Psychiatry as a discipline has always been an integral part of the Medical School curriculum and among the clinical services offered at AUBMC. Until the mid-1970s, the Division of Psychiatry at AUBMC directed and oversaw the clinical care of patients at Asfourieh, the teaching hospital for AUB medical students and residents. Asfourieh, known as an outstanding treatment center for psychiatric disorders in the Middle East, ran with a full bed capacity and attracted many private patients from neighboring countries. With the closure of Asfourieh, the psychiatrists at AUBMC practiced and arranged for all their teaching to take place at AUBMC, a situation that continues to date.
In 1991, Dr. Munir Khani took charge of the Division of Psychiatry and in 1997, he established the Department of Psychiatry with its own independent structure and functions. In the next two decades, the Department of Psychiatry focused on consolidating the clinical services and optimizing medical student education. It has also launched pioneering training and research initiatives focused on children and adults for the region.
In 2008, the inpatient psychiatry unit opened and is still functioning now, receiving patients from Lebanon and the Arab region who need short term, hospitalized psychiatric care.
In 2011, the Department instituted a residency-training program, a clinical psychology training program, and a mood disorders research fellowship. The Department of Psychiatry now offers specialized clinical programs in child and adolescent psychiatry, mood disorders, neuromodulation, addiction disorders, sleep disorders and psychometric assessment.