Muhamad Aly Rifai is an Easton, Pennsylvania-based psychiatrist with a strong research focus and a diverse career to his credit. He is also an internist and addiction specialist. A perpetually engaged learner, Rifai maintains expertise in telepsychiatry, neuromodulation, psychedelics and clinical research.
Current Role and Duties
For the past eleven years, Muhamad Aly has served as the chief psychiatrist and internist as the founder of Blue Mountain psychiatry in the Allentown, Pennsylvania area. Over the past decade, Blue Mountain Psychiatry has grown to be the largest independent psychiatric group in the Lehigh Valley area.
The group employs over 30 people who specialize on providing innovative therapies and an assortment of psychiatric services, such as private psychiatry, Ketamine treatment, tele services and medicine for addiction treatment. A fifth treatment location is under development for the eastern Pennsylvania region.
From February 2013 until today, he has also worked as a medical director for eastern Pennsylvania. As the director of the county center for recovery, he oversees the only local inpatient detoxification program with drug and alcohol treatment options. The position also allows him to serve as the psychiatric medical director.
An additional role is serving as a contract professor for Misericordia University as a clinical professor in psychiatry.
Prior to launching Blue Mountain Psychiatry, Muhamad Aly Rifai worked for six years as the Avicenna Endowed Chair of Psychiatric Medicine and for three years as a medical director in psychiatry at Easton Hospital, a Steward Health Care facility in Easton, Pennsylvania. As the medical director of the adult unit, Rifai was in charge of 16 beds and focused on quality-of-life improvements for behavioral health patients.
Previous roles in education include a contract job as a clinical professor in psychiatry for DeSales University. In this role, he supervised students working as physician assistants and psychiatric nurse practitioner students.
From June 2007 to June 2020, he also worked as an adjunct professor of medicine and psychiatry with Drexel University.
Other major roles include a chief medical officer job at New Vitae Wellness and Recovery in Allentown and a clinical professorship for psychiatry and medicine held for 7 years.
Rifai started his education at American International College where he received a higher national diploma with honors in September 1990. He then attended Aleppo University and received his M.D.
From 1996 to 1998, he completed a psychopharmacology program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. In 2017, he pursued a Masters of Medical Management Program at Carnegie Mellon University and attended a Media Boot Camp with the Discovery Channel at Harvard University in 2012.
For his training, Rifai served as a resident physician in internal medicine and psychiatry at the Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia and was the Chief Resident at the University of Virginia in Roanoke from July 2001 to June 2003. The chief resident covered internal medicine, psychiatry, and medicine and psychiatry at the facility. He also earned a distinguished researcher award during his time at the school.
Professional Skills and Experience
Muhamad Aly Rifai is a life fellow for the American Psychiatric Association and has held this for over 24 years. Since May of 2000, he has served as a Janssen Scholar on severe mental illness for the association’s institute on research and education.
He is also the immediate past president and counselor of the Lehigh Valley Psychiatric Society of the Pennsylvania Psych Society. One of his efforts has included research on Hepatitis C and mental illness, and he served as a course director for a program focused on this discipline from May 2006 to May 2009.
Accomplishments and Achievements
Through his years in the Lehigh Valley Psychiatric Society, Rifai has served in a variety of offices, including treasurer, president-elect and board member. He is currently the immediate past president of the organization.
From May 2004 to May 2006, he worked as a member-in-training representative for the Middle Atlantic (Area 3) for the American Psychological Association.
For two years from 2003 to 2005, he was a member in training for the Washington Psychiatric Society and a deputy representative to the assembly area 3.
Philanthropy and Charitable Involvement
As a healthcare professional acutely aware of the difficulties addictions pose in mental illness, Rifai spends much of his volunteer time with various associations focused on mental health and addiction. He is a board member of the Eastern Opioid Awareness Task Force, and a member of NAMI Lehigh Valley. He is also a vaccine advocate with the American College of Physicians and serves as the COVID-19 vaccine coordinator for Northampton County.
In 2013, Muhamad Aly Rifai received the leadership recognition award from the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society.
From January 1997 to June 1998, he worked as an instructor in medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and earned a National Research Service Award in Psychopharmacology.
When he isn’t working at one of his many jobs or building his own healthcare business, Rifai enjoys spending time conducting personal research and pursuing new academic texts.