Karen L. Swartz, MD
Disclosures: Nothing to disclose - 04/12/2021

Karen L. Swartz, M.D., is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  She received her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  She completed her psychiatry residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she served as chief resident.  She then completed clinical fellowship training in mood disorders in the Johns Hopkins Affective Disorders Consultation Clinic and research training in psychiatric epidemiology at The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She is the Director of Clinical and Educational Programs at the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center. Dr. Swartz holds the Myra S. Meyer Professorship in Mood Disorders. 


She is the clinical leader of the Mood Disorders Program at Johns Hopkins where she provides outstanding specialty care for patients with mood disorders in inpatient, day hospital, consultation clinic and outpatient settings.  She is nationally recognized for her clinical expertise in the diagnosis, formulation and treatment of patients with mood disorders.  Dr. Swartz is dedicated to providing outstanding clinical care to her patientsShe is also a committed collaborator with her colleagues in the mood disorders multidisciplinary team and training the next generation of mood disorders experts. Dr. Swartz is leading the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Department’s effort to provide psychological support and psychiatric care to frontline health care workers during the COVID pandemic.    


She is founder and director of the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program (ADAP), a school-based program designed to educate high school students, faculty, and parents about adolescent depression.  Now in its 23rd year, the ADAP curriculum has been taught to over 140,000 high school students.  Dr. Swartz and the ADAP team have also developed a comprehensive training program that prepares high school counselors and teachers as ADAP instructors, which facilitates the dissemination of the program.  In addition to the Baltimore-Washington area, the program has been taught across the country including in Oklahoma, Illinois, Indiana, Delaware, Ohio, Florida, Texas, and fourteen other statesADAP was honored with the 2010 Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry’s Outstanding Merit Award, recognizing outstanding achievement in raising public awareness and understanding of mental illness.  A NIMH-funded randomized clinical trial demonstrated the program’s effectiveness.  With the launch of a new training online program at www.ADAPeducation.org the program is now available nationwide.   


A dedicated teacher, Dr. Swartz is committed to the education of her patients, their families and the community about mood disorders.  She has also been a dedicated teacher to the Johns Hopkins community with a longstanding commitment to the education of medical students, nursing students, nurses, social workers, psychiatric residents, and faculty and residents in other departments.  She has been recognized for her excellence in teaching with numerous teaching awards including induction into the Distinguished Teaching Society of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the Irma Bland Award for Excellence in Teaching Residents awarded by the American Psychiatric Association, and being a four-time recipient of the Phipps Resident Teaching Award.  This award is given by the Johns Hopkins psychiatry residents annually; she most recently received this award in 2021.


Dr. Swartz has also been recognized locally and nationally for her clinical expertise and educational efforts.  She received the national 2007 Welcome Back Award, which honors one psychiatrist annually, in recognition of her leadership in destigmatizing depression through community education.  In 2008 she was selected as the only psychiatrist in Maryland honored with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill’s “Heroes in the Fight Award” for both efforts to destigmatize mental illness and clinical excellence.  In 2009 Dr. Swartz was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.