Columbia University Medical Center
Top Ranked in the Nation in Research Funding
and Patient Care
U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals
National Institutes of Health
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell

Columbia Inpatient Psychiatry Program Columbia Inpatient Psychiatry Program

At the Columbia Inpatient Psychiatry Program, renowned psychiatrists and allied health professionals offer state-of-the-art evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.

Referral Line: 212-305-2599

Many of the people we help have problems like these:

  • Major depression;
  • Bipolar disorder (manic-depression);
  • Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder;
  • Anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder;
  • personality disorders; and
  • Dual diagnosis problems involving the combination of substance abuse with a psychiatric disorder.

For more information about alcohol and substance abuse detoxification and treatment, please also visit our page for addiction treatments.

Comprehensive Expert Evaluations

The thoroughness of our evaluations set us apart from most other inpatient programs. All patients receive comprehensive expert evaluations covering psychiatric, familial, and psychosocial histories, as well as current mental status. We also try to work closely with families to understand the full context of each person’s life and obtain additional history to help arrive at the correct diagnosis. In addition, evaluations include tests of metabolic, endocrine, and neurologic functioning so that appropriate and timely consultations can be arranged if necessary to rule our medical causes of psychiatric symptoms. Our location in a major teaching hospital gives us access to the full range of tertiary care medical and neurological specialists, as well as outstanding brain imaging facilities.

Comprehensive expert evaluations are ideal for patients with:

  • New onset of a psychiatric disorder;
  • Complex psychiatric, behavioral, and emotional problems;
  • Conditions where the diagnosis is unclear;
  • Illnesses that have proven resistant to standard therapies;
  • Questions about treatment that require a second opinion; and
  • Research shows that such patients often receive inaccurate diagnoses and treatment initially. For example, one survey found that 69% of people with bipolar disorder reported an initial misdiagnosis, with more than one-third experiencing a delay of ten years or more before receiving an accurate assessment. Such misdiagnosis can result in inappropriate treatment, potentially causing episodes that are longer and more frequent.

Further, all patients face the possibility that the most common first-line treatments may fail to work or may need to be prescribed along with a type of psychotherapy that is successful for their particular problem. It is thus critical for patients to have access to a team of professionals who can provide a careful diagnosis, make detailed recommendations, and propose alternative medications or other treatments if initial therapy does not work adequately.

Program Components

The Program features individualized care that incorporates the patient’s goals in treatment planning and involves the patient as a participant on the treatment team. Treatments usually include:

  • Medication;
  • Individual and group psychotherapy to discuss life issues and gain mastery over symptoms such as depression and anxiety;
  • Cognitive therapy; and
  • Individual and group therapy for substance abuse;

Psychoeducation is also a key aspect of care. Patients can learn about the specific genetic and environmental risk factors that may have precipitated their hospitalizations so they can manage their lives more effectively in the future. Psychoeducation and counseling are available for family members, since research shows that families can play a large part in reducing the chance of relapse.

Occupational therapy, pet therapy, yoga classes, and stress management are available, while a small on-site gym contains treadmills, weights, and a Universal exercise machine.

Amenities include weekly concerts and comfortable, private or double rooms with bathrooms and large picture windows, some of which have views of the Hudson River.

For patients with severe mood disorders, the inpatient unit offers one the nation’s finest programs in electroconvulsive therapy. Our researchers in brain stimulation have pioneered ways to make this treatment safer and more comfortable than ever. It is often possible to begin treatment in the hospital, and then continue as an outpatient as symptoms stabilize.

Program Characteristics

The Program is distinguished by an unusually high staff-to-patient ratio. Patients are assigned a physician who sees them six days a week. Other members of their treatment team, including the resident and the nurse, also see them more frequently than is customary.

Further, the Program often helps many people who present challenges to other professionals because the Program can draw on the expertise of physicians at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and psychiatrists at New York State Psychiatric Institute. Consequently, the Program serves as a magnet for challenging cases from the greater metropolitan New York area and abroad.

Finally, the Program ensures continuity of care by maintaining close contact with the referring physician during hospitalization and sending a full report to him or her upon the patient’s discharge.

In short, the intensive, personal treatment offered by outstanding clinicians and allied staff in a resource-rich environment create a premier inpatient Program.


Staff Clinicians

Financial considerations

We accept most insurance plans, which cover hospital and basic professional fees. Certain optional services and amenities may be available for additional fees. Financial counselors are available to discuss these charges in detail prior to admission.


For admission information, please call 212-305-2599 Monday - Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. At other times, please call 212-305-6001.


9-Garden North
Milstein Hospital Building, 9th Floor
177 Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10032




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