Frederick K. Goodwin

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Frederick K. Goodwin
Born(1936-04-21)April 21, 1936
DiedSeptember 10, 2020(2020-09-10) (aged 84)
OccupationPsychiatrist, Research professor
Spouse(s)Rosemary Goodwin, MSW (married 1963)

Frederick King Goodwin (April 21, 1936 – September 10, 2020) was an American psychiatrist and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center,[1] where he is also director of the Center on Neuroscience, Medical Progress, and Society. He is a specialist in bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depressive illness) and recurrent depression.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Goodwin was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He received a B.S. from Georgetown University in 1958 and his M.D. from St. Louis University in 1963, and was a psychiatric resident at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. In 1965, Goodwin joined the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and served as NIMH Scientific Director and Chief of Intramural Research from 1981 to 1988. He was the first to report a controlled study on the effects of lithium in bipolar disorder.[3][4]

In July 1988, he was appointed by President Reagan's VP, George H. W. Bush to head ADAMHA, the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration,[5] from which he resigned following controversy over his "Violence Initiative" where he used the word "monkey" in the text of one of his slides relating to his comments about inner-city youth and, by making the analogous comparison to primate behavioral studies, how they were prone to similar atavistic behavior due to the prevailing environmental conditions. Even though the term was grossly misinterpreted by the press, the immediate aftermath created a storm of controversy and attacks by other scientists within NIMH, the press and congress which eventually forced Goodwin out as director of ADMHA. After a short time period following the perceived misstep, he was reprimanded in the form of being appointed by then DHHS Secretary Sullivan, to head NIMH, a small step down, from 1992 until resigning in 1994. Goodwin had been on a consistent upward trajectory and had he avoided the controversy, its very possible he could have ascended to director of NIH which was one of his ambitions or even possibly secretary of HHS.[6]

He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences[7] and a fellow of the ACNP. He is a founder of the journal Psychiatry Research, and on the editorial boards of a number of other journals. He was president of the Psychiatric Research Society, elected in 1998.[8]

Goodwin is a recipient of the major research awards in his field including the Hofheimer Prize from the American Psychiatric Association, the International Anna-Monika Prize for Research in Depression, the Edward A. Strecker Award,[9] the Nola Maddox Falcone Prize from NARSAD (now known as the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation),[10] the McAlpin Research Award from the National Mental Health Association, the Distinguished Service Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and the Research Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He was the first recipient of the Psychiatrist of the Year from Psychiatric Times, and the Fawcett Humanitarian Award of the NDMDA (now the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Goodwin was one of only five psychiatrists on the Current Contents list of the most frequently cited scientists in the world and one of 12 listed in The Best Doctors in the U.S.[11]

Another focus of Goodwins' research was in SAD (seasonal affective disorder) where he enthusiastically endorsed the used of light therapy to assist with combating the debilitating effects of SAD a form of depression.

Goodwin published 'Manic Depressive Illness' in 1990 with Kay Redfield Jamison, republished in 2007, which is considered a classic in the field.

Goodwin hosted the award-winning radio show The Infinite Mind. Started in 1997, the show (which at its height aired on over 300 public radio stations throughout the country), won more than 30 journalism awards over 10 years and was considered “public radio’s most honored and listened to health and science program."

Since retiring from government, Goodwin has been actively involved in educating other psychiatrists through continuing medical education (CME) programs and pharmaceutical speakers' bureaus.

Pharmaceutical company links[edit]

The acknowledgements to Goodwin's 'Manic Depressive Illness' states that: "During the time that this book was in preparation, Dr. Goodwin received research support from George Washington University Medical Center, the Foundation for Education and Research on Mental Illness, the Dalio Family Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and Solvay. He has received honoraria from GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Solvay, and Eli Lilly and unrestricted educational grants to support the production of this book from Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Forest Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, and Sanofi".

The Infinite Mind[edit]

An article in The New York Times (Nov. 21, 2008)[12] said that Goodwin had hosted programs that recommended the use of drugs, without disclosing that he had received over a million dollars from their manufacturers.

Goodwin was also on the board of directors of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, an "industry-funded front, or "Astroturf" group, which receives a majority of its funding from drug companies." and the radio show was also directly part-funded by pharmaceutical companies which was also not disclosed.[13]

Bill Lichtenstein, the senior executive producer of the show, said that Goodwin had not disclosed payments from pharmaceutical companies, in violation of a strict conflict of interest contract. Goodwin said that Lichtenstein was aware of his educational speaking and consulting activities for pharmaceutical companies, and that in 2005 Goodwin had switched to guest host and let Peter D. Kramer host other shows, including those discussing psychopharmacological treatment, for that reason. An assistant producer of The Infinite Mind independently supported Goodwin's claim.[14] However, 'On The Media' later issued an apology for not contacting Lichtenstein, who reports that when he himself contacted the source she said "she had no knowledge or evidence to support Goodwin's claim...that Lichtenstein or "The Infinite Mind" was aware that Goodwin was being paid to give marketing talks on behalf of pharmaceutical companies". In addition, Lichtenstein points out that Goodwin has told the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) that he didn't believe there had been a conflict of interest, and told George Washington University student newspaper that "I frankly do not see these things as a conflict of interest . . . I've always thought that if you have multiple relationships they sort of cancel each other out".[15]

In 2008, Sen. Charles Grassley (IA-R) conducted investigations regarding possible conflicts of interest between various academic psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies. Goodwin issued a statement that The New York Times article and the follow-up editorial were filled with misstatements of fact and false implications.[16] Grassley said in regard to a 2008 show in which Goodwin took part: "“After listening to a recording of the show, it appeared to me that the real effect of this particular episode was to undercut any criticism that antidepressants might be linked to an increased risk of suicide."[17]

The Infinite Mind program, which was independently produced and distributed, was slated to end its production at the end of 2008 due to a lack of funding. Nevertheless, following the controversy, NPR cancelled the broadcast of reruns of the show on its Sirius Satellite Radio channel.[11]



With Kay Redfield Jamison, Goodwin wrote Manic-Depressive Illness, the first psychiatric text to win the "Best Medical Book" award from the Association of American Publishers and Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression. In addition, Dr. Goodwin has authored over 470 academic papers.


  1. ^[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Accessed on March 2, 2011
  3. ^ Goodwin, FK; Murphy, DL; Bunney Jr, WE (October 1969). "Lithium-carbonate treatment in depression and mania. A longitudinal double-blind study". Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 21 (4): 486–96. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740220102012. PMID 4896983.
  4. ^ Goodwin, FK; Murphy, DL; Dunner, DL; Bunney Jr, WE (July 1972). "Lithium response in unipolar versus bipolar depression". Am J Psychiatry. 129 (1): 44–7. doi:10.1176/ajp.129.1.44. PMID 4556087.
  5. ^ "New Director Named for Drug, Alcohol Research". The Washington Post. July 12, 1988.
  6. ^ Boyce Rensberger (March 1, 1992). "Science and Sensitivity". Washington Post. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  7. ^[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Psychiatry Research - Editorial Board". Elsevier. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ "Department of Psychiatry: Strecker Award Recipients". Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  10. ^ [1] Archived December 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ a b "Bio". Dr. Goodwin. September 2011. Archived from the original on February 19, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  12. ^ Gardiner Harris (November 22, 2008). "Radio Host Has Drug Company Ties". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  13. ^ Jim Edwards (November 21, 2008). "Fred Goodwin Loses NPR Gig Over GlaxoSmithKline Ties". CBS News. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  14. ^ "Money Talks Transcript". On The Media. November 28, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  15. ^ "Apology to Infinite Mind". Mental Illness Watch. March 19, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  16. ^ "Statement of Frederick K. Goodwin M. D. regarding the 11-21-08 New York Times article by Gardiner Harris and the follow up editorial of Nov 29" (PDF). Psych Central. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  17. ^ Evelyn Pringle (May 29, 2009). "Antidepressant Suicide Reports Continue to Mount". Lawyers and Settlements. Retrieved November 18, 2018.