‘Inside UVA’: Multi-talented Doctor Explains How He Masters Four Jobs at Once

February 22, 2023 By Andrew Ramspacher, fpa5up@virginia.edu Andrew Ramspacher, fpa5up@virginia.edu

Audio: ‘Inside UVA’ with Dr. Christopher Holstege(20:08)

UVA’s Dr. Chris Holstege talks about student health, the rising demand for mental health services, and even his encounter with a copperhead snake while trail-running with his dog.


Over the 17 months Jim Ryan has hosted the “Inside UVA” podcast, it’s hard to imagine the University of Virginia president introducing a guest with more titles than Dr. Christopher Holstege.

Holstege, the latest interview subject of Ryan’s, is a professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics, the chief of UVA’s medical toxicology department, the executive director of the Elson Student Health Center and the director of the Blue Ridge Poison Center.

Oh, and as Ryan points out, Holstege is also “an avid outdoorsman and a dedicated father of six.”

Holstege dives into his many roles on the podcast, including one that has evolved significantly over the last decade.

Over the course of the 2013-14 academic year, Holstege’s first as executive director of student health, UVA’s Counseling and Psychological Services recorded 8,158 student visits. That visit number went up to 18,074 over the course of the last academic year, Holstege said, all related to mental health.

Holstege said UVA is using a team approach to help address the growing issue.

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“It’s the importance of what we’re doing in student health and wellness, but it’s also about what the faculty is doing in regard to mentorship, what we’re doing from a community standpoint, holistically,” he said. “It’s also about prevention efforts. We’re looking at what other things we can do.”

Holstege said it’s not as simple as sending students to see a counselor or psychiatrist.

“We’re looking at exercise, we’re looking at outdoor activities, the arts, music, sports,” he said. There’s a whole host of things we can look at so that we can help students from getting to the point where they’re in crisis mode.”

You can listen to Ryan’s interview with Holstege on most podcast apps, including Apple PodcastsSpotify and Google Podcasts.

Media Contact

Andrew Ramspacher

University News Associate University Communications