Dr. Burns graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College, received his M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed his psychiatry residency at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has served as Acting Chief of Psychiatry at the Presbyterian / University of Pennsylvania Medical Center (1988) and Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Medical School (1998), and is certified by the National Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Dr. Burns is currently Adjunct Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he is involved in research and teaching. He has received numerous awards, including the A. E. Bennett Award for his research on brain chemistry, the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology through the Media Award, and the Outstanding Contributions Award from the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. He has been named Teacher of the Year three times from the class of graduating residents at Stanford University School of Medicine, and feels especially proud of this award.
In addition to his academic research, Dr. Burns has written a number of popular books on mood and relationship problems. His best-selling book,Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, has sold over 4 million copies in the United States, and many more worldwide. Feeling Good is the book most frequently “prescribed” for depressed patients by psychiatrists and psychologists in the United States and Canada. Surveys indicate that American mental health professionals rate Feeling Good as the #1 book on depression, out of a list of 1,000 self-help books.
In 1995, Dr. Burns and his family returned to California from Philadelphia. When he is not crunching statistics for his research, he can be found teaching his famous Tuesday evening psychotherapy training group for Stanford students and community clinicians, or giving workshops for mental health professionals throughout the United States and Canada.