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Stephen Sonnenberg, M.D.

Education

M.D.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Residency/Fellowship

Internship, Internal Medicine
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health

Residency, Psychiatry
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

About

Stephen Sonnenberg, M.D., is the interim associate chair of education and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a courtesy professor in the Department of Medical Education and Department of Population Health.

Sonnenberg graduated from medical school in 1965, an era when the model academic physician was a clinician, a scholar, a researcher and a teacher. This model was solidified in his internship and residency experiences, a fellowship in the Laboratory of Clinical Psychopharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health and training to become a psychoanalyst at the Baltimore-District of Columbia Institute for Psychoanalysis.

Sonnenberg’s interests combine this model with the belief that the humanities has an important place in the basic and lifelong education of the health care provider, and much of his teaching and scholarship involve the medical humanities and medical ethics.

At the University of Texas at Austin, Sonnenberg’s work bridges Dell Medical School and the undergraduate campus, where he holds appointments in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, the School of Undergraduate Studies and the Plan II Honors program in the College of Liberal Arts.

In 2017, Sonnenberg received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to start a medical humanities and ethics program at UT Austin. This effort has now created the undergraduate Bridging Disciplines Program “Patients, Practitioners and Cultures of Care” and a collaborating Plan II Track “Humanities, Health Care and Advocacy.” He chairs the faculty panel of the BDP and directs the track. These programs are designed to train pre-health care undergraduates in the perspectives and skills they will need to change the broken health care system in the United States. They will also prepare these students to enter professional training with a mature mindset that will allow them to achieve at the highest level. Sonnenberg has recruited members of the Dell Medical School faculty to regularly supervise senior theses researched and written by undergraduates in these programs, making UT Austin the only university in the country where medical school faculty work regularly with undergraduates on major academic projects.

In the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Sonnenberg has been very involved in the planning and implementation of the Austin State Hospital redesign project and currently represents the department on the Redesign Clinical Strategies Work Group. He has also organized and leads a study group for junior faculty who are learning to supervise trainees in psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Professional Affiliations
  • American Psychiatric Association
    Distinguished Life Fellow
  • American College of Psychiatrists
    Fellow
  • Philosophical Society of Texas
Awards & Honors
  • College of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis
    Fellow; 2011, 2016 & 2020
  • Distinguished Service Award
    American Psychoanalytic Association, 2014
  • Psychoanalytic Training Today Award
    International Psychoanalytic Association, 2004
  • Master Educator Clinical Consultant
    150th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, 1997
  • Outstanding Member of the Clinical Faculty
    George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, 1993