Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

Resident Perspectives

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Julian Lagoy, M.D.

The Virginia Tech Carilion psychiatry residency program was the #1 choice on my rank list. When I found out I matched here it was a dream come true. From the first minute I arrived to interview here I knew that this was the perfect place for me. The people in this program are what make it unique. The entire faculty love to teach and take pride in seeing you grow as a resident. Once an attending even asked me if he could help write some of my notes since he thought I needed time to study for Step 3. The program also encourages us to attend and present at national conferences by allowing for extra vacation days and paying for us to attend. There are very few other programs that value their residents' education and well being like this one. No wonder the program has an outstanding board pass rate of 100%.

Not only is the faculty excellent, but also the other residents in the program are some of the nicest and most helpful people I have ever worked with. I am just starting my first year as a resident and I have gotten so much advice and help from the other residents. The senior residents are approachable and friendly. I have never hesitated to ask them a question. The other residents have even offered to help me outside of work, such as finding an apartment or opening a bank account. I am very grateful and happy to be at Virginia Tech Carilion for my psychiatry residency.

Anita Joseph, D.O.

When Dr. Kablinger, the residency program director, called me personally to invite me for an interview, I knew right away that this program was unique. I remember feeling honored then, and I continue to feel honored to be a psychiatry resident at Carilion Clinic. My transition from medical student to intern was almost seamless thanks to the great support of the psychiatry faculty and staff. I can tell you firsthand that the program is innovative and open to new ideas - my intern class helped create a new rotation to make the call system more manageable and educational! In allowing new ideas to come about, this program has been making residents who train at Carilion into leaders, educators, and empathetic attending physicians. Psychiatry has a great presence among the various other specialties within Carilion - this year the House Staff Association has three out of four spots filled by psychiatry residents! Medical students who rotate through for their third year rotation often come back again as fourth years because they enjoyed their rotation so much. In my humble opinion this has a lot to do with my fellow residents and wonderful attendings who make the atmosphere not only educational but welcoming. 

The beautiful backdrop of the mountains, opportunities to hike, canoe, or even read a book in a cozy nook at the beautiful South County Library have been additional blessings. As I move from one year to another, new challenges present themselves as expected, but I always feel the support and strength to tackle them - a testament to how well the residency program has been fostering my education.

So for all the medical students browsing on our website right now: I encourage you to come on out and see for yourself how supportive, innovative, and most importantly welcoming our psychiatry residency program at Carilion Clinic is.

Maureen Murphy-Ryan, M.D.

As a transfer student from Washington University in St. Louis, I was both excited and nervous about matching at Virginia Tech Carilion. It was my top choice during my transfer application because of the positive, nurturing environment I saw during my interview, the proximity in driving distance to my hometown, and its similarity to the Mayo Clinic, my medical school alma mater, in the focus on the primacy of patient care and the impact of beauty on healing in hospital settings. Apparently we have one of the most beautiful hospitals in America according to some rankings - something about how it's nestled right at the foot of the mountains...

Another factor I took into serious account was how the faculty are extremely responsive to resident concerns and the program is evolving each year based on our feedback. Two recent changes include altering the balance of time between the Salem VA and the Carilion Clinic locations and changing from a Q4 call to a night float system, which were designed to allow a wider diversity of clinical practice opportunities and better work-life balance. After 3 months here I can definitely appreciate both alterations.

Coming from another academically rigorous program, I have been especially impressed with the focus on teaching and support of resident research interests. Not only do the faculty take time to explain both mind and brain-based mechanisms of illness and treatments we see on our rotations, but self-study is encouraged. Residents are even given time each week in addition to our regular classes to attend peer-taught courses on high-yield board exam material. On the research end, I recently had the opportunity to write up three fascinating case reports with one of my best friends in the residency and a local medical student as abstracts for an upcoming Psychiatric Society of Virginia research meeting. Considering the major thing I was nervous about coming to Virginia Tech Carilion was fitting in as a transfer student, having colleagues interested in both writing papers and having BBQ's outside of work together has been a real blessing.

People keep telling me wait a while, see how you feel after a few night shifts, etc., but I don't think the Emerald Glasses are actually going to come off. I am so grateful for the opportunity to complete my residency education at Virginia Tech Carilion and I look forward to meeting all of our interviewees and future resident colleagues!

Ali Jazi, M.D.

I just started my second year of residency at Virginia Tech Carilion a few months ago. I would say that my experience as a first year resident in this program was rewarding in my educational life. The attending staff and upper level residents are very supportive and helpful. Everybody is trying to help you work efficiently and at the same time learn as much as possible. The didactics in the first year cover all you need to know as a first year resident. The workload is very reasonable. This year we started the night float system for the second year residents, which is great for continuity of care. Additionally, it helps residents not to miss any of the didactics on post call days and to have a more flexible personal life. I am confident that the Virginia Tech Carilion psychiatry residency program is providing me all I need to be a successful academic research psychiatrist.

Richard Ha, D.O.

I grew up and attended medical school in the Midwest. I had done rotations in Texas, Florida, and New York City. Before my interviews, I was pretty sure that I was going to settle in Texas, a big city, or the West Coast. However, I had a chance encounter stopping by Roanoke, VA on my way from Texas to New York City, and this place ended up becoming my number one choice on my ranking list. I was really drawn to the academic opportunities and staff that was eager to train me. One lesson I learned was that you never turn down a chance to be trained well. Residents coming from other top notch institutions that trained here continue to tell me that this is a very good program. I like the bright lights and H-mart (Asian grocery mart) so it was hard for me to be far away from that, but I decided to put academic opportunities and training first. I have never looked back and the personal and professional growth I have experienced here has been life changing.

However, I admit that I have my share of fun here as well. My thirst for Broadway shows and concerts have been satisfied so far watching Blueman, Flash Dance, Cirque Du Soleil, and Joan Jett. When I want to watch live sports, I enter the hospital raffle to claim either a free football or basketball ticket to see a game at Virginia Tech. There are several famous hiking trails, including the most scenic view of the Appalachians, McAfee's knob, that are within 30 minutes from the city. I have been to McAfee's knob 3 times already (wink). Also, I just recently lost my glasses doing white water canoeing (yeah... should have went with the kayak) on the James River which is just 40 minutes north of the city. For those that want to just chill on a lake, we have Smith Mountain Lake and Carvin's Cove nearby. The program here has been good to me. I even decided to apply to the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship here to extend my stay. The Amtrak train station is also coming in 2017, which will make it easier for us to access the East Coast cities. Word on the street is that the city is already growing, so if you would like to catch the wave, I suggest you hop on now.

Siddhartha Maru, M.D.

The Virginia Tech Carilion psychiatry residency program here in Roanoke is an excellent place to receive the training required to be a thorough and successful psychiatrist. As someone from a bigger city who hopes to return to practice there, I wanted to make sure that I would receive a comprehensive and broad training that involves exposure to various medical systems and patient populations. The Salem VAMC provides vital exposure to the VA system, the largest health system in the country, by serving veterans and the specific and unique challenges that they present. The Catawba state hospital rotation exposes residents to the chronically ill. Community psychiatry training at Blue Ridge Behavioral Health has residents working in clinics around the area as well as the PACT team, which provides in-home care to the most mentally ill patients. Finally, Roanoke Memorial Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in Virginia and we have the opportunity to see a large variety of patients in the inpatient, outpatient and consultation services. In addition, there are several other rotations and volunteer opportunities available to all residents such as forensic rotations at Roanoke County Jail, student health at Ferrum College and volunteering opportunities at Mental Health of America and the Rescue Mission.

Having these opportunities is wonderful, but they would not be complete without faculty support. I have found the faculty to be knowledgeable, approachable and always willing to help. They consistently provide feedback and encourage resident input to improve rotations and learning objectives. Overall, I am happy to have done my training at this program and I know that it offers everything needed to be a successful practicing psychiatrist.