Fourteen years ago, Dr. Jared O’Garro-Moore ’06 would have described himself as the typical college freshman, impressionable and undecided on a major. He not only found a career path but has followed it all the way to one of the most prestigious universities in the country. Jared has been part of Columbia’s Department of Psychiatry since 2018 and became an Instructor of Medical Psychology about a year ago. The Christ School alumnus has authored and co-authored numerous research papers and encyclopedia articles. Jared works at the Irving Medical Center in New York City and had a break in his schedule Thursday to provide this life update.
Question: I know there will be a lot of people in the Christ School community excited to hear about your position at Columbia. What has it been like for you so far?
Answer: I’ve been here for about two and a half years and it’s been a lot of fun. I’m originally from Philadelphia, so the big city is something I’m used to. Work-wise, I’m around a lot of brilliant people. People who are on the front line of research and development and people who are great to learn from. It’s just a really cool place to work. Prior to this, I was at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center doing my last year of training after graduate school at Temple University.
Question: You attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill after Christ School. Do you remember how you first got interested in psychology?
Answer: I was one of those students who didn’t know what I wanted to do when I started college. I was fortunate to have someone who believed in me and invited me to be part of their psych lab. From there, my interest was piqued. I got to learn how amazing and interesting the field of psychology is, and what different careers in psychology could be. I was also fortunate to have great mentors who helped me along the way.
Question: What does your current work entail?
Answer: My research background is on the co-occurrence of mood and anxiety disorders. I’m part of an intensive outpatient program at Columbia, treating people with more acute concerns. I’m also helping to spearhead an initiative to standardize treatment for treatment-resistant depression. Lastly, I’m doing a research project, looking at whether different treatments can be tailored for peoples’ unique needs.
Question: I know many people here at Christ School will remember you for your athletic career (Jared was a two-time state champion in the pole vault as well as a wrestler and football player). What do you like to do in your spare time these days?
Answer: A lot has changed since the pandemic. But me and a bunch of buddies like to bike Central Park and go to different restaurants and bars. The city is so massive. Any weekend, you can go off and find some site or area that you’ve never experienced before. It really is like being a tourist in your own town.
Question: What do you remember about your experience at Christ School?
Answer: Christ School was a lot of fun and I’m glad I went there. Mr. Krieger was an awesome Headmaster. The biggest thing that stands out to me is the relationships. Christ School was really a primer for college. You’re around the same people, almost 24-7, and you really do develop close-knit bonds that you wouldn’t have in a normal high school. Those friendships were the biggest thing to me.