About Dr. Rai
Dr. Harinder "Harry" Rai completed his medical education in Detroit, MI at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, graduating with distinction in biomedical research. While completing his medical studies he was actively engaged in neuroscience research, focusing on using cutting-edge brain network mapping technology to study the processing of emotions in faces. He received numerous awards for his work from major national societies, including the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), and presented at scientific conferences in Beijing, Germany and throughout North America. For his achievements, his medical school awarded him the Jerrold S. Maxmen M.D. Endowed Scholarship, given to the medical student who demonstrates the most potential for scholarship and leadership in the field of Psychiatry.
He completed his psychiatric residency training at the University of Michigan where he continued to excel. During his four years in Ann Arbor, he received multiple awards for his patient care and teaching of medical students. He had a strong interest in psychotherapy and completed a two-year fellowship in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy from the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute (MPI), as well as trained in CBT, DBT, IPT and Couples' Therapy. As a graduating senior resident, he received the MPI Residency Achievement Award in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in recognition of his exceptional skill in psychotherapy. He completed the University of Michigan Healthcare Administration Scholars Program, a two-year educational experience focusing on healthcare economics, healthcare law and regulations, operations management and other related topics. For his senior capstone project, he utilized his background in political science and collegiate debate to help create the Medical Appropriateness for Psychiatric Admission Guide, as part of a state government initiative to reduce the unreasonably long wait times for patients needing inpatient psychiatric admission. He published several peer-reviewed articles in academic journals reflecting a diverse set of interests from neuroscience to psychosomatic medicine.
In addition to his work in private practice, Dr. Rai provides educational presentations on a variety of mental health topics at libraries, public schools, community centers, and other venues. Given his expertise in psychiatry and psychotherapy, he has been invited as a lecturer for the Wayne State University Physician Assistant Studies program and the University of Michigan School of Social Work. He is currently on the advisory board for a local non-profit organization Garrett's Space aimed at helping young people suffering from suicidal thinking.
Comments from patients and supervisors during his Psychiatric Residency at the University of Michigan
"Dr. Rai was very compassionate and thorough during what was for me a nerve-wracking experience- a lengthy, painful part at the severity of my depression and anxiety. He quickly established a rapport and was well-informed. A true asset to your practice. Well-chosen career by him!"
"I have seen many strong residents over the years, but have to stay that Dr. Rai stands out as the top 1% of all."
"His calm and thoughtful demeanor put patients at ease."
"His clinical conceptualizations and disposition assessments were "right on" - coherent, well-formulated, diagnostically cohesive and accurate, concise yet complete."
"Dr. Rai impressed with a developmental perspective on the ontogeny of mental illness taking epigenetic (family history/in utero exposure, early trauma) and more proximal environmental (domestic violence, stressors) or biological (hormonal changes) factors into consideration."
"I was and am impressed by his dedication to patient care, his compassionate and reflective way of conducting himself with patients and colleagues/team members, and his easy-going and kind interpersonal manner."
"Dr. Rai went above and beyond in his encounters with the patients by not only interviewing them to gather information but by also taking the time to do therapy, for which he has a real gift."
Why "Dharma" Psychiatry?
By Dr. Harry Rai
The ancient Sanskrit word "dharma" has numerous interpretations and meanings, but at its most simple means "the right path forward in one's life" and helping my patients find their path has become foundational for how I practice Psychiatry.
People from all walks of life have come to me and asked me to "cure them" of their mental illness. As a training psychiatrist at the University of Michigan, I spent time treating mental illnesses this way and learned firsthand the incredible value in using a biological and evidence-based approach to mental health.
However, despite using the most evidence-based biological treatments, I found so many of my patients still struggling. Some had internalized labels like depressed, anxious, irritable, lazy, useless, worthless, stupid, and inattentive. Many were unable to change long-ingrained unhealthy behaviors from eating an unhealthy diet (or not eating enough) to never exercising. Others had developed destructive and impulsive patterns of behavior in relationships with spouses, co-workers, parents, etc. Early on in my training, I realized a purely biological approach gave me only a narrow lens through which to understand and help my patients.
I committed myself to deepen my understanding of mental health and in the process developed Dharma Psychiatry. I studied multiple approaches to psychotherapy, opened myself to holistic/wellness-based methods, broached topics of existential concern to my patients such as spirituality, and remain open to learning more perspectives on mental health. Through these experiences, I have learned my role as a psychiatrist is to join with my patients on their unique path to mental wellness. If my approach seems like it would be helpful to you or your loved ones, I do hope I am able to see you soon!