Abiola Adelaja had reservations about moving to Buffalo for a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry.
He pictured it as a city where the locals traveled by snowmobile. During his residency in New York City, colleagues warned him against continuing his training “in the middle of nowhere.”
Today, Adelaja calls his decision to become a UB psychiatry fellow the best he’s ever made—and not only because the experience dispelled all of his doubts about the “warm and welcoming” region he now calls home.
“I have learned so much during my fellowship,” he says. “The professors here are the best in their field. We have leaders in every area of child psychiatry and child psychology teaching us.”
“I could have gone elsewhere,” Adelaja adds, “but when I looked at the leadership, the experiences that are available here and what people who had graduated from the program said about it, I knew that UB would be the place where I could achieve the most.”
Among the key advantages of UB’s child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship are its tailored training opportunities, Adelaja notes.
When he expressed an interest in working with at-risk youth, one of his mentors helped Adelaja develop a research project to examine how mental health providers perceive childhood trauma among immigrants in the juvenile justice system.
“If you’re hard working and you show enthusiasm for what you’d like to pursue, the faculty here will support you and guide you to your future goals,” he says.
Throughout his fellowship, Adelaja has taken full advantage of the thriving culture of mentorship that permeates the Department of Psychiatry.
“Mentors in the department are very accessible,” he says. “You can pretty much pick up your phone whenever you have a difficult case.
“We have faculty who are versed in so many areas—forensics, psychopharmacology, psychodynamics, psychology, addictions, working with the developmentally disabled—and they are all very responsive when you call.”
Among his mentors, Adelaja applauds division chief Bruce Miller, MD, and David Kaye, MD, director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry, for their tireless efforts to “ensure that worthwhile opportunities abound for fellows.” That includes inviting some of the country’s most renowned psychiatrists to deliver lectures to trainees.
“Dr. Kaye goes all out to make sure your experience is the best it can be so that when you leave the program, you don’t feel as if you’re lacking in any area.”
With this well-rounded education, Adelaja is preparing to embark on the next phase of his training: a forensic psychiatry fellowship, with a child and adolescent track, at nearby University of Rochester.
“Before one of my colleagues completed his UB fellowship, he said, ‘Thank God for Buffalo,’” Adelaja recalls.
“I would say the same.”