Jimmie Holland MD has been central to the establishment of psychosocial oncology as a subspecialty within oncology dealing with the psychological, social, and behavioral aspects of cancer. In the 1970s, she recognized the need to treat the emotional trauma experienced by many cancer patients and their families and ultimately founded the field of psychosocial oncology. Dr. Holland started the Psychiatry Service at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in 1977, developing the methods for diagnosing and treating psychiatric distress in people with cancer. The Service achieved departmental status in 1996, and Dr. Holland served as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences until 2003. The Center’s psychiatry program has become the country’s largest training and research program in psychiatric oncology. A graduate of Baylor University in Waco, TX, Dr. Holland earned her medical degree from the Baylor Medical School in Houston. She interned at St. Louis City Hospital and had residency training at Malcolm Bliss Psychiatric Hospital, Washington University and Massachusetts General Hospitals. Dr. Holland held appointments in the Department of Psychiatry at the State University of New York at Buffalo between 1956 and 1973 and at the major teaching hospital where she served as Director of Psychiatry. She is the founding president of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) and the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) and is currently Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology and Attending Psychiatrist at MSKCC.
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