Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL –  Loyola Medicine psychiatrist Murali Rao, MD, has received the prestigious designation as distinguished fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (DFASAM).

DFASAM titles, granted every other year, are given to physician members of ASAM in recognition of significant contributions to the society and to addiction medicine. Distinguished fellows are chosen based on excellence in addiction medicine, professionalism, integrity, service, leadership and contributions to the field. ASAM, founded in 1954, is a professional society representing more than 4,300 physicians and other clinicians and professionals in addiction medicine.

Dr. Rao also is a life member of the American Board of Addiction Medicine and the first Indian-born physician to be named a fellow of the American College of Forensic Psychiatry. Dr. Rao is chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

In addition to addiction medicine, Dr. Rao has subspecialty expertise in geriatric psychiatry, affective disorders, dual-diagnosis psychiatric illnesses, psychosomatic medicine and transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of depression. Dr. Rao is passionate about practicing psychosomatic medicine (also known as consult liaison psychiatry), which involves the treatment of patients who have both psychiatric and general medical conditions.

"When  treating elderly patients, it's increasingly important to have a thorough knowledge of geriatric psychiatry and addiction psychiatry, as we are seeing an increasing number of patients who are addicted to alcohol and both prescription and non-prescription drugs," Dr. Rao said.

Dr. Rao earned his medical degree from Mysore Medical College and completed residencies in psychiatry at Southern Illinois University Affiliated Hospital and Winnebago Mental Health Institute. Dr. Rao is a fellow of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine and a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.