What Residents Say about the Duke Psychiatry Training Program

Duke Trainees at the APA PsycSIGN residency fair -- May 4, 2014

 

Why Duke? What Past Residents Have to Say about the Training Program

Meera Balasubramaniam, GraduateAmy Leung, Graduate | Thad Koontz, Graduate | Fathima Reyman Graduate | Jose Ribas, Graduate

Meera Balasubramaniam, Former Executive Chief Resident
Dr. Balasubramaniam earned her MD at Seth G.S. Medical College & K.E.M Hospital in Mumbai, India, and her Masters of Public Health at the University of Texas at Houston before choosing Duke for her Psychiatry residency train.

Why Duke?
During my interview trail, I was looking for programs that felt "just right". My interview experience at Duke  presented to me a program which offers sound clinical training, world leaders in psychotherapy and research and a very nurturing environment.  All of this, coupled with the warmth of this place and the people I met won me over!

Most valuable part of Duke’s Psychiatry Residency Program:
The training is unparalleled, diversity in background and interests are respected and developed. Among both residents and faculty, for every yin, there is a yang - a healthy mix of cutting edge researchers, astute clinicians who revel in diagnostic dilemmas, knowledgeable psycho-pharmacologists, excellent psychotherapists, able administrators, and some, all rolled into one! An environment which encourages residents to hone their skills, while giving it their own signature style is what make Duke unique! I also greatly value the undying commitment of the program leadership to process improvement and positive change.

Pursuing your passion:
My interests include mental health issues among the elderly, medically ill and women. I have been able to avail of terrific personalized supervision. My involvement in administration and education has brought with it opportunities to develop my skills in leadership, people management and creative problem solving. I have evolved on a professional and personal level through my training here.

Biggest surprise so far:
Having lived in a big city all my life, I had my share of jitters before moving here. Thanks to it's eclectic yet affordable food scene, the fall colors, mild winters, proximity to the mountains, almost non existent traffic and above all, the friends I made, Durham has grown on me!

Life after residency:
The breadth of training makes one eager, excited and well-prepared to pursue a variety of opportunities. We have a healthy mix of residents pursuing clinical and / or research fellowships, academic positions and private practice. I envision a career as a clinician educator in Geriatric Psychiatry.
  

 

Amy Leung, Graduate
"The group psychotherapy training elective with Drs. Vereen and Hopfenberg is one of the best experiences in this residency.  For a total of 2.25 hours/week, it provides an excellent introduction to psychodynamic concepts, which you can then experience first-hand in the training-group!  It's been powerful, life-changing, and one of the most incredible opportunities this program has helped me to deepen and grow as both a therapist and a human being."
Thad Koontz, Graduate
Why Duke?
Duke embodies commitment to excellence resulting in monumental personal and professional growth.
Most valuable part of Duke’s Psychiatry Residency Program:
Family studies and the unparalleled opportunities to engage in cutting edge research set residency training apart at Duke. We are stimulated to probe deeply into biological as well as psychological perspectives on mental health, and each perspective thus informs the other.
 
Pursuing your passion: 
I've been able to develop skills in genomics and high performance computing while simultaneously learning the importance of non-verbal validation and attunement in interpersonal relationships. Where else can you do this?
 
Biggest surprise so far: 
People can change at any age or stage, and sometimes just being in a relationship with someone means more than everything else we do as physicians to catalyze growth. 
 
Life after residency:
The world is my oyster, multiple sclerosis research in stockholm, outpatient work in idaho, neuroscience research at duke, inpatient psychiatry next door to glacier national park are all options right now. 
 
Fathima Reyman, Graduate

Why Duke?
Resident diversity and camaraderie, ample clinical variety at three sites, liberal research and clinical elective options, champion faculty who are unrivaled in their field (Dr. McEvoy - psychotic disorders, Dr. Beyer - mood disorders, Dr. R. Weiner -ECT and combined internal medicine-psychiatry trained supervision on consult-liason service), robust family studies program and high receptivity to resident feedback. 

 

Thoughts on the future: 
Looking forward to graduate with a class of very capable psychiatrists

 

Feelings about the program:  
Challenges you to push yourself in a nurturing, supportive environment

 

Most valuable part of Duke’s Psychiatry Residency Program: 
Fellowship among residents and faculty

 

Pursuing your passion: 
With several elective options including the option of creating a novel elective in the third year, I am looking forward to discovering what I am most passionate about!

 

Biggest surprise so far: 
Discovering how much you learn by doing and passively imbibe in your first year

 

Life after residency: 
I am confident that my training will help me be adept at whatever I choose to practice or pursue

 

Jose Ribas, Graduate
"The group psychotherapy elective been probably the best training experience so far, both professionally and personally.  Not only did it train me on aspects of managing a group to the point of running my own DBT group, at a local clinic for the the Hispanic population, it also gave me an experience of what it's like to be in a psychodynamic group, and better understand resistance and benefits patients might get from referrals to groups.  But most important of all, it's been an opportunity to strenghten my friendship with my colleagues, and you can't put a price on that." 

 

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