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Karen Lee Swartz, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Karen Lee Swartz, M.D.

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Expertise: Adult Psychiatry, Bipolar Disorder, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Depression, Mood Disorders, Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Psychotherapy more

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital


600 N. Wolfe Street Meyer Building, Suite 3-181 Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Phone: 410-955-0518 | Fax: 410-955-0152


Karen L. Swartz, M.D., received her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  She completed her psychiatry residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she served as chief resident.  She then completed clinical fellowship training in affective disorders and research training in psychiatric epidemiology at The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She is the Director of Clinical and Educational Programs at the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center.  Dr. Swartz is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  Her clinical expertise is in the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders.   

She is founder and director of the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program (ADAP), a school-based program designed to educate high school students, faculty, and parents about adolescent depression.  Now in its eighteenth year, the ADAP curriculum has been taught to over 66,000 high school students.  Dr. Swartz and the ADAP team have also developed a comprehensive training program that prepares high school counselors and teachers as ADAP instructors, which facilitates the dissemination of the program.  In addition to the Baltimore-Washington area, the program has been taught in multiple states including Oklahoma, Illinois, Indiana, Delaware, Ohio, Florida, Texas and Minnesota.  

Dr. Swartz received the national 2007 Welcome Back Award, which honors one psychiatrist annually, in recognition of her leadership in destigmatizing depression through community education.  In 2008 she was selected as the one psychiatrist in Maryland honored with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill’s “Heroes in the Fight Award” for both efforts to destigmatize mental illness and clinical excellence.  In 2009 Dr. Swartz was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.    

Her other research has focused on psychiatric disorders in women and psychiatric disorders in the general population, including the study of whether affective disorders predict migraine headaches, the incidence of social phobias in the Baltimore area, and the heterogeneity and course of affective disorders.  Dr. Swartz has also written articles for such journals as Archives of General Psychiatry, Health Education & Behavior, Current Opinion in Psychiatry, the International Review of Psychiatry, and the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. more


  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1991)


  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Psychiatry (1995)


  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Psychiatry (1997)

Videos & Media

#TomorrowsDiscoveries: Helping Teens Suffering with Depression – Karen Swartz, M.D.

Life Off the Ice | A Woman's Journey

Antidepressants and Placebo Controversies

ADAP: Adolescent Depression Awareness Program

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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