Daniel Mamah, MD

Dr. Daniel Mamah named Excellence in Mental Health Awardee


Psychosis is a symptom of psychiatric illnesses including schizophrenia and some forms of bipolar disorder. These illnesses affect an estimated 3% of the U.S. population.

Dr. Daniel Mamah, director of the Washington Early Recognition Center and associate professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine, is a licensed psychiatrist who actively works in the community and conducts research in Africa.

Mamah completed his psychiatry residency and Masters of Psychiatric Epidemiology (MPE) at Washington University and received his medical degree from Semmelweis University of Medicine in Budapest, Hungary.

“My dad is from Nigeria and my mom is from Hungary; I grew up in both of those countries,” Mamah said. Mamah’s interest in the medical field sparked from him seeing the need for healthcare in Africa. “Growing up in Nigeria opened my eyes,” Mamah said.

“In Africa, death at a young age was common because of relatively minor things like malaria due to the lack of healthcare.” This lack of access to healthcare made Mamah want to pursue work in medicine. “I wanted to help, which is what made me interested in the medical field,” Mamah said.

Medicine brought Mamah, who has lived in St. Louis for 20 years, to the U.S. “When you’re in other countries, you look to the United States as being the land of opportunity where you can take your career wherever you want to,” Mamah said. “There are lots of great opportunities for healthcare and research in the U.S.”

Mamah’s specialty area of medicine is psychiatry, which is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. “I have always been interested in the brain,” Mamah said. “I initially wanted to be a brain surgeon, but over time, I realized I was less interested in surgery and more interested in trying to solve the problems that occur in more complex brain functions.”

“My thought has always been ‘How can I advance this field?’ because I think we can always move forward and do more in mental health.”

As the founder and director of the Washington Early Recognition Center [WERC] at the Washington University School of Medicine, Mamah’s goal is to accurately identify young people early in the course of their illness or disorder and provide evidence-based interventions to reduce symptoms and improve social, educational, and vocational functioning. Services at the clinic are free of charge.

Read the full article in the St. Louis American »

Read more about the Washington Early Recognition Center in Outlook Magazine »

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