Guest Blog: Reflections from a 2022 AAGP Honors Scholar

Guest Blog: Reflections from a 2022 AAGP Honors Scholar

As part of PRMS’ ongoing commitment to behavioral health, we are pleased to feature Dr. Jisselly Sanchez Salcedo, third-year psychiatry resident at the Central Michigan University Psychiatry Residency Program, and an Honors Scholar with the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP), as a featured guest blogger this month. Dr. Salcedo shares why she chose the field of geriatric psychiatry and reflects on her experience attending the 2022 AAGP Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

I was born in the Dominican Republic, raised by my dear grandmother, and moved with my mother to New York City with hope for a better future. While in NYC, I studied English religiously and volunteered at local hospitals. In 2013, I obtained a B.S. in Biology from City College of New York where I was involved in autism neuromolecular and genetic research. Having always dreamt of pursuing medicine, I enthusiastically moved to Michigan when I was accepted to the Central Michigan University College of Medicine. It was during my third year of medical school when I found how much I enjoyed taking care of the patients struggling with mental illness, and when I fully realized my passion for psychiatry.

I was ecstatic to learn that I had matched at my home institution to continue my psychiatric training. One of the unique opportunities I had as an intern was working on a brand-new geriatric psychiatry unit formed in our residency’s freestanding psychiatric hospital. During my intern year, my two main attending supervisors, whom I see as mentors and monumental influences in my career trajectory, are both fellowship-trained geriatric psychiatrists. I found incredible satisfaction in caring for the vulnerable older adult population by helping my patients and their families navigate complex biopsychosocial challenges.

Thanks to the sponsorship of PRMS, I was able to attend the 2022 AAGP Annual Meeting as part of the Honors Scholars Program. I can honestly say that this experience has been the highlight of my entire medical training. Due to COVID-19 shutting down most in-person meetings for the majority of my residency training, the 2022 AAGP Annual Meeting was the first in-person CME event I had the privilege of attending and it surely set a “high bar" for anything to follow. From the forum on academic psychiatry and diversity, to a session on new and emerging treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, not only did I find unlimited opportunities to learn, but also to meet likeminded individuals who were equally enthusiastic about moving forward. With such approachable and personable attendings, faculty, program directors, and fellow trainees, informative and enriching breakout sessions, and personalized advice and guidance from several one-on-one interactions, the experience overall completely solidified my intent to pursue my dream to become a geriatric psychiatrist.

My trajectory will be slightly different from others who are pursuing fellowship training immediately after the completion of residency. After spending time in Michigan for medical school and now residency, I found a passion in caring for Michigan’s underserved community and finding ways to improve its dire shortage of psychiatrists. Through the Michigan Doctors Improving Access to Care (MIDOCS) program, I committed myself to serve two years as a general psychiatrist in Michigan following my residency training, to help alleviate the shortage and serve my local community. I will work as faculty in Central Michigan University’s psychiatry residency training program, hopefully being a force multiplier by supervising and training other resident doctors that will help contribute to much needed services in our area. During this time, I will be providing clinical services on the geriatric inpatient unit, the place that initially sparked my passion for the field. Following this experience, I hope to pursue my subspecialty training in geriatric psychiatry.

With that, I am deeply grateful for the opportunities afforded me through the AAGP Scholars Program. The experience has been enriching and humbling, and I look forward to continuing my journey towards becoming a full-fledged geriatric psychiatrist.

From left: Remy Palmer, RPLU, ARM, PRMS Senior Underwriter; Jisselly Salcedo, MD; and Julia Bajereanu, PRMS Client Relations Manager.

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