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Caridad Ponce-Martinez, MD

Caridad Ponce-Martinez

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Medical Director, Adult Mental Health Unit
Director of Clinical Services, Division of Addiction Psychiatry


Dr. Ponce Martinez is Medical Director of the Adult Mental Health Unit (8East) at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. She holds an academic appointment as Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at the  T.H. Chan School of Medicine. She is board certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry in General Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry. Dr. Ponce Martinez obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Tufts University and completed medical school at the Escuela Autónoma de Ciencias Médicas de Centro América in Costa Rica. She completed her adult psychiatry residency training at the University of Virginia, where she served as a Chief Resident and had an integral role in the evaluation of the Psychiatry residency program and its academic curriculum, particularly as related to substance use disorders. She then completed fellowship training in Addiction Psychiatry at Yale University. She joined the Department of Psychiatry at UMass in 2016. She worked as an attending psychiatrist at the Psychiatric Treatment and Recovery Center, then became medical director of the Adult Mental Health Unit (8East), a 14-bed acute inpatient psychiatric unit. 

Clinical Activity

Dr. Ponce Martinez is an attending psychiatrist and Medical Director of the Adult Mental Health Unit, a 14-bed acute inpatient psychiatric unit on the University campus. Additionally, she serves as the addiction psychiatrist consultant at the Hector Reyes House, a residential program for men with substance use disorders.

Education Activity

The Adult Mental Health Unit is a primary teaching site for residents and medical students, and Dr. Ponce Martinez oversees trainees at this site. Additionally, she participates throughout the year in invited lectures for UMass Chan students and lectures. 

Research Interests

Dr. Ponce Martinez' clinical and research interests include expanding access to treatment for substance use disorders in a variety of clinical settings. In her role as medical director on the inpatient psychiatric unit, she developed and implemented a protocol for treatment of opioid use disorder in the UMass inpatient psychiatric units. She is also currently conducting a study that evaluates the outcomes of initiating medication assisted treatment for patients with opioid use disorder during an acute inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. Additionally, Dr. Ponce Martinez is developing a project to integrate psychiatry and primary care in her native country of Honduras, in order to help address the country’s vast mental health needs.

Publications and Presentations click here to read