Expert Spotlight on Avram Mack, M.D.

It’s hard to beat Avram Mack, M.D.’s credentials:  His expertise is remarkable in both breadth and depth.  Board certified in multiple psychiatric subspecialties, he is unique in being a leading physician in each of these fields.  Dr. Mack is among a handful of experts in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (or “pediatric psychiatry”), and he has additional expertise in Addiction Medicine, Psychosomatic Medicine (or, hospital consultation psychiatry), Adult Psychiatry, and occupational injury and patient safety.

Mack_Avram_FINALHe is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and a practicing physician and educator at the world-renowned Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  In addition to his academic and clinical work—now focused on children, adolescents, and young adults—Dr. Mack has considerable experience as a forensic consultant and expert witness for adult and child issues regarding sexual and physical abuse, brain injury and developmental problems, civil and criminal competencies, the effects of addiction and substances, and aggression and violence.

Park Dietz related:

I recruited Avram to PD&A when he was a professor at Georgetown, in part because of his academic pedigree and expertise.  Educated at Michigan and Cornell, he trained at Harvard, Columbia, and NYU, where he was mentored by some of the best institutions and thinkers in psychiatry.  Avram has also been influenced by some of my favorite colleagues, including Tom Gutheil, Larry Fitch, Richard Rosner, and one of my own mentors, the late Roger Adelman, Esq.

When he joined us, Avram was one of the very few child psychiatrists in the U.S. capable of providing appropriate information to courts in significant cases, and in the nine years he’s been with us, he has proved himself many times over on behalf of our clients in cases throughout the U.S. while simultaneously establishing himself as a leader at perhaps the finest pediatric hospital in the world (excluding Johns Hopkins, toward which my own bias is slightly stronger).

Attorneys consistently comment on Avram’s attention to detail and exhaustive use of documentary sources; his hard work and high energy; and his ability to clearly explain complex issues to jurors.

Dr. Mack has engaged in the practice of psychiatry in a large span of institutions and treatment settings from South Carolina to Massachusetts and has been a testifying expert from Los Angeles to Seattle to New York to Miami.  As a physician-educator at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Dr. Mack was responsible for the entire medical student curriculum in psychiatry for thousands of students at Georgetown and also has taught in all of his areas of expertise, leading to a 2015 national award for education in psychiatry.  He has also provided education within the criminal justice system, teaching those from the bench, the bar, and the American Correctional Association.  He has been elected a Distinguished Fellow of both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and a Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists.

To grasp the breadth and depth of his expertise, consider these experiences:

  • Child Psychiatry:  As a board-certified child psychiatrist, Dr. Mack has cared for and assessed children, adolescents, and young adults over decades in diverse settings.  He is a leader and a practitioner in child and adolescent psychiatry, with roles in maintaining quality of practice, teaching, and leading a hospital consultation service.  This experience provides him expertise not only in general psychiatric issues, but also developmental disorders, family issues, and the effects of traumatic experiences.
  • Forensic psychiatry:  Aside from serving as an expert around the nation, Dr. Mack has dedicated his time to important public projects.  During his lengthy period in Washington, he and others were contracted by the DC Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to provide an assessment of the City and Federal justice/police systems’ approach to the mentally ill.  Later, he assumed the role of Senior Medical Advisor for Maryland’s Office of Forensic Services, specifically directing their competency to proceed evaluation program for youth in delinquency proceedings.  Drawing on that experience, Dr. Mack became an expert for the US DOJ Civil Division in a class action suit regarding subtle issues in the competency of youth in non-criminal court proceedings.
  • Addiction Medicine:  As the author or editor of three textbooks on addictive disorders, it is hard to conceive of a psychiatrist more steeped in the issues related to addiction and the effects of substances of abuse.
  • Psychosomatic/Hospital Medicine:  Dr. Mack not only directs the consultation service at one of the nation’s premier hospitals, but he also is one of the very few psychiatrists in the nation with leadership in the topic of “patient safety.” He teaches about this concept to medical students and created one of the few courses on this topic geared toward psychiatrists.  These experiences contribute to his ability to comprehend medical and pediatric illness and to appreciate the experience individuals and families have in hospitals.

Dr. Mack’s lengthy CV includes countless positions of leadership in the psychiatric and medical professions, such as having been the president of the metropolitan Washington (D.C.) association of psychiatrists.  He has served on a variety of professional bodies maintaining the standards of practice among physicians, such as the promotions committee at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the impaired physicians committee of the D.C. Medical Society.  A high-value expert in any of his areas of expertise, his value increases exponentially when a case raises issues where his areas of expertise overlap.