Minnesota Mental Health Community Foundation
Erica Lensink, DO, Awarded Bob Baumer Scholarship
After attending IPS this past weekend, I left with a stronger sense of hope and passion for serving our underserved populations in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Through the workshops and presentations I attended, I connected with current APA Public Psychiatry Fellows and learned more about what the fellowship entails and their experiences in public psychiatry at their prospective programs. They welcomed me with open arms and gladly answered questions I had about the fellowship as well as clinical non-ACGME Public Psychiatry fellowships. Before this conference, I wasn’t aware of the APA fellowship and I also didn’t realize how incredible the clinical fellowships are. I attended the Public Psychiatry fellowship panel with program directors and alumni of the fellowships and also joined the American Association of Community Psychiatrists meeting - a tribe of like-minded people that have ambitious and passionate goals to improve the systems in which we work. My favorite part of the conference was attending a workshop about microaggressions (subtle, everyday ways of communication that discriminate others) and how it impacts health and our culture. We participated in role-playing, small-group discussion, and a very powerful activity called The Privilege Walk. We all learned about and from each other during this activity and it opened my eyes to the diverse backgrounds we come from.
I look forward to applying for the APA Public Psychiatry Fellowship and possibly continuing my training through a clinical public psychiatry fellowship. Additionally, I hope to go attend annually - the conference has been so valuable and such a great way to meet fellow residents, fellows, and psychiatrists who are systems-minded visionaries. It has helped reinforce the premise that not only is psychiatry about improving the lives of individuals with mental illnesses but just as importantly - their communities. Thank you, Minnesota Psychiatric Society, for providing the opportunity for me to attend!
Erica Lensink, DO
PGY2 Psychiatry Resident