Who's Who Top Educators

Mary Swigar

Title: Neuro-Psychiatry Educator
Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, United States

Mary Swigar, Neuro-Psychiatry Educator, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievement, and leadership in medical and neuro-psychiatry education.

Dr. Swigar originally intended to become a neurosurgeon but found in the 1960s there weren’t many other women working in that profession. Still interested in the functions of the brain, she found psychiatry to be an equally exciting a field. At the time, psychiatry was going through an intriguing transition and it seemed for her to be the area in which she wanted to spend most of her time. After earning a Bachelor of Science from Muhlenberg College in 1962, she continued at Temple University receiving an MD in 1966. Throughout her career, she was grateful that psychiatry afforded her a broad range of opportunities, which would include research ethics and the broad diagnostic aspect in relation to brain-body function.

After earning an MD and becoming a registered psychiatrist, Dr. Swigar spent many years treating patients and preparing future generations of mental health professionals. Some of her most notable positions include teaching as an associate professor in psychiatry and neuro-psychiatry at Yale University and becoming an associate professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and University Hospital. She became a professor emerita upon retiring in 2013 at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. In addition to these roles, Dr. Swigar chaired the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for two decades, which is the ethics committee of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and University Hospital. While in that role, she helped to make sure research was done ethically and in compliance with federal guidelines and also chaired the Executive Committee of the IRB.

Dr. Swigar was largely motivated in her career by a number of mentors who inspired her. These doctors include Dr. Steven Fleck, Dr. Ruth Willmanns Lidz, Dr. Curtland Brown, Dr. Jules Coleman, Dr. Thomas Detre and Dr. Gary Tucker. Though retired, she remains active in the medical community by keeping in touch with universities, attending conferences, participating in the Medical History Society of New Jersey and the Retired Faculty Association. Dr. Swigar has also been a fellow of the International College of Psychosomatic Medicine and a member of the Royal Society of Medicine and the New York Academy of Science. Her alma mater, Muhlenberg College, recognized her with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

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