Dr. Balasanova honored for her work with residents

UNMC Psychiatrist Alëna Balasanova, MD, FAPA, received the 2020‐2021 Irma Bland, MD, Certificate of Excellence in Teaching Residents by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and its Council on Medical Education and Lifelong Learning.

The certificate recognizes Dr. Balasanova’s outstanding and sustaining contributions in educating residents. This award was established in honor of the late Irma Bland, MD, and serves as a tribute to her unique and creative contributions to psychiatric education.

“I felt very honored to be counted among our country’s most dedicated psychiatric educators of residents! It feels fitting that Dr. Bland was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst,” Dr. Balasanova said. “Similarly, my teaching contributions span from addiction psychiatry to psychodynamic psychotherapy. This is the beauty of psychiatry: it’s a field that is as diverse as they come and teaching residents to integrate every part is most rewarding of all.”

Dr. Balasanova is part of the growing addiction medicine division in the UNMC Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Balasanova said UNMC is not alone in developing clinical and educational addiction medicine programs.

“This is a trend seen both nationally and locally. Part of it likely has to do with the substantial increase in substance use and other mental health problems seen during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

Along with her work at UNMC, Dr. Balasanova sits on the board of directors for the Coalition on Physician Education on Substance Use Disorders (COPE).  

Dr. Balasanova also took time recently to speak with ASK UNMC on the topic of “How do I help loved ones who struggle with a substance use disorder and when do I step aside?” Watch the video here.

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