Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Senior Residency Advisor

SummersRichard F. Summers, MD is Senior Residency Advisor and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.  He served as Co-Director of Residency Training at Penn from 1998 to 2017.

Dr. Summers is a nationally recognized educator, author and clinician. He is Trustee-at-Large on the Board of Trustees at the American Psychiatric Association, a member of the ACGME Psychiatry Residency Review Committee, and a Past President of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training (AADPRT).  He is currently Chair of the APA Workgroup on Psychiatrist Wellbeing and Burnout

Dr. Summers has written on psychodynamic therapy training, therapeutic alliance, psychodynamic formulation, positive psychology and psychiatry residency training. His book, Psychodynamic Therapy: A Guide to Evidence Based Practice, co-authored with Jacques Barber, is currently used in over thirty training programs. Summers and Barber’s second book, Practicing Psychodynamic Therapy: A Casebook was published in 2014, and Positive Psychiatry: A Casebook, edited with Dilip V. Jeste, MD, is forthcoming.

Dr. Summers was awarded the Earl Bond Outstanding Teacher Award of the Department of Psychiatry at Penn in 2000, the Robert Dunning Dripps Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Psychiatric Educator of the Year by the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society in 2007. He was Teacher of the Year at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia in 2008, and Outpatient Teacher of the Year Award in 2002, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2017 in the Penn Department of Psychiatry.   Most recently, he received the University of Pennsylvania Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014.  He is a Philadelphia Magazine Top Doc.

Dr. Summers’ clinical interests focus on combined psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, and adult lifecycle development. His research interests include the contemporary revision of the theory and technique of psychodynamic psychotherapy and new approaches to psychotherapy training and education.  He is an Associate Editor of Psychiatry, 4th Ed., eds. Tasman, Kay, Lieberman, First and Maj.

Dr. Summers received a B.A. from Harvard College in 1979, graduating magna cum laude in sociology, and an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Following psychiatry residency at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, Dr. Summers completed psychoanalytic training at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, on whose faculty he currently serves.

Follow Dr. Summers on Twitter @summersrpa 

Selected recent links:


Taking Steps to Avoid Isolation is Key to Preventing Burnout

Psychiatry News, August, 2017.

The Future of GME: Where Are We Headed?

Psychiatry News, April, 2017.

The Psychoanalytic Model of the Mind, Review of Book by Elizabeth Auchincloss, MD,

American Journal of Psychiatry, January, 2016.

Being Mortal: What Matters in the End, Review of Book by Atul Gawande, MD, American Journal of Psychiatry, December, 2015.

Psychiatric Educator Emphasizes the Relational Nature of Teaching, Psychiatric News, August 17, 2015.

Reflections on Self-Reflection, Grand Rounds MGH, November, 2014.

Milestone Project Called Paradigm Shift In Residency Education, Psychiatric News, August 28, 2013.

Milestone Project Audio Interview, Psychiatric News, August 28, 2013.

Psychodynamic Therapy Workshop, Sydney, Australia, July 20, 2013, video.

Psychotherapy's Role in Treatment, Letter to Psychiatric News, June 1, 2013.

The AADPRT President’s Corner: Are We Getting Better?, July 21, 2011.

Review: Psychodynamic Therapy: A Guide to Evidence Based Practice, pp.33-34, Summer, 2011.


Back to Top