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Richard Christensen, MD, MA

ChristensenRichard Christensen, MD,MA

B.A. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

M.A. Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

M.D. Wright State University, School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio

Residency: Psychiatry, University of Florida, College of Medicine

Chief Resident: Psychiatry, University of Florida, College of Medicine

Double Boarded in Adult Psychiatry and Community Psychiatry



Richard C. Christensen, MD, MA, is Professor in the Division of Community Psychiatry at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He obtained an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Rutgers University, an MA in Philosophy (Medical Ethics) from Georgetown University and his MD from Wright State University School of Medicine where he was elected into the AOA Honor Society. His long-standing clinical involvements as an academic community psychiatrist have been directed toward developing and providing psychiatric services to underserved populations through academic-public sector liaisons.  His past clinical commitments have included serving as medical director for a federally-funded initiative targeting chronically homeless persons suffering the effects of co-occurring disorders and developing an integrated psychiatry-primary care initiative based at UF&Shands.  His current clinical obligations entail serving as the Director of Behavioral Health Services at the Sulzbacher Center where he is responsible for overseeing the clinical services in two psychiatry clinics, participating in psychiatric street outreach work, and teaching medical students and resident physicians.

He has received UF’s highest teaching honor, The Hippocratic Award, and has been named an Exemplary Teacher in 2011, 2012 and 2013.   He has been selected as one of the Best Doctors in America for 15 consecutive years

He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and reviews on topics related to community psychiatry, medical ethics, access to health care for the poor and under-served with a special focus upon the population of homeless persons who are  mentally ill.  He continues to present at both national and regional professional conferences on issues related to these topics.


Selected Publications since 2000:

Christensen RC:  Involuntary Hospitalization or Aversive Incarceration?  Psychiatric Services  (51)5:   676-677,  2000.

Damiani JT, Christensen RC:  Lamotrigine-associated Neutropenia in a Geriatric Patient.  American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry,  8(4)  346,  2000.

Christensen RC:  Moral Responsibility and the Mentally Ill Poor:  Rethinking Ethics.  Psychiatric Services,   51(11) 452-53,  2000.

Christensen RC:  Service-Learning in Medical Education:  Teaching Residents How to Work with the Homeless Mentally Ill. In Creating Community Responsive Physicians:  Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Medical Education, edited by Sarena Seifer, Kris Hermans, et al.,   pp.   55-62.  Washington, D.C.  American Association of Higher Education, 2000.

Christensen RC:  Cotard’s Syndrome in a Homeless Man.  Psychiatric Services, 52(9) 1256-1257, 2001.

Christensen RC:  Paroxetine in the Treatment of Tinnitus.  Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 125(4), 436-437, 2001.

Christensen RC:  Resident Education in Community Psychiatry:  A Model of Service-Learning.  Psychiatric Services,   53(7)  898, 2002.

Christensen RC:  The Ethics of Cost-Shifting in Community Psychiatry.  Psychiatric Services,  53 (8)  921,   2002.

Christensen RC:  Replying to An Ethically Complex Scenario.  Psychiatric Services, 53(12) 1635,  2002.

Christensen RC:  Screening for Anticholinergic Abuse in the Chronic Mentally Ill.  American Journal of Emergency Medicine,  21(6) 508, 2003.

Grace GD, Christensen RC:  The Mentally Ill Need Us All.  Clinical Psychiatry News,   31 (10), 14, 2003.

Christensen RC:  Teaching Psychiatry to Family Medicine Residents:  An Integrated Training Model.  Academic Medicine, 78(4): 355, 2003.

Christensen RC:  Olanzapine-Associated Bilateral Pedal Edema.  Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,  64 (8) 972, 2003.

Christensen RC:  Recognition and Management of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome.  Primary Psychiatry, 11(2):  20-23, 31, 2004.

Christensen RC:  Assessing New-Onset Mental Status Changes in Patients with Dementia.  American Journal of Emergency Medicine ,   22(3):   228-29, 2004.

Christensen RC:  Healthcare and the Homeless:  Community Psychiatry’s Unique Obligation.  Psychiatric Services,   (55) 9: 967, 2004.

Christensen RC:  Olanzapine Augmentation of Fluoxetine in Pathological Skin-Picking.  Canadian Journal of Psychiatry,   48(11): 223-224, 2004.

Christensen RC:  Community Psychiatry Education through Homeless Outreach.  Psychiatric Services,  55 (8),  942, 2004.

Christensen RC, Garces LK:  Pharmaceutical Reps and Psychiatrists:  Ethical Judgments of Consequence and Character.  Psychiatric Services, 55 (8), 944, 2004.

Christensen RC:  Engaging the Angry and Hostile Patient.  Current Psychiatry,   (3) 8: 78,  2004.

Christensen RC:  Dead Men Walking:  A Reflection on Cotard’s Syndrome and the Homeless.  The Pharos,  Winter, 33-34, 2005.

Christensen RC:  Homeless, Not Hopeless: 4 Strategies for Successful Interventions.   Current Psychiatry, 4(6): 94, 2005.

Christensen RC, Hodgkins CB, Miller MD, Garces LK Touchton R:  Homeless, Mentally Ill and Addicted:  The Need for Abuse and Trauma Services.  Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved,  16(4):  615-621, 2005.

Christensen RC:  Identifying Serotonin Syndrome in the Emergency Department.  American Journal of Emergency Medicine,  23(3): 406-408, 2005.

Christensen RC:  Medical Student Education and Community Psychiatry.  Psychiatric Services, 56(5): 608-609, 2005.

Christensen RC, Garces LK:  Residency Training and Homelessness Education.
Academic  Psychiatry,  29(2): 227-8, 2005.

Christensen RC:  Fever in Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome.  Current Psychiatry, 4(7): 102, 2005.

Christensen RC, Garces LK: Caring for Homeless Persons: A Call for Transdisciplinary Collaboration.  Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 16(2): 181-82, 2005.

Christensen RC, Garces LK,  Puskur S.:  The Homeless Mentally Ill:  The Value of Parking Lot Therapy.  Clinical Psychiatry News,  33(10): 18, 2005.

Christensen RC:  SHIVERS: An Aid for Recognizing Serotonin Syndrome.  Current Psychiatry,  5(2): 114, 2006.

Christensen RC, Garces LK:   The Growing Abuse of Commonly Prescribed Psychiatric Medications.  American Journal of Emergency Medicine,  24(1): 137-38, 2006.

Christensen RC, Garces LK.: Marked Improvement in Chronic Tardive Dyskinesia by Changing to Aripiprazole.  Psychiatry 2006, 3(3): 19-22, 2006.

Christensen RC, Garces LK: Homeless Persons and Suicide: Where’s the Research?  Psychiatric Services,  57(4): 447, 2006.

Christensen RC:  Diogenes and Marcella:  A Reflection on Homelessness and Self-Neglect.  The Pharos, Spring: 52-53, 2007.

Christensen RC: “Prescribing” Behavioral and Lifestyle Changes.  Current Psychiatry, 5(7): 120, 2006.

Christensen RC, Garces LK:  New-onset Panic Attacks Associated with Topiramate.

Psychiatry 2006,  3(6): 10,18, 2006.

Holt RL, Montesinos S, Christensen RC:  Physical and Sexual Abuse History in Women Seeking Treatment at a Psychiatric Clinic for the Homeless.  Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 13(1): 58-60; 2007.

Christensen RC, Garces LK:  Hepatotoxic Effects with High Dose Venlafaxine.  Psychiatry 2006, 3(7):  10, 19; 2006.

Grace GD, Christensen RC:  Unmasking Medical Illness in Mental Health Care.  Psychiatric Services,  57(11): 1655, 2006.

Christensen RC: Teaching the STEPS of Clinical Psychopharmacology.  Current Psychiatry, 5(12): 166, 2006

Christensen RC: Discharged to the Streets: Who Cares?  The Pharos,  Autumn, 15-16, 2007.

Grace GD, Christensen RC: Comparison of Mental Health Care Providers in Recognizing Psychologically-Masked Medical Illness.  Primary Care Companion of  Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,  9(6) 433-36, 2007.

Christensen RC:  Proposed Guidelines for Developing and Evaluating Public and Community Psychiatry Training Fellowships.   The Community Psychiatrist, 22 (2) 4-5, 10, 2008.

Christensen RC:  The Language of Care:  Taking Psychiatry to the Streets.  The Pharos, Summer,  36-39, 2009.

Grace GD, Christensen RC:  Medical Evaluations for Newly-Diagnosed Psychiatric Patients.  Psychiatric Services  60(6), 849, 2009.

Christensen RC: Psychiatric Street Outreach to Homeless Persons: Fostering Relationship, Reconnection and Recovery,  The Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 20(4): 1036-1040, 2009.

Christensen RC, Grace GD, Byrd JC: Refer More Patients for Medical Evaluations.  Current Psychiatry. December: (5, 74),  2009.

Christensen RC, Averbuch RN:  The Use of Duloxetine in Chronic Bulimia Nervosa. Psychiatry 2009, 6(8) 38-39, 2009.

Grace GD, Christensen RC: When Is a Referral for a Medical Evaluation an Ethical Obligation?  Psychiatric Services,  60 (1), 3, 2010.

Grace GD, Christensen RC:  Where are the Psychiatric Physician Assistants?  Psychiatric Services, 60 (1), 2010.

Grace GD, Christensen RC:  Comparing Psychiatrists and Primary Care Physicians’ Knowledge of Nonpsychiatric Medical Illness. Academic Psychiatry, 34(1), 80-81, 2010.

Grace GD, Christensen RC:  APA Guidelines Needed for DSM-5 Users.  Psychiatric Times, 27(10), 1-2, 2010.

Christensen RC, Byrd JC.: The Role of an Australian Homeless Health Outreach Team:  A Commentary.  International Journal of Therapeutics and Rehabilitation, 17(7), 383, 2010.

Christensen RC, Byrd JC:  Teaching Relapse Prevention in the Clinical Setting.  Current Psychiatry,  9(9), 52, 2010.

Christensen RC, Byrd JC:  Help Patients Sleep without Medication.  Current Psychiatry. 10(5), 92, 2011.

Christensen RC, Ramos EF: The Social and Treatment Consequences of a Shared Delusional Disorder in a Homeless Family.  Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 8(4), 42-44, 2011.

Christensen RC: Clinical Considerations in the Treatment of Mentally Ill Homeless Persons.  North Florida Medical Journal, 62(3), 26-30, 2011.

Christensen RC: Partners in Recovery. Current Psychiatry,  11(4),  April, 2012.

Christensen RC: The Development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Following an Unusual Life Event.  Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 9(2) 26-28, 2012.

Christensen RC:  Psychiatric Street Outreach to Homeless Persons  in Free Clinics: Local Responses to Health Care Needs. Edited by Virginia M. Brennan; pp.: 25-29.  Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD; 2013.

Christensen RC: A Commentary on Suicide and Homelessness. Social  Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.     [Epub ahead of print  November 9, 2013. DOI 10.10007/s00127-013-0790-z} November, 9, 2013.

Christensen RC:  Distracted:  Diagnosing Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults.  Current Psychiatry,  13(1), pp  49, 62;  2014.