Photo of Surita  Rao, M.D.

Surita Rao, M.D.

Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Director, UConn Psychiatry Residency Program
NPI Number:
1437120821
Academic Office Location:
Psychiatry
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-1410
Phone: 860-679-2675
Website(s):

Psychiatry

Dr. Surita Rao is an associate professor and director of the Psychiatry Residency Training Program at the UConn School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. Her career has focused on clinical work, education and administration.

Dr. Rao was chair and director of the behavioral health service line at Saint Francis Care from December 2002 through October 2014. She was the service medical director in the Whiting Forensic Division, Connecticut Valley Hospital, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services from November 2014 through October 2015. She

Dr. Rao has been on the faculty at both Yale and Emory Universities, and has been on the UConn School of Medicine faculty since 2008. Her clinical work has focused on addiction psychiatry. Upon completing her fellowship training, she worked as the medical director of the Methadone Maintenance Clinics at Yale University School of Medicine. She has worked with impaired physicians and other health care professionals.

Dr. Rao is on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and serves on several national ASAM committees. She is past president of the Connecticut chapter of ASAM and is a member of the executive council of the chapter. Dr. Rao serves on the alcohol and drug policy council for the state of CT and is also a member of the ADPC prevention sub-committee. 

She has done many statewide, regional and national presentations on topics related to addiction psychiatry and psychiatry including serving as a subject matter expert in various ECHO projects. She has also done a variety of media appearances on television and radio over her career, including appearances on CNN and a pilot series of a radio show on Voice America Internet radio: "Mental Health with Dr. Surita Rao." Podcasts can be found online and through iTunes.

 

Education
DegreeInstitutionMajor
M.B.B.S.Bankura Sammilani Medical CollegePsychiatry

Post-Graduate Training
TrainingInstitutionSpecialty
ResidencySaint Vincent's Medical Center of RichmondPsychiatry
ResidencyYale University School of MedicinePsychiatry
FellowshipYale University School of MedicineAddiction Psychiatry

Awards
Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Connecticut Department of Public Health's federal grant # CE925011Department of Public Health, Connecticut

Addiction psychiatry, mood and anxiety disorders

Multiple courses and seminars to theh UConn meducal students and residents on addiction psychiatry topics

Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
Geriatric Psychiatry Division Director Search CommitteeOtherMemberUConn HealthUniversity20202020
American Society of Addiction Medicine Ethics CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational2019
American Society of Addiction EVP CEO Search Task ForceProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational20192019
American Society of Addiction Nominations and Award CouncilProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational2019
Addictions Committee AADPRT [ American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training]Education CommitteeMemberExternalNational2019
American Society of Addiction Medicine Criteria Education Committee.Professional/Scientific OrganizationCommittee MemberExternalNational2018
Addiction Task force, AADPRT [ American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training ]Professional/Scientific OrganizationCommittee MemberExternalNational20182018
Curriculum Evaluation Committee. [CEC] University of Connecticut School of Medicine.Education CommitteeCommittee MemberUConn HealthUniversity20172021
Alcohol and Drug Policy Council. State of ConnecticutOtherCommittee MemberExternalState2017
Alcohol and Drug Policy Prevention Sub-Committee, State of CTOtherMemberExternalState2017
Executive Committee-Connecticut Chapter of ASAM [ American Society of Addiction Medicine]Professional/Scientific OrganizationCommittee MemberExternalState20042018

Addiction psychiatry

Journal Articles

  • Pharmacotherapy of Cocaine Dependence
    Rao S., R, Ziedonis DM and Kosten T. Psychiatric Annals 1995 Jun;25(6):363-368
  • Comorbidity Blues: Diagnosing and Treating Depression among Substance Abusers
    Ziedonis DM, Rao SR., Preisig M. Employee Assistance Journal 1994 Jan;6(6-34):

Book Chapters

  • Methadone Maintenance
    Rao S., Schottenfeld RS. Sourcebook on Substance Abuse: Etiology, Epidemiology, Assessment and Treatment. 1999 Jan;

Monographs

  • A pilot study on the adjunctive use of cimetidine with LAAM for maintenance pharmacotherapy in opiate dependence patients
    Rao S., Olivetto A, Kosten TR, Chawarski MC, Ball S. Problems of Drug Dependence 1997: Proceedings of the 59th annual scientific meeting. NIDA Research Monograph 178. Rockville: USDHHS. 1998 Jan;
Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
Short Summer Series Update on Pain Management- Part 2: A Case-Based Discussion of Chronic Low Back Pain and Fibromyalgia. June 17 and June 20, 2023.Panel DiscussionConnecticut Comprehensive Pain Center (CCPC) UConn2023Webex
Short Summer Series Update on Pain Management- Part 1. Substance use disorders in chronic pain patients amidst the opioid epidemic. Statewide presentation through the Connecticut Comprehensive Pain Center (CCPC). Monday, June 12 and 21, 2023TalkConnecticut Comprehensive Pain Center (CCPC) UConn2023Webex
Addiction issues amongst functioning adults and ways to address it. May 11, 2023.TalkDepartment of Psychiatry, Northeast Georgia Medical Center2023Virtual
Ouch that Hurts: a 6-part series on safe and guideline-based pain management. Presented as part of a session on “Building Stronger Systems Through Engagement”. Overdose to Action (OD2A) CDC conference, Atlanta, Georgia. June 6, 2023TalkCenters for Disease Control2023Atlanta, Georgia
Comparing opioid use characteristics amongst patients who were mandated to receive chronic pain e-consults versus those who were referred at UConn Health. Kane, M; Andrews,R; Chamberlin, K; Rao, S; Ozimek, JPosterArchitecture of High Value Health Care National Conference2023Baltimore, Maryland
“Healthcare Attitudes on Reporting Impaired Colleagues”, Williamson, M; Hesselbrock, V; Rao, S;Chan, G.PosterAmerican Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) 54th Annual Conference2023Baltimore, Maryland
Wellness for physicians.TalkDepartment of neurosurgery,University of Connecticut.2022UConn Health-Virtual
Physician suicide preventionTalkDepartment of Occupational medicine ,University of Connecticut.2022UConn Health-Virtual
E-Consults: effective as a tool for provider education and chronic pain management Stevens, K., Andrews, R., Chamberlin, K., Ozimek, J., Rao, S.PosterConnecticut Chapter Scientific Meeting2022Hartford, CT
Difficult Conversations: How to Effectively Communicate To Optimize Pain Management.[Panel Discussant]Panel DiscussionConnecticut Comprehensive Pain Center. UConn Health2022Video conference Statewide Meetings
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Office Policies and Procedures for a Team-Based Approach to Pain Management. February 28 and March 7, 2022 [ Panel Discussant]LectureConnecticut Comprehensive Pain Center. UConn Health2022Video conference Statewide Meetings
Acute Stress Disorder and Stress-Response Syndrome. Project ECHO.LectureCommunity Health Network of CT2021Video conference Virtual ECHO Meetings
A session on substance use identification and treatment. Panel DiscussantPanel DiscussionConnecticut Comprehensive Pain Center. University of Connecticut2021Video conference Statewide Zoom Meetings
Bipolar Disorders and Cyclothymic Disorders. Project ECHOLectureCommunity Health Network of CT.2021Video conference Statewide Zoom Meetings
Restarting From Scratch: Beginner's Guide to Pain Management and Communication Without Stigma.[Panel Discussant]Panel DiscussionCT Comprehensive pain Center. UConn Health2021Video conference Statewide Meetings
Reducing Risk When Utilizing Opioids in Pain Management: Informed Prescribing Through Guidelines and Shared-Decision Making. [Panel Discussant]Panel DiscussionConnecticut Comprehensive Pain Center. UConn Health2021Video conference Statewide Meetings
Where Do We Go From Here? Best Practices and Reasons for Opioid Tapering. [Panel Discussant]Panel DiscussionConnecticut Comprehensive Pain Center. UConn Health2021Video conference Statewide Meetings
Bipolar Disorders and Cyclothymic DisorderLectureCommunity Health Network of CT. .Project ECHO2021Video conference Statewide Zoom Meetings
Acute Stress Disorder and Stress-Response Syndrome.LectureCommunity Health Network of CT. Project ECHO.2021Video conference Virtual ECHO Meetings
Improving Recovery and Function for Patients with Substance Abuse Disorder with a Focus on Opioid Use Disorder. Project ECHO. RETAIN – CT.LectureConnecticut Department of Labor2021Video conference Virtual ECHO Meetings
A Session on Substance Use Disorder Identification and TreatmentLectureConnecticut Comprehensive Pain Center. UConn Health2021Video conference Statewide Meetings
Women in Medicine. A panel discussion for University of Connecticut undergraduates interested in a career in medicine. October 19, 2020.Panel DiscussionUniversity of Connecticut School of Medicine2020Farmington, Connecticut
Project ECHO. Health Resources and Services Administration. HRSA .Primary Care and Behavioral Health Integration. March 10, 17, 19, 24 ,26, 31, April 2, 2020Panel DiscussionECHO Project2020National Zoom conference ECHO Meetings
ECHO project: Chronic pain and addictions. Addiction Psychiatry and Psychiatry Expert on the Expert Panel. Zoom Video conferencing state wide presentations to multiple primary care clinics. August 2018 to June 2020.Panel DiscussionCHCAT2020Video conference Statewide Zoom Meetings
Alcohol Use Disorder. Project ECHO.LectureCommunity Health Network of CT2020Video conference Virtual ECHO Meetings
Motivational Enhancement Therapy – How People Change Behaviors. Project ECHOLectureCommunity Health Network of CT2020Video conference Statewide Zoom Meetings
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Project ECHO.LectureCommunity Health Network of CT2020Video conference Statewide Zoom Meetings
Substance Use Disorders: Evaluation and Treatment. Addiction. Grand Rounds. August 9, 2018TalkUniversity of Connecticut Medical School. Department of Medicine2019
Dual Diagnosis: Mood Disorders and Substance use Disorders. Pearls for Practice in the Addictions. A Risk Management Course for All Providers, Massachusetts Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. May 17, 2019TalkMassachusetts Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.2019Massachusetts
The Current Opioid Epidemic in the United States. Second International Conference on Addiction Therapy and Clinical Reports. August 2019, Barcelona, Spain.TalkSecond International Conference on Addiction Therapy and Clinical Reports.2019Barcelona, Spain.
American Society of Addiction Medicine Patient Placement Criteria Course. November 12, 2019LectureAmerican Society of Addiction Medicine [ASAM]2019Baltimore, Maryland.
American Society of Addiction Medicine Patient Placement Criteria Course. November 12, 2019LectureAmerican Society of Addiction Medicine [ASAM]2019Baltimore, Maryland.
The Psychological Aspects of Substance Abuse in Older Adults: Challenges of Identifying Users” Substance Abuse, Misuse and Dependence by Older Adults November 1, 2019TalkAcute Care Geriatric Nursing Collaborative Annual Conference2019Connecticut
Andrews R, Chamberlin KW, Ozimek J, Katz M, Rao S. “Technology to Teach: Meeting Chronic Pain Needs of Primary Care.”PosterAlliance for Academic Internal Medicine [APDIM]2019October 2019, Denver, Colorado
Mood and anxiety Disorders, including dual diagnoses. Educational session for primary care providers. May 21, 2018TalkGenerations Community primary care and Behavioral Health Agency.2018Willimantic, CT
Opioid Misuse and Addiction: A Contemporary American TragedyPlenary LectureAmerican College of Healthcare Executives Annual Conference2018Chicago, Illinois
Epidemiology and Treatment of Opioid AddictionLectureUniversity of Connecticut2018UConn Health, Farmington, CT
Substance Use DisordersLectureUniversity of Connecticut, Department of Medicine2018UConn Health, Farmington, CT
Motivation Enhancement TherapyLectureBeacon Health Options. Conference for Primary Care Providers2018Wallingford, CT
The Stages of Change: An OverviewLectureProject ECHO, Univ of CT, CHCAT2018State Wide Education Meeting via Video Conferencing
Motivation Enhancement TherapyLectureProject ECHO, Univ of CT, CHCAT2018State Wide Education Meeting via Video Conferencing
Introduction to AddictionLectureProject ECHO, Univ of CT, CHCAT2018State Wide Education Meeting via Video Conferencing
PROJECT ECHO : Chronic Pain and Addictions [Bimonthly September 2018 through present] Educational Presentation and Case Conferences for Primary Care Providers from Clinics across Connecticut.Panel DiscussionProject ECHO, Univ of CT, CHCAT2018State Wide Education Meeting via Video Conferencing
Motivation Enhancement TherapyLectureGenerations Family Health Center [ Primary Care,Dental, Behavioral Health]2018Willimantic, Connecticut
Mood and Anxiety DisordersLectureGenerations Family Health Center [ Primary Care,Dental, Behavioral Health]2018Willimantic, Connecticut
Overview of PsychopharmacologyLectureGenerations Family Health Center [ Primary Care,Dental, Behavioral Health]2018Willimantic, Connecticut
Opioid Use Disorder : Opioid EpidemicLectureGenerations Family Health Center [ Primary Care,Dental, Behavioral Health]2018Willimantic, Connecticut
Opioid Use: Framing the EpidemicLectureProject ECHO2018State Wide Education Meeting via Video Conferencing