As long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a doctor. Even through my own psychoanalysis during residency training, I never discovered the wellspring of this path, although I did recall that from early on I was accused of “analyzing things too much”. I do not come from a family of physicians. I was not overly fond of my pediatrician (although I never feared shots or blood, and later learned that I have a high pain tolerance – a plus while enduring medical school and residency). Nonetheless, I felt this goal was internal, from my heart, and never questioned it. So, in 1986 I recited the Hippocratic Oath with my fellow medical school graduates.
Although I love all aspects of medicine, my lifelong love of the liberal arts, combined with my love of all of the branches of science, led me to recognize that psychiatry was the next step on my path. I have always been an acute observer of people, and have always wanted to know “why?” After my psychiatric residency in San Francisco, my husband and I moved to Portland where I have felt honored to practice solo outpatient psychiatry since 1990. During that time, I have also worked in a variety of public and private sectors wherever psychiatric patients are served. Somehow I squeezed two children into my schedule in 1995 and 1998.
Then, there is what life teaches us as we traverse its unpredictable course. Just when I thought I might have gotten it down, I suffered a life threatening accident in 2010, which kept me out of work for nearly a year. The perspectives I gained throughout my recovery were priceless. I was happy to be alive, not in a wheelchair, and without brain damage (as far as I could tell). I developed a much deeper sense of empathy for my patients’ pain, physical and psychological, than any book or teacher could give me. When I was able to return to work, I decided to move my office downtown and change my business plan – I wanted to focus on what I love, to follow the path that took me here – treating patients. I signed off of all insurance panels and hired my husband (formerly “Mr. Mom”) as my front and back office manager. Life is too short to stay stuck due to the fear of going forward on your path, unexpected turns and all.
So here I am, now, thrilled to be able to utilize my training and life experiences to help others find their way through those difficulties and problems that can keep us stuck.