Our History

The University of Wisconsin’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has been an important part of our Department since the early 1960s. At UW, the field of Psychiatry did not separate from Neurology until 1956. Only in the 1960s did the sub-specialty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry find a home in the academic departments of Psychiatry. In the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training occurred in freestanding, non-university affiliated, child guidance clinics. Then, in the early 1960s, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry joined general Psychiatry in university-based academic departments.

Our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship training program was originally accredited on October 12, 1963. The program enrolled its first trainees in 1964 including Drs. Evan Pizer, Ed Orman, and John Anderson. Dr. Harold Borenz was our first Child and Adolescent Division Director from 1963-1965. Then, Dr. Jack Westman arrived from Ann Arbor in 1965 and assumed the directorship. Another important addition to the Division included Dr. William Bolman from Harvard in 1965.

The roots of child psychiatry are not actually in psychiatry per se. Rather, the field emerged in the first half of the 20th century from the disciplines of pediatrics, psychoanalysis, social welfare, and child psychology.

In July 2020, Dr. Ryan Herringa became the Division Director. Drs. Slattery, Lainhart, and Hirsch were the most recent Division Directors prior to Dr. Herringa.

Today, we have a wonderful team of faculty, clinicians, and staff with diverse backgrounds to best serve the needs of children, adolescents, and families in our community.

Special thank you to our alumni, including Drs. William Swift and Evan Pizer, for their wonderful wealth of knowledge in sharing much of the above information.

Dr. Ryan Herringa, Division Director