Dr. Fellman discusses what led her to Summit School, working with children in their natural habitat, where she can really observe and assess their functioning.
NYACK, NY, US, October 16, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Summit community is delighted to welcome Dr. Veronica Fellman, Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist. Dr. Fellman joins our team of dedicated professionals in service of the children in our care. “This work is truly my calling,” says Dr. Fellman. “It is humbling and inspiring to stand with children as they learn how to navigate the challenges of life,” she explains during her September interview at Summit School at Nyack. See Dr. Fellman’s full interview here.
Q: Can you share a little bit of your background and what led you to become a Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist?
A: I applied to medical school specifically to become a psychiatrist, but always assumed I would work with adults. During my general psychiatry residency at NYU Langone, I completed a rotation on a child psychiatry inpatient unit at Bellevue and fell in love with the field. My husband saw me come home everyday excited and happy, and wisely told me to continue “doing whatever I was doing“ because I so clearly loved it. I stayed at NYU to complete my child and adolescent fellowship. After graduation, I worked in the Bellevue CCPEP (the only dedicated child psychiatric emergency room) for eight years and taught medical students and residents. I have also provided consultations for the ACS Children’s Center (where children are brought immediately after removal from home). Most recently I worked at The League School, a day treatment program in Brooklyn for children’s ages 5-21.
Q: What would make your work at Summit School at Nyack successful?
A: I hope to earn the trust and respect of my patients and their families. My goal is always to relieve suffering and make children’s lives happier, healthier and more aligned with their goals.
Q: What are some of the challenges you expect to overcome at Summit?
A: I am excited for the challenge of integrating into a team in a new community. I expect the typical learning curve, as I navigate Summit protocols and traditions. But I enjoy meeting people and challenging myself to adapt and learn.
Q: How would you describe your approach to working with children vs. adults?
A: Being genuine and transparent is paramount to working with children, who seem to quickly identify any false fronts and disdain them! It is a pleasure to follow a child’s lead and try to meet them where they are: whether by being playful or using a more gentle approach. Regardless, my general rule is to respect the experience of the child; whether I agree or disagree with a particular behavior or interpretation, I try to understand the child’s perspective.
Q: If you were speaking to a student about what they can expect from the work you will do with them, what would you tell them?
A: I want my students to know that I will work hard to help them achieve their goals and to be happy and healthy. I don’t ever expect their trust, I expect to earn it.
Q: What might you tell a parent about what to expect?
A: As a parent, there is nothing more important to me than the health and happiness of my family. And I always keep this in mind as I treat my patients and their families.
Q: Can you speak to how your work with the students is integrated in a different way than someone meeting with a private doctor. Because you have access to the staff that work with these students in all of the different aspects of the program (school, residence, clinical, recreation & family), I’d like to better understand how that helps create a more complete picture than most doctors.
A: I’ve said to many colleagues – there are so many advantages to seeing children in their school. I think of it as children’s “natural habitat,” where I can really observe and assess their functioning. In a private office I get to see a small slice of a child’s world- how they act in a doctor’s office for 45 minutes. Here I can see them socializing with friends, interacting with teachers in class, even relaxing while taking the dogs for a walk. There is no question that seeing this larger, more holistic picture of a child is a huge advantage in formulating a comprehensive approach to treatment. It is also a true pleasure. The other advantage of being at school is that I can see kids as often and for as long as it is helpful.
Q: Was there anything in particular that stood out to you when deciding on moving forward in your career at Summit School?
A: I was offered positions at other schools and treatment programs but after meeting with Barbara Baker and Brant Goldsmith, my decision was made. Their approach to guiding treatment is very much aligned with my own belief that treatment must be child-centered. Any institution can only be as strong as its personnel, starting with leadership, and already I have felt the enormous strength that drives this team, from nursing and therapists to teachers and support staff. My decision was all about the people here.
Summit School at Nyack
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