Guest Blog: Reflections from an AAGP Honors Scholar
As part of PRMS’ ongoing commitment to behavioral health, we are pleased to feature Dr. Samuel Adeyemo, third-year psychiatry resident at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, and an Honors Scholar with the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, as a featured guest blogger this month. Dr. Adeyemo shares why he chose the field of geriatric psychiatry and reflects on his experience attending the AAGP Virtual Annual Meeting and the AAGP Scholars Program.
From a very early point in my career during my medical school days at Obafemi Awolowo University College of Health Sciences in Nigeria, I was taught that medicine is not about prestige or affluence, but rather it is about care and humble service. Psychiatry would resonate the most with me throughout the years as a specialty that bore that virtue. Fast forward to today, and here I am, a third-year psychiatry resident at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. I am privileged to be a part of the treatment of a diverse and underserved patient population. One of the things I enjoy the most is being able to connect with my patients on a much deeper level. I get to see firsthand the need for quality and personalized care of the population that I serve. But the need that continuously stands out to me during my residency training is the need to care for late-life psychiatric disorders, especially in the underserved population. The unique physiological changes that occur during this phase of life demands a specialized and delicate form of care that interestingly blends medicine, neurology, and psychiatry. My inclination towards the geriatric population stems from an upbringing that has engrained in me the need to never forget the elderly and to always show them due respect and attention. I believe that it is important to keep the geriatric population thriving well into their elderly years and that they should continue to be a vital part of their community and society.
The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) Scholars Program has provided me with more exposure, necessary grooming, and the opportunity to gain greater insight into what lies ahead for me as I prepare to advance my career in the field of geriatric psychiatry. This past spring, I had the privilege to attend the 2021 AAGP Virtual Annual Meeting and the AAGP Scholars Program Virtual Conference. The specialized education programs during the Annual Meeting gave me further insight into the latest information, research, and the clinical care unique to geriatric mental health. My expectations for the virtual events were more than exceeded. I appreciated the symposium delivered by Drs. Susan Lehmann, Mary Blazek, and Dennis Popeo on the need to address ageism in medical education, clinical practice, and patient care. I felt the information was timely, as we have seen just how much older adults have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The AAGP Scholars Virtual Conference created a platform to network, receive mentorship, and collaborate with aspiring colleagues. It also provided guidance on how to successfully apply for geriatric fellowship and to make it a satisfying experience. I also appreciated the alumni presentations that highlighted some key issues in geriatric mental health.
These invaluable experiences that I have gained through the AAGP Scholars Program would not have been possible without the scholarship provided by Professional Risk Management Services. I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to PRMS as the company has played a pivotal role in this enriching experience. As I look forward to the very near future, I feel confident that AAGP will continue to pioneer advancements in geriatric psychiatry and to offer geriatric psychiatrists the support to effectively meet the needs of patients. Thank you again to PRMS for this wonderful opportunity to grow as an aspiring geriatric psychiatrist!
Dr. Samuel Adeyemo
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