Seven UNMC and Creighton residents attended the 2018 APA Conference in New York City this month.
Dr. Dana Raml, Dr. Alyssa Hickert, Dr. Melissa O’Dell, Dr. Joe Kent, Dr. Heather Spain, Dr. Siva Koppolu and Dr. Spencer Gallner were awarded travel scholarships after turning in impressive applications. The travel awards were funded by the UNMC Department of Psychiatry and BHECN.
Dr. Howard Liu, who leads both units, said that initially, BHECN was only going to fund two trips to APA, but was so impressed by the quality of the applications that we decided to fund seven awards.
Dr. Alyssa Hickert said she really enjoyed her first APA Conference.
“I’m excited to attend in the future, and it cast a very positive light on continuing my education throughout my career,” she said. “I am especially grateful for the travel scholarship which relieved the financial burden of attending the conference, and it is incredibly valuable to me that I’m attending a residency which prioritizes these additional educational opportunities.”
The seven residents were joined by other UNMC medical students and UNMC/Creighton residents for dinner on Monday, May 7 at Becco Italian Restaurant in the heart of the theater district in New York. Dr. Melissa O’Dell said a highlight of the conference was meeting professionals with common interests. And when Dr. O’Dell met new people, she always had an icebreaker. She attended most events with her two-month-old baby girl.
“At the conference, I got to work on my networking skills, which I think of as an area for improvement for me,” Dr. O’Dell said. “I found that having a baby with you is a good way to force yourself to meet people because everyone wants to see the baby and a happy baby is a natural conversation starter.”
Dr. Dana Raml attended APA after previously attending smaller conferences like the Association of Medicine and Psychiatry (AMP) and Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP). She said APA offered something different, a common thread between all psychiatrists: academic or private, child, geriatric, forensic, outpatient or inpatient.
“As I reflect on my time at APA, I am again overwhelmed with gratitude,” Dr. Raml said. “Everyone has a place at the APA, reminding me that in psychiatry I’m part of something big. I’m so appreciative of the experience, and I’m looking forward to incorporating the pearls I have learned into my practice.”
The APA Conference was held from May 5-8 at the New York Marriott Marquis. The residents were required to attend two EPA conference programs each day.