As a longtime student of both the arts and science, I found a way to merge my interest in both through psychiatry. After studying computer science at Princeton University and Japanese culture during a fellowship in Tokyo, at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, I discovered that I enjoyed the fundamental challenge of psychiatry: trying to understand another person’s experience. Meanwhile, I was drawn to the philosophy of palliative medicine, which emphasizes quality of life and finding meaning, aspects of psychiatry that I worry have waned with the rise of the “15-minute med check.”
My residency at Tufts Medical Center in Boston provided a strong biological education in psychiatry under supervisors like Dr. Nassir Ghaemi, preeminent author and expert in manic-depressive illness. At the same time, I benefited from an emphasis on psychotherapeutic training, including supportive, psychodynamic, and behavioral modalities, and I have continued to deepen that training at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute and now at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute.
Following residency I completed a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative medicine at Northwestern, where I experienced the challenge of helping individuals with mood and anxiety disorders adjust to living with serious medical illness and had the privilege of working with patients and families as they faced the existential and psychodynamic questions that arose in that setting. I believe that combined biological and psychological therapies provide the best outcomes, as we navigate living with the biology with which we were born in the social context in which we live, work, and love.