Dr. Sierles has devoted his 39-year-long professional career to the psychiatric education of medical students and residents. A 1963 graduate of Columbia University in New York City, he attended RFUMS/CMS from 1963-67, did a straight medical internship at Cook County Hospital in 1967-68, and completed his psychiatry residency at RFUMS/CMS in 1971. In 1971, he was chief psychiatry resident. After serving in the Medical Corps as a psychiatrist at US Reynolds Army Hospital at Fort Sill, Oklahoma from 1971-73, he began his career on the CMS faculty in 1973, and has continued here ever since.
During his tenure as a core RFUMS/CMS faculty member, where he served as director of medical student education in psychiatry from 1974-94 and 2003-present, he also served as psychiatry site director and consultation service director at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital (1979-82); directed the mental health clinic at VAMC North Chicago (1982-83); was chief of psychiatry at VAMCNC from 1983-85; and vice chair of psychiatry from 1988-94. He was chair of psychiatry at RFUMS/CMS from 1994-2002, and residency director from 2000-01.
He has won 17 awards for teaching students and residents, including the 2003 NIH-American Psychiatric Association Seymour Vestermark Award for distinguished lifetime contributions to psychiatric education. In 2009, he was selected to the RFUMS Master Teacher Guild.
He has written 37 papers in refereed journals, and wrote or co-authored five textbooks. Early in his career, he studied post-traumatic stress disorder. Most of his research has been in sociopolitical and ethical aspects of medical student education. His 2005 JAMA paper, “Medical students’ exposure to and attitudes about drug company interactions,” influenced the Association of American Medical Colleges and Institute of Medicine to recommend that medical schools and academic medical centers adopt regulations about industry-physician and industry-student interaction.