Madeline Fay Ferrell | Cogito Mental Health Services

Madeline Fay Ferrell
MD, Ph.D

Unlike Thomas Wolfe’s character, I am living proof that you CAN go home again – and love it!

A post WW II baby boomer, I grew up in small town Seale, Alabama and earned my B.A. and M.S. in Psychology from Auburn University, minoring in Biological Science. In 1970-71, prior to entering college teaching, I served as Dothan City Schools’ first Title 1 Elementary School Psychologist. Intrigued with the Mind-Body connection I subsequently pursued a PhD in Biological Science (Neuroscience) at Florida State University and embarked upon an academic career in basic science research and university teaching. By chance, a PhD/MD colleague questioned whether I had considered “coming full circle from clinical practice to research, and back again.” It was an idea too tempting to resist. I received my M.D. from The Chicago Medical School and completed a general medicine internship and psychiatric residency training at Duke University Medical Center. Of note, this was during the so-called Decade of the Brain, mammoth strides were being made through brain imaging, gene mapping, and pharmaceutical clinical trials in understanding biological determinants of mental illness, and Duke was a leader in these areas.

For the past 24 years, have practiced general adult psychiatry in the Wiregrass area, in private practice, hospital, community mental health, correctional, and military and VA settings. Accurate diagnosis, along with insight and empowerment gained through psychotherapy, rather than hoping solely for a magic pill or capsule, is crucial in attaining optimal mental health. That said, there are – undeniably – biologic factors involved. Therefore, prudently chosen and safe medications also have a potential role in improvement; particularly when combined in a team approach with talk therapy It is here that my medical and psychiatric specialty training extend services already offered by Cogito. My practice is with adults with mood and anxiety disorders, post traumatic stress disorder of various origins, and dementia.