A Doctor with a Bird’s-eye View

Whether floating thousands of feet high in the sky or leading the Department of Psychiatry’s journal club, Dennis Helmuth, M.D., Ph.D., a clinical associate professor of psychiatry, always finds a way to circle back to medicine.

Since 1991, Dr. Helmuth (pictured at far right) has led groups composed of College of Medicine students completing clinical rotations in psychiatry and psychiatry residents in journal club meetings at Cleveland Clinic Akron General. In these monthly meetings, they discuss the latest scientific research in psychiatry. Board-certified in psychiatry, Dr. Helmuth also holds a Ph.D. in biostatistics, which offers him a deeper understanding of how scientific statistics and research methods are applied in medicine.

When not working at NEOMED, Dr. Helmuth runs an outpatient general psychiatry practice in Wayne County, Ohio. Patients there run the gamut from an Amish man with OCD and elderly patients with bipolar disease to young adults addicted to heroin, says Dr. Helmuth.

In Dr. Helmuth’s spare time, you’ll have to look up to the sky to find him. Inspired by a book he read at the age of 10, Dr. Helmuth has made over 500 flights and several long-distance competitions in his Magic Carpet balloon (pictured to the right) over the past 26 years. “There’s nothing quite as beautiful as flying in a hot air balloon,” says Dr. Helmuth. To spread the good feeling, he donates flights for charity events and other special occasions.

Dr. Helmuth is one of only three people in the State of Ohio trained by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to evaluate pilots and aviators who may have psychiatric issues.  Also certified in addiction counseling, Dr. Helmuth speaks once a year at an aviation safety seminar, where discussions often cross over into such medical issues as substance abuse.

Whether in a basket high above Northeast Ohio or in an office, Dr. Helmuth always finds a way to fuse his two passions in life.  

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