Where I work: Since 2013 I have been the Medical Director for the Behavioral Health Clinic at Waverly Health Center (WHC), a critical access hospital in Waverly, Iowa. I work with an awesome team:  a psychiatric nurse practitioner, two therapists, and four of the best nurses you’ll ever find.
Typical day in my shoes: Is there such a thing?? I see outpatients ages 14 to infinity in the Women’s Clinic, a rural health clinic at WHC (because that’s where office space was available when I arrived), but my practice isn’t limited to women. I see a variety of diagnoses, especially recurrent major depression, all anxiety disorders, and bipolar spectrum disorder. My favorite diagnosis to treat is schizophrenia. I spend part of my time serving on committees and doing administrative work. My subspeciality is neuropsychiatry so many of my patients are developmentally disabled, brain-injured, or have psychiatric manifestations of neurologic illness.  Once a month I go to group homes run by Community NeuroRehab in Ames, Coralville, and Des Moines to manage medications for patients with a history of TBI, anoxic brain injury, stroke, etc. I love to teach. I give occasional lectures to family practice residents in Waterloo, talk to the psych residents at UIHC 1-2 times per year,  and right now I am hosting an Allen College  psychiatric nurse practitioner student two days a week for her clinicals.
My favorite part of being a psychiatrist: I became a psychiatrist because people and their stories fascinated me and I loved putting the puzzle pieces of each person together. That still is true today, although less paperwork about those fascinating people would be nice! I love advocating for those with mental illness and making psychiatry, mental illness, and treatment less mysterious and less stigmatizing for my patients, their families, and the general public.
The best advice I’ve ever heard: This is a tough one because I have had many good mentors over the years, personally and professionally. The advice I mutter silently to myself the most frequently is “Never run to a code…..and when you get there, take your own pulse first.” One of my wise internal medicine residents told me this when I was a med student or an intern, I can’t recall which. Although it was pertinent only to the code team at that point, I’ve found it a good mantra for life in general, especially at work. It reminds me to stay calm, know my own issues, and have them sorted out before I act in any important situation.
Favorite vacation destination: This is tough to narrow down, but I’d have to say hiking in one of my favorite places: Montana’s Glacier National Park, the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland, or the Lake District in England.
Actress to play me: Meryl Streep
Favorite TV show: I don’t watch NEARLY enough TV (see paperwork comment above), but I love CBS Sunday Morning, Call the Midwife, Ted Lasso, and this week, March Madness!
What makes my day better: Running on schedule before lunchtime so I can have a full hour to eat the best hospital food in the world (I am not being sarcastic) and go home to say hello to my dog.

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