The mission of the Yale Department of Psychiatry is grounded in the pioneering vision of its former Chairman (from 1948 to 1967 and subsequent Dean of the Yale School of Medicine) Dr. Fredrick "Fritz" C. Redlich. His vision was a research-based, academic department geared towards discovery and the dissemination of new knowledge to its students. Unique in its composition, his vision did not focus on one particular field, as was the custom at that time, but on the integration of the latest advances in basic science, psychology, the social sciences, and psychoanalysis for the purpose of discovering the causes of mental illness and the development of new treatments.
The resultant breadth of expertise created by this vision has been carefully protected and nurtured by subsequent chairpersons. Today, the diversity of this department and the depth of its resources are enormous. Its faculty are at the forefront of the current understanding of the workings of the mind and brain.