Dr. Machal wins ADMSEP award

Riley Machal, MD, won the 2024 ADMSEP Devneil Vaidya Award, which spotlights her work at all three levels of medical education.

In June, Dr. Machal received the award at the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP) Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Daniel Gih, MD, Vice-Chair of Education for the Department of Psychiatry, calls Dr. Machal a “rising star” in the UNMC Department of Psychiatry.

“This award recognizes a promising early career ADMSEP member who demonstrates excellence in teaching, mentoring, and curricular innovations related to medical student education in psychiatry in their first seven years as an assistant professor,” Dr. Gih said. “It’s well-deserved.”

Riley D. Machal, MD.

Dr. Machal joined the department in July 2020 and has worked with patients dealing with serious and persistent illness (SPMI), which includes major depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorders. She helped develop the Active Support for Psychosis in Recovery (ASPIRE) Clinic – a multi-disciplinary clinic providing wrap-around physical and mental health care to those in the Omaha area living with psychosis.

Additionally, she accepted leadership roles in undergraduate medical education. She was recently named Phase 2 Clerkship Director.  

Dr. Machal said she wanted to be a teacher long before she wanted to be a psychiatrist, so having the opportunity to do both is perfect.

“Most of my family members are teachers, so it’s something I decided I wanted to do in high school,” Dr. Machal said. “When I first met an academic physician in medical school, I realized I could do both. It really marries both things I love.”

Dr. Machal says she has projects running at all three levels of education: medical school, residency, and faculty development/continuing education.

“I do the whole gamut,” she said.

Dr. Machal worked with the Behavioral Health Education Centers of Nebraska (BHECN) and the Medica Foundation in faculty development to help establish Project PEACE (Psychiatric Emodules for Advancing Clinician Education). Project PEACE offers behavioral health and primary care providers, such as physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, and others, the opportunity to obtain crucial knowledge from Nebraska behavioral health professionals about managing patients’ behavioral health concerns. Providers can earn free continuing education credits by participating in Project PEACE training.

Dr. Machal said Project PEACE is the initiative she’s most proud to have helped start.

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