Sexson receives top educator award from American Psychiatric Association

outside of a building
The J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons, home of the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Dr. Sandra B. Sexson, chief of the Section of Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, has received a top educator award from the American Psychiatric Association.

The Vestermark Psychiatry Educator Award recognizes excellence, leadership and creativity in psychiatric education and is given annually to an educator for outstanding contributions to the education and development of psychiatrists. The award honors Dr. Seymour Vestermark, chief of the National Institute of Mental Health Training Branch from 1948-59 and an authority in the field of professional mental health education. Sexson will present an award lecture on an educational topic during the APA’s Annual Meeting May 20-24 in San Diego.

“She has provided leadership and vision to the local and national organizations dedicated to educating and advancing the field of psychiatry,” wrote Dr. Dorothy E. Stubbe, program director of the child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship and Albert J. SoInit Integrated Residency Track in Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Research at the Yale University School of Medicine Child Study Center.

Stubbe and colleagues at Alpert Medical School of Brown University, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine and MCG nominated Sexson for the award, citing her “untiring and remarkable” dedication to understanding and advancing the field in her 40-year career. Sexson has served on the MCG faculty for a dozen years and is also medical director of Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta, which provides acute stabilization, partial hospitalization and residential treatment to children and teens with psychiatric disorders.

Sexson, a distinguished fellow of the APA, has served as chair of its Council on Medical Education and Lifelong Learning, twice as a consultant to its Council on Medical Education and Career Development and as a member of the Task Force on Competency in Graduate Education. She has served on the National Institute of Mental Health National Psychiatry Training Committee, is a past president of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training, chaired its National Training Consortium and served as liaison representative to the APA Council on Medical Education.

She has chaired the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Psychiatry Residency Review Committee, served as the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology’s representative to that committee and was recently named a member of the ACGME’s International Medicine Residency Review Committee.

Sexson received the 2006 American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry’s Catcher in the Rye Award for leadership in her field, chairs the academy’s Lifelong Learning Committee, has chaired its Work Group on Maintenance of Certification and is Georgia’s delegate to its Assembly of Regional Organizations. She was a long time member of the Executive Council of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and currently serves as the association’s representative to the Association of American Medical Schools Council of Faculty and Academic Associations Advocacy Task Force. She received MCG’s Exemplary Teaching Award for Residency Education in 2013.

Sexson is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson and completed a general psychiatry residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She completed a child development fellowship at the University of Mississippi and a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Toni Baker

Toni Baker is the Communications Director at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-4421 or

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Written by Toni Baker

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