Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Psychiatry
I have worked for over a decade with teenagers who need acute inpatient hospitalization. My primary interest is in caring for adolescents and young adults as they begin their exciting, but sometimes challenging, transition into adulthood. To truly understand my young patients and give them the best possible care, I suspend assumptions based on my first impressions until I understand my patients’ whole story, including their family structure, economic, sociocultural and educational backgrounds, personal struggles and achievements and life goals. I take the time to get to know my patients and their families; without a full understanding of their concerns and complex histories, I cannot identify the best treatment for my patients, including whether to prescribe psychotropic medications if I think they will help.
I hold teaching and mentoring responsibilities in the Department of Psychiatry. For example, I teach an ethics seminar every six weeks to third-year medical students during their psychiatry clerkship. In teaching and mentoring medical students, my overall goal is to impart a holistic view of our patients, so that regardless of the medical field my students choose—e.g., psychiatry, primary care, surgery--they will remember that, until they have asked about the “whole story,” they should guard against making assumptions about their patients or their patients’ families. My students learn from me that they cannot render the best care for a patient until they know that patient.
My support of medical students extends to the student-run Human Rights Initiative. I collaborate with medical student scribes to provide much-needed forensic interviews for victims of torture who seek asylum in the United States. My partnership with the medical students demonstrates my commitment to them and to their altruism, which I think should be a hallmark of every physician.
I also teach residents and fellows, both in clinical (inpatient) and didactic settings. I interact with nearly all our residents when they are on call with me multiple times each month. I address their questions, and we discuss at length their patients’ care. I foster a supportive environment for them, and I provide career advice and one-on-one mentoring when they ask me for help. Additionally, I nurture and mentor residents, fellows and junior faculty as they pursue their academic and research interests within our department.