I am a psychiatrist for adult patients at Memorial Healthcare System. I am board certified in psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine, which means I have additional training in working with patients who are experiencing a general health problem that is affecting their mental health. I treat patients with mood disorders (such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders, psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder. I also have a particular interest and experience in treating individuals with epilepsy and those undergoing weight-loss surgery.
I was interested in psychology and human behavior before entering medical school. During medical school I found the coursework in neuroscience and behavioral health to be fascinating and had the opportunity to provide care for frequently marginalized or misunderstood patients. I found the experience to be incredibly gratifying, and it solidified my career choice to be a psychiatrist.
As my training continued, I became intrigued by the variety of psychiatric symptoms that were brought on by general medical conditions and medications. Often patients experiencing such symptoms did not fully respond to typical interventions for primary psychiatric disorder and required a variety of approaches. This incited me to seek out a fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where I had the opportunity to work in a variety of integrated clinics (women’s health, oncology, neurology, gastroenterology, HIV, etc.). I went on to become an assistant professor at Jefferson University Hospital where I became the primary consulting psychiatrist for the Jefferson Comprehensive Epilepsy Program and the Jefferson Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Program.
The highlight of my work is interprofessional collaboration and education to optimize patient care. Physical health is incomplete without mental health. Bringing increased awareness of this to other departments and providing education on interventions and techniques that can improve outcomes is crucial to provide the best care for our patients.
When working with patients, I listen closely to understand each person’s unique life story, the current symptoms they are experiencing and the impact these symptoms have had on their relationships and functioning. I work collaboratively with patients to identify goals and values and focus on fostering resiliency in the face of medical illness or other adverse events. I’m a proponent of shared decision-making, lending my knowledge and expertise to patients to help them make choices to better their mental and physical health.
While I do believe medications are important and effective treatments, my policy is to use the least number of medications with the greatest level of benefit. I think psychotherapy is a crucial part of treatment and taking the time to reflect on one's experiences and address underlying issues, whether chronic or acute, can substantially improve outcomes. I have additional training in psychodynamic therapy, which has been an asset in formulating a patient assessment and plan of action.
In addition to providing patient care, I am also passionate about teaching and often write and present about various topics in my field.
Gulf Medical Univerity, 2006
University of Seychelles - American Institute of Medicine, 2009
Creighton University School Of Medicine, 2013, Psychiatry
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2014, Psychiatry
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology-Psychiatry
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology-Psychosomatic Medicine
Awards, Achievements, and More
PublicationsPlease view Dr. Omair H. Abbasi’s publications on PubMed.
- 12/2020: Tatiana, F.; Weisholtz, D.; Munger Clary, H.; Abbasi, O.; Jones, J.E. “Preventing Suicide in Patients with Epilepsy – What Is the Role of the Neurologist?” Symposium presented on behalf of the Psychosocial Comorbidities SIG. American Epilepsy Society 2020 annual meeting.
- 6/2019: Abbasi, O.; Cohen, M.J. “Fostering a Foundation for Functional Feedback: As Easy as Alliteration?” Educator Toolkit Workshop. Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry 2019 annual meeting, Portland, Maine.
- 11/2018: Sheehan, K.; Sockalingam, S.; Abbasi, O.; Hashmi, R. “Managing Complexity in Integrated Care: The Role of C-L Psychiatry in Capacity Building Across the Learner Continuum.” Symposium. Academy of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry 2018 annual meeting, Orlando, Florida.
- 1/2018: Abbasi, O.; Cho, S.; Kasick, D.; Sockalingam, S.; Pelic, C.; Meyer, F. “’How Do I Reach These Kids!’ – Increasing Medical Student Participation, Interest, and Retention in CL Psychiatry Through Online Engagement.” Oral paper. Academy of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry 2018 annual meeting, Orlando, Florida.
- 11/2018: Abbasi, O.; Quinn, D.; Tesar, G.; Falcone, T. “From Seizures to Surgery: The Many Roles of the C-L Psychiatrist in Epilepsy.” Symposium. Academy of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry 2018 annual meeting, Orlando, Florida.
- 6/2018: Gluzman, E.; Dalseth, N.; Abbasi, O. “Where Narrative Medicine Ends and the Residency Personal Statement Begins: Guiding Students in Crafting Personal Statements.” Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry 2018 annual meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- 6/2017: Abbasi, O.; Kay, A.; Thomas, L. “Learning Transgenerational Cultural Competency: Using Ourselves as the ‘Imperfect Instrument.’ ” Workshop. Association of Directors of Medical Education in Psychiatry 2017 annual meeting, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.
- 3/2017: “Anxiety and Panic Disorder.” 42nd Semi-Annual Temple University Family Medicine Review Course, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
- 6/2017: “Mood Disorders in Epilepsy.” Grand Rounds. Department of Neurology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- 6/2016: “Obesity and Mood Disorders.” Grand Rounds. Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Early Career Development Award, Association for Academic Psychiatry, 2020
- Sidney Kimmel Medical College Class of 2020 Professionalism Award, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2019
- Nancy C.A. Roeske, MD, Certificate of Recognition of Excellence in Medical Student Education, American Psychiatric Association, 2018
- Certificate of Excellence in Educational Scholarship, Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry, 2018
- Dean’s Award for Excellence in Medical Education, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2018
- Champion, Hobart A. Hare Medical Honors Society RAFT Debate, 2017
- Visiting Professorship Award, 2016
- Robert Waelder Award for Excellence in Resident Teaching, 2016