December 31, 2020
MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update
Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry
As we usher in a new year, The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences wishes you abundant peace and prosperity. May the upcoming year bring you happiness and new inspirations. Cheers and best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful 2021!
Dr. Emily Gottfried was interviewed for the Moultrie News regarding how parents can talk to their kids about online safety. The full article can be accessed here
Dr. Josh Smith and Dr. Howard Becker were interviewed for the Post and Courier regarding the benefits and downsides of "Dry January." The full article can be accessed here.

Mandatory controlled substance e-prescribing goes into effect on January 1st. If you are not already signed up, follow this link to register (it takes an online portion and then an in-person verification):


The SC Legislature information on the mandatory e-scribing for controlled substances can be found here:
COVID-19 vaccine scheduling is now open for Phase 1a - Wave 1 (health care workers who directly touch patients). If you do not know if you qualify for Wave 1, ask your leader for guidance. MUSC is not yet scheduling appointments for Phase 1a - Wave 2 (health care workers who work within six feet of patients) or Phase 1a - Wave 3 (health care workers essential to operations-functions of MUSC).
For more information and to schedule your vaccine appointment, please click the image above or visit

The numbers of positive COVID-19 cases, deaths from the virus, and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 continue to rise across the country and within South Carolina. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health agencies recommend not traveling for the holidays. If you are traveling it is highly recommended that you receive a COVID-19 diagnostic test before you leave Charleston and that you get tested when you return. Testing before you travel protects those you are visiting and testing when you return protects the MUSC and Charleston community. Please note that while the Charleston area numbers are rising (MUSC COVID-19 Epidemiology Intelligence Project), our COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalization rates and number of deaths remain lower than many areas in South Carolina and most other states. If a significant number of you travel to an area with a much higher incidence of COVID-19 and return to Charleston with a COVID-19 infection, it puts our community at risk. Therefore, it is critical that you receive a diagnostic test upon return as well as departure.



We have arranged on-campus pre- and post-holiday testing for your convenience. This high-sensitivity, nasopharyngeal swab test is available for everyone, including those who are asymptomatic. Family members are also invited to get tested and they do not need to accompany you. THERE IS NO COST for anyone to receive this testing. Those who have any type of insurance will be asked for that information and your insurance will be billed. Those without insurance will not be charged. Below are details related to this testing.


Testing Hours

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Jan. 4 and 5



In front of the MUSC Drug Discovery Building on the MUSC Campus in the large space between the Drug Discovery, Bioengineering and Colbert Library buildings.


Scheduling and Appointments

  • No appointment is needed.
  • Individuals will walk up to a registration tent at this location.
  • The layout of the site will allow for social distancing for those in line.
  • Registration staff will be on-site to facilitate the registration of all individuals.
  • Individual demographic information and insurance (if applicable) will be collected.

Please bring a government form of identification (e.g. driver’s license) to ensure an accurate and efficient registration process. Please note that student and employee IDs are not acceptable forms of identification. 



  • Results will be reported via MyChart, email, text and/or phone call.
  • Instructions for registering for MyChart will be provided if you do not yet have a MyChart account.
  • The expected turnaround time to receive results is 24-48 hours.

Alternative Dates and Locations

If you are unavailable to make it to one of the on-campus testing events or need an alternate date or time you have the following options:


  1. You may choose to use the MUSC Health Virtual Care platform by going online to You will need to create an account and start a virtual care visit. During this process, please note that your request for COVID-19 testing is for travel purposes. You will be able to book an appointment at any of the available MUSC testing sites most of which are off-campus and are drive-through. This option is available to the entire Charleston community so please book early to ensure a spot is available for you.

  2. MUSC is conducting drive through testing at the Charleston International Airport. This site will be open on Tuesday, Dec. 15, Wednesday, Dec. 16, and Thursday, Dec. 17 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is located on the 4th floor of the airport’s Daily Parking Garage, 5500 International Blvd., North Charleston. Decisions regarding post-holidays testing at this site have not been made at this time.


We look forward to the opportunity to provide convenient on-campus testing services to our MUSC faculty, staff and students. Thank you for helping stop the spread of COVID-19.


For anyone who is requesting promotion or tenure effective January 1, 2022, all promotion and tenure requests must be received in the Chair’s office no later than February 4, 2021, in the form of complete packets accompanied by a letter of recommendation from your Division Director. Packets with checklists, requests for materials, and forms specific for regular and modified faculty have been developed to make the submission process more straightforward. Packets are available on the College of Medicine’s website. Follow this link:


Promotion to Associate Professor or Professor requires a minimum of four letters of recommendation, addressed to the Departmental Chair. Individuals selected to write the minimum four letters should be non-MUSC faculty in the candidate’s field at the academic rank of professor or its equivalent stature. At least two of these individuals should not be associated with the candidate by having been past mentors/teachers/students/trainees. We ask that you provide 4-6 names of individuals that we can contact to solicit letters of recommendation.  


The letter of recommendation from your Division Director must follow appendix 2 in the COM APT guidelines. Division Director letters should include the following paragraphs: introductory, education, research if applicable, scholarly publications, clinical practice if applicable, administration, and other activities and accomplishments. 


If you have any questions, please contact Kristen Mulholland at

The Hollings Cancer Center (HCC) Fellowship Program is currently accepting applications for its Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellowship and Graduate Fellowship Programs. Applications for both fellowship levels are due by midnight, Friday, January 15, 2021. Awardees will begin their fellowships July 1, 2021. This program focuses on training the next generation of exceptional cancer scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina.


HCC Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellowship awards provide up to two years of stipend support for postdoctoral fellows and one year of support for clinical fellows. 


HCC Graduate Fellowship awards will provide up to two years of stipend and tuition assistance.  


For more information or to apply:


Testing a Wearable Telemedicine-controllable

taVNS Device for NeuroCovid Recovery and Rehab


Researcher: Mark George, M.D.

PRO Number: pro00101270


The purpose of the research is to test out a new form of treatment where we stimulate a nerve in your ear. This is called transcutaneous (through the skin) auricular (ear) vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) which means that you will receive stimulation through the ear. The taVNS device looks like an ear bud you would use with your smart phone or computer. We are investigating whether or not taVNS can treat neurologic symptoms of COVID-19 which are termed NEUROCOVID. Some symptoms you may experience are new onset anxiety, depression, vertigo, loss of smell, headaches, fatigue, irritability, etc. This study is entirely online and all assessments will be completed virtually.


Recruitment Contact

Sarah Huffman



Please see the calendar below for a list of diversity & inclusion offerings from the Office of Training and Intercultural Education.


Psychiatry Administration


ICCE Chief (UNIV, Full-Time): The Chief of the Mental Health Integrated Center for Clinical Excellence reports to the Chief Physician Executive of MUSC Health and works in close collaboration with other MUSC Health leaders including the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer. As Vice Chair, this position also reports to the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The ICCE Chief is expected to provide at least 75 percent administrative time in the role devoted to strategic leadership and administrative activities.


Addiction Sciences Division


Assistant Professor/Psychologist (UNIV, Full-Time): This position is for a clinical psychologist who will be working as a faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Outpatient Clinic of the Addiction Sciences Division of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, providing individual and group therapy to individuals with addiction-related and other psychiatric illnesses and their families. 


Open Rank/Assistant Professor (UNIV, Full-Time): The successful applicant for this position will have either an MD or a PhD degree and will be expected to have an established and independent research program that will interface with the multidisciplinary NIAAA P50 Charleston Alcohol Research Center at MUSC. 


Open Rank/Professor (UNIV, Full-Time): The successful applicant for this position will have either an MD or a PhD degree and will be expected to have an established and independent research program that will interface with the multidisciplinary NIAAA P50 Charleston Alcohol Research Center at MUSC.


Psychiatry Hospitalist Division


Open Rank - Psychiatry (UNIV, Full-Time): Candidate must be a psychiatrist with the ability to hold an unrestricted license to practice in South Carolina. The candidate must be board-eligible or board-certified if having completed residency training greater than five years ago. Candidate will be a member of the Psychiatry Hospitalist Division and provide inpatient care on a general adult psychiatry unit and provide coverage across other inpatient areas as needed. Candidate will provide care as a Consult Liaison, and have research coverage. *Note: This position is coded under an ECT identifier through Human Resources; however, it is not ECT for doctors. This position is for the Psychiatry Hospitalist Division.


Women's Reproductive and Behavioral Health Division


Social Worker LISW-CP (MUSCP, Full-Time): The Department of Psychiatry is seeking a candidate to fill their Social Worker position within their Mental Health Division. The candidate will work collaboratively within an integrated behavioral health program and provide evidence-based psychotherapies to pregnant and postpartum women with mental health and substance use disorders.

2020-2021 GRAND ROUNDS

TriNetX is a user-friendly platform that researchers can utilize to query de-identified data from MUSC’s Electronic Health Records (EHR). The TriNetX platform is available to MUSC research teams to support enhanced research feasibility assessments, create a cohort of patients for research data sets, protocol development, and the creation of participant lists for recruitment. More information can be found on SCTR’s website at You can also download a PDF copy of MUSC TriNetX Basic Guide by clicking here and the Data Guide by clicking here.


Faculty members have access to this platform; however staff members must be sponsored by a faculty member. The i2b2 Sponsorship Form can be found on the Biomedical Informatics Center (BMIC) website at


Register for an upcoming TriNetX training:


Basic Functionality Training
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. | Register

Data Analytics Training
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Register 
Thursday, January 28, 2021 | 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. | Register


Individuals may contact Elizabeth Szwast or Amanda Cameron to request access to the July TriNetX recorded training session. 


Should you have any questions, please contact Romeka Washington at

The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccines have started arriving at  MUSC Health. Per the CDC and DHEC, the Phase 1a group to be vaccinated will be health care workers who have direct patient contact, and long-term care residents. We anticipate this first phase 1a will continue through the end of December.


The vaccine is not mandatory, but it is highly encouraged. The COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force will be posting updates on the COVID-19 Vaccine intranet site, including information about the vaccine safety and efficacy, so our care team members can make an informed decision.



The following resource provides MUSC Health lab and testing options pertaining to COVID-19. Included on this page is information regarding drive-thru and “pop-up” mobile COVID testing locations, antibody or serology tests, drive-in lab and nurse visits, and original/classic lab testing.


MUSC Health Lab & Testing Options



Due to the activity of COVID-19 within the hospital and community, all employees, residents, fellows and students within all MUSC entities are directed to begin daily self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms. This applies regardless of whether you have been working remotely on a full-time or intermittent basis. You need to continue daily self-monitoring, even if symptoms are not present.



In addition to updates provided by MUSC Enterprise, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences will also provide updates through our employee intranet, The Horseshoe. Updates will be provided regularly as new information becomes available. For your convenience, direct links are provided below.



Given the COVID-19 pandemic and until further notice, all volunteers and observers are barred from participation in departmental and MH-ICCE based activities. If there are circumstances wherein this policy causes a significant and critical issue, it should be brought to my attention for consideration of a written waiver (on an individual basis) of this policy. Thank you.


Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.

Professor and Chair

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

NAMI Connection and NAMI Family Support Offered Online 


Social distancing does not mean that you have to go through difficult times alone. NAMI is here to help! We are offering NAMI Family Support and NAMI Connection online. 


NAMI Connection Support is offered every Monday at 6PM until further notice.


NAMI Family Support Group is offered the 2nd and 4th Thursdays

of the month at 6PM until further notice.


By clicking HERE you can sign up to receive the meeting login information or you can email us at or call/text 843-284-3091. 
If you would like to submit content to include in next week's Chair Update, please submit to Dr. Jamie Fisher by 12:00 pm on Monday. Thank you.
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