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Newsletter | South Central MIRECC

Banner of the SC MIRECC communique newsletter


Summer 2018, Volume 20, Issue 4 - In this Issue

2018 VA Operational Plan
2018 Grant Writing Scholars Evaluation Results
2018 TRIPS Awardees

Research to Practice: Incorporating Emotion-Regulation Skills in Couple- and Family-based PTSD Treatment
Recent Publications
Pilot Study Research Program Applications Due October 1
Implementation, Design and Analysis Support Available for Affiliates

2018 TRIPS Awardees

The Training Residents in Psychiatry Scholarship (TRIPS) program aims to increase the number of psychiatry residents entering postresidency research training fellowships in VISNs 16 and 17. It also increases the visibility of the SC MIRECC, improves resident perception of VA and careers within VA, and recognizes residents with academic medicine interests and promise.

TRIPS awardees are psychiatry residents who are selected in their second year of training by department chairs or residency training directors. The awardees attend medical schools in VISN 16 or 17. Drs. Mark Kunik and Ali Abbas Asghar-Ali co-lead the program. Awardees are assigned a career mentor who keeps them up-to-date on research opportunities relevant to their interests, attend a national scientific meeting, and receive a stipend for books or tuition. Congratulations to our TRIPS awardees!


Afifa Adiba, MD
Dr. Afifa AdibaDr. Adiba is a is a third-year psychiatry resident at University of Mississippi Medical Center. She attended medical school in Bangladesh and worked as an intern at a teaching hospital for a year. She worked in research at Ohio State University and the University of South Carolina for more than two years. Dr. Adiba feels being in the field of psychiatry is a privilege, as patients share their deepest feelings and thoughts, allowing her to support patients at their most vulnerable state.

During her residency, she realized an interest in the unique psychiatric conditions and the social and developmental issues of children. Working with children and families encourages her to enhance her communication skills and analyze problems from a multidisciplinary perspective. As a result, she will apply for a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. While patient care will be the focus of her medical career, she also plans to include advocacy and education in her professional activities. She hopes to work for an academic medical center where she can teach, write and be involved in research. The TRIPS program has given her the opportunity to network, learn more about research, fellowship and academia, and will help her as she strives to be an exceptional psychiatrist.

Tiffany Arnold, MD
Dr. Tiffany ArnoldDr. Arnold is a third-year psychiatry resident at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, serving as the 2018-2019 Education Chief. Dr. Arnold co-presented a workshop, “The Difficult Patient,” at the Louisiana Psychiatric Medical Association fall meeting and presented a poster, “Psychiatric Emergency Department Utilization Patterns in Association with Patient’s Income,” at the spring 2018 resident poster competition. She plans to pursue a fellowship in forensic psychiatry after her residency.

Dean J. Atkinson, MD
Dr. Dean AtkinsonDr. Atkinson is a third-year resident at UT Houston McGovern program in Houston. Born and raised in Houston, he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Houston and simultaneously interned with a mobile crisis team near Austin for several summers. In keeping with his long-term interest in the field of mental health, he decided to pursue a career in psychiatry and attended UT Houston McGovern Medical School for his medical degree. As a medical student, he sought to contribute to research on associations between trauma and substance abuse.

He chose to stay at the UT Houston McGovern program for his psychiatry residency, during which he has participated in creating rotation guides for new residents, streamlining the process of patient send-outs to improve patient safety, and serving as a class representative. He has also taken part in substance use research, studying the implications of substance use disorders for patients admitted to an inpatient psychiatric center. Dr. Atkinson is interested in psychopharmacology and seeks a future career in academic psychiatry at a teaching hospital, where he can continue his engagement in meaningful research that will benefit future patients and trainees.

Sara Greene, MD
Dr. Sara GreeneDr. Greene is a third-year psychiatry resident in the LSU-Ochsner psychiatry program in New Orleans. Born and raised in California, she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and French at Amherst College. She worked in organizational behavior at Harvard Business School and at a family immigration law practice after graduation. Dr. Greene became interested in psychiatry while working with teenagers with mental health issues in primary care and inpatient settings while attending Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Inspired by her involvement in the TRIPS program, she is engaged in research on physician burnout and wellness, and is working with her mentor to establish a formal wellness curriculum within the LSU-Ochsner psychiatry program.

Samuel Jackson, MD
Dr. Samuel JacksonDr. Jackson is a third-year psychiatry fellow at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). He was raised in Southwest Arkansas and attended UAMS for medical school. He has a strong personal history in psychiatry as his mother was a social worker and he worked in behavioral economics of drug addiction research for four years before attending medical school. He plans to complete a fellowship in consultation-liaison psychiatry. He is interested in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) mental health as well as integrated care models. He is currently engaged in research on resilience in transgender individuals undergoing hormone therapy. He hopes to pursue a career in academic psychiatry that will allow him to be a clinician, scientist and educator.

Shweta Kapoor, MD, PhD
Dr. Shweta KapoorDr. Kapoor is a third-year psychiatry resident (research track) at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Born and raised in Chandigarh, India, she completed medical school at Manipal University, India. Prior to starting her residency, she obtained a PhD in clinical health psychology at The University of Alabama followed by residency and fellowship in health service psychology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. She received training in different psychotherapy modalities (cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) and identifies psychodynamic psychotherapy and existentialism as her primary therapy orientations. Her research interests include chronic pain, health disparities, health literacy, and serious mental illness.

During her doctoral studies and now residency, she has gained experience working with traumatized indigent populations with chronic pain as well as serious mental illnesses in context of multiple health disparities. Having parallel interests in clinical work and clinical research, she hopes to integrate her diverse training to work with patients to foster improved patient outcomes on both individual and systemic levels. As part of the TRIPS program, she hopes to continue to work in and extend her research skills in the areas of chronic pain and serious mental illness. She is looking forward to an enjoyable educational year ahead!

Kathleen McDeavitt, MD
Dr. Kathleen McDeavittDr. McDeavitt is a third-year psychiatry resident at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Her interests include medical education and geriatric psychiatry.

Kanwal Mirza, MD
Dr. Kanwal MirzaDr. Mirza is a third-year psychiatry resident at Tulane University in New Orleans. Originally from Texas, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Texas at Dallas and completed her medical training at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. Her current interests include global health, emergency psychiatry, early psychosis and underserved populations. In 2016, she worked as a medical volunteer in Greece at a Syrian refugee camp on the border of Idomeni and Macedonia. For two consecutive years, she was awarded first prize and then second prize in the Gonzalez Resident Award for original research by the Tulane University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She is hoping the TRIPS program will hone her research skills, expand her knowledge base, and expose her to professional development opportunities.

Hazem Shahin, MD
Dr. Hazen ShahinDr. Shahin is a third-year psychiatry resident at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He received his medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt. There he also practiced medicine as generalist for a few years. His career in research started in the United States while investigating the correlation between alcohol and traumatic brain injury, which led to interest in and enthusiasm for the overlapping presentation of medical, neurological, and psychiatric pathologies. He is currently interested in investigating stress related psychopathology, the microbiome, and the immune system. He hopes to learn how to conduct meaningful research that impacts everyday psychiatry practice through his participation in the TRIPS program.


Last updated: July 19, 2018