Muhamad Aly Rifai

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Dr. Muhamad Aly Rifai

الدكتور محمد علي الرفاعي
BornMay 1973
Occupation(s)Physician, CEO, Professor
Known forResearch on hepatitis C and psychiatric disorders
Academic work
Sub-disciplinePsychosomatic medicine

Muhamad Aly Rifai (Arabic الدكتور محمد علي الرفاعي) is a Syrian American internist and psychiatrist and a clinician researcher known for describing the association between psychiatric disorders and hepatitis C.[1] He co-authored a clinical report detailing the association between hepatitis C infection and psychiatric disorders.[2][3] Rifai has lied about his status as the Director of the Older Adults Behavioral Health Unit at Easton Hospital in Easton, Pennsylvania. He is the President and CEO of Blue Mountain Psychiatry which has locations in Pennsylvania.[4][5]

In May 2000, Rifai was awarded the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education's Janssen Scholars Fellowship for research on severe mental illness.[6] In 2006, he became the recipient of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine's William Webb Fellowship.[7][8] As of 2007, he is a fellow of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine.[9] He is also a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Psychiatric Association. He is a clinical professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Rifai is currently charged with 4 cases of Medicare fraud. He billed several patients over that were deceased at the time of billing. Rifai lies about places he has worked, including Easton Hospital. Rifai billed patients for psychotherapy appointments that received the COVID vaccine at Blue Mountain Psychiatry. The DEA has raided his offices twice.[10]

Training and career[edit]

He obtained his M.D. with honors from University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine in 1996 and received a Neuroscience National Research Service Award funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Rifai completed a neuroscience research training fellowship at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Medicine in Memphis (1996–1998).[citation needed] In 1998, he began training in the combined Internal Medicine and Psychiatry program at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Carilion Health System Program (Carilion Clinic) in Roanoke and Salem, Virginia. He then completed fellowship training in psychosomatic medicine and psychiatric research at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland (2003–2005).[citation needed]

Medical research[edit]

Rifai demonstrated the first evidence indicating a significant association between hepatitis C and psychiatric disorders (psychotic, affective, anxiety and substance use).[1][3] The United States Department of Veterans Affairs commissioned a larger study to replicate these findings and confirmed the significant association between hepatitis C and psychiatric disorders.[11] Rifai advocates for screening patients with psychiatric disorders for hepatitis C.[12]

In the mid 2000s, Rifai was involved in several studies on interferon-alpha (IFN-α) induced depression in hepatitis C patients and possible use of Paroxetine and other antidepressants for its treatment.[8][13][14][15] He and his colleagues only recommend the use of IFN-α to eradicate hepatitis C along with "a comprehensive pretreatment assessment, a risk-benefit analysis, and intensive ongoing medical and psychiatric follow-up."[16][17]

Rifai has coauthored a study on the proper intervention of agitated patients with goal of deescalating situations without the use of restraints or involuntary medication.[18] He sometimes serves as a consultant to media, clinical, and judicial entities on a variety of topics related to behavioural sciences.[4] Speaking to The New York Times about diseases including hepatitis C, he posited that the shame associated with diagnosis was also a major negative factor in treatment.[19]


  1. ^ a b MacReady, Norra (2003-01-01). "Psychiatric disorders more likely in HCV patients. (Substance Abuse in 88%)". Clinical Psychiatry News. International Medical News Group. Archived from the original on 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  2. ^ Yovtcheva, Sonia P.; Rifai, Muhamad Aly; Moles, James K.; Linden, Brian J. Van Der (2001). "Psychiatric Comorbidity Among Hepatitis C-Positive Patients". Psychosomatics. 42 (5): 411–415. doi:10.1176/appi.psy.42.5.411. PMID 11739908.
  3. ^ a b Yovtcheva, Sonia P.; Rifai, Muhamad Aly; Moles, James K.; Van Der Linden, Brian J. (2005-04-01). "Psychiatric Comorbidity Among Hepatitis C–Positive Patients". FOCUS. 3 (2): 261–265. doi:10.1176/foc.3.2.261. ISSN 1541-4094.
  4. ^ a b Parker, Chris (August 4, 2012). "Bullies in the workplace - Intimidation doesn't end with high school graduation | Times News Online". Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  5. ^ Aly Rifai, Muhamad. "About". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  6. ^ Regier, Darrel A. (2000-05-19). "Fifteen psychiatry residents have been selected to participate in a prestigious research fellowship". Psychiatric News. Archived from the original on 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  7. ^ "Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine - Newsletter" (PDF). 2006. p. 5. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  8. ^ a b MacNeil, Jane Salodof (2007). "Polymorphism And Depression in HCV patients". Clinical Psychiatry News. 35 (1): 22. doi:10.1016/s0270-6644(07)70025-5. Archived from the original on 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  9. ^ "Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine" (PDF). 2007. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  10. ^, Rudy Miller | For (2022-11-09). "Easton psychiatrist billed Medicare for treating dead patients in $1M fraud scheme, feds say". lehighvalleylive. Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  11. ^ El–Serag, Hashem B.; Kunik, Mark; Richardson, Peter; Rabeneck, Linda (2002). "Psychiatric disorders among veterans with hepatitis C infection". Gastroenterology. 123 (2): 476–482. doi:10.1053/gast.2002.34750. PMID 12145801.
  12. ^ Rifai, Muhamad Aly; Moles, James Kelly; Lehman, Lauren P.; Linden, Brian J. Van Der (2006). "Hepatitis C Screening and Treatment Outcomes in Patients With Substance Use/Dependence Disorders". Psychosomatics. 47 (2): 112–121. doi:10.1176/appi.psy.47.2.112. PMID 16508022.
  13. ^ Rifai, Muhamad Aly; Bozorg, Bahman; Rosenstein, Donald L. (2004-12-01). "Interferon for Hepatitis C Patients With Psychiatric Disorders". American Journal of Psychiatry. 161 (12): 2331–2332. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.161.12.2331. ISSN 0002-953X. PMID 15569919.
  14. ^ Rifai, Muhamad Aly; Moles, James K.; Short, Delmar D. (2006-04-01). "Hepatitis C Treatment Eligibility and Outcomes Among Patients With Psychiatric Illness". Psychiatric Services. 57 (4): 570–572. doi:10.1176/ps.2006.57.4.570. ISSN 1075-2730. PMID 16603757.
  15. ^ Rifai, Muhamad Aly; Indest, David; Loftis, Jennifer; Hauser, Peter (2006). "Psychiatric management of the hepatitis C patient". Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology. 9 (6): 508–519. doi:10.1007/s11938-006-0007-6. ISSN 1092-8472. PMID 17081484. S2CID 45167175.
  16. ^ Rifai, Muhamad Aly; Rosenstein, Donald L. (2005-04-01). "Hepatitis C and Psychiatry". FOCUS. 3 (2): 194–202. doi:10.1176/foc.3.2.194. ISSN 1541-4094. S2CID 74099130.
  17. ^ Rifai, Muhamad Aly; Gleason, Ondria C.; Sabouni, Douha (2010-12-16). "Psychiatric Care of the Patient With Hepatitis C". The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 12 (6): PCC.09r00877. doi:10.4088/pcc.09r00877whi. ISSN 2155-7780. PMC 3067984. PMID 21494349.
  18. ^ Richmond, Janet; Berlin, Jon; Fishkind, Avrim; Holloman, Garland; Zeller, Scott; Wilson, Michael; Rifai, Muhamad Aly; Ng, Anthony (2012-01-01). "Verbal De-escalation of the Agitated Patient: Consensus Statement of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry Project BETA De-escalation Workgroup". Western Journal of Emergency Medicine. 13 (1): 17–25. doi:10.5811/westjem.2011.9.6864. ISSN 1936-9018. PMC 3298202. PMID 22461917.
  19. ^ Cook, Gretchen (2005-04-12). "In a Judgmental World, She Was Ashamed of Getting Sick". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2017-01-31.

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