair, Lunder-Dineen Health Education Alliance of Maine
Vice President, Continuing Professional Development & Implementation Science at Partners Healthcare
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Robert J. Birnbaum, MD, is the Vice President of Continuing Medical Education at Partners HealthCare and the senior education research and design specialist for postgraduate medical education at Massachusetts General Hospital. Birnbaum is an assistant professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Birnbaum is the founding director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Psychiatry Academy and the founding Executive Director of the MGH Academy. The MGH Academy provides transnational 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 MGH 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. The MGH Academy has a focus on rural and disenfranchised patient and provider groups, with an emphasis on vulnerable populations. Along with more than 25,000 health care providers, 10,000 patients and their loved ones, including registrants from 121 countries around the globe, the MGH 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 MGH Academy’s migration to mobile electronic platforms has fostered the dissemination of 100,000 learning activities per year.

Birnbaum’s psychiatry residency training was completed at MGH, as was his chief residency in psychopharmacology. His PhD research was in molecular neurobiology. Birnbaum serves on the Education Review Board of Partners HealthCare. Birnbaum is chair of the MGH Academy’s Education Outcomes Research Committee (ORC), which studies a wide variety of issues related to dissemination and implementation science. Birnbaum has been a supervisor and consultant focusing on Asian transcultural mental health care issues for the Shanghai Mental Health Center (SHMHC) and the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) at Peking University (PKU). Birnbaum is an education consultant to the Red Sox Foundation/Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program focusing on traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder in veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and the Lunder-Dineen Health Education Alliance of Maine addressing the health care needs of the citizens of Maine. Birnbaum has published widely and has spoken to multidisciplinary audiences nationally and internationally on various aspects of continuing medical education and health care reform.