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STUDENT PROFILE

Elisabeth Netherton

Elisabeth Netherton
Major:
Human Biology
Graduation Year:
Spring 2009
BDP Certificate:
Children & Society
“In medicine, everything is interdisciplinary . . . An interdisciplinary education sets the foundation for this, and helps us learn to appreciate and hopefully integrate multiple perspectives in the care of our patients.”

Discuss your general career path since graduating from UT.

After leaving UT, I began medical school at UT Houston. I entered medical school planning to pursue psychiatry, and began seeking out opportunities to shadow other psychiatrists. I met a future mentor who introduced me to her work with children in the juvenile justice system who were being treated in a pediatric ward at a local psychiatric hospital. I became further involved in local public health and health education issues and matched into my general psychiatry residency at Baylor.

How did your BDP experience influence your career path and interests?

I completed the BDP in Children in Society because I was interested in medical work with children. The BDP encouraged me to think about this work in a broader sense, which has had a big impact since on my research pursuits, advocacy work, and my clinical work. It taught me how to think about the psychiatric issues affecting my patients as also connecting to a developmental framework, a public policy framework, and a public health framework.

What do you value most about your BDP experience?

As a pre-medical student I think it is easy to get absorbed in memorizing the “right answers” to the next multiple choice test, but the BDP classes I took and the research experiences connected with them encouraged me to think about medicine, and my role in helping children, in a more holistic way. My research experiences in the BDP acted as a springboard for research involvement and publication as a medical student.

In what ways did an interdisciplinary education prepare you for what you are currently doing?

In medicine, everything is interdisciplinary, and in psychiatry we work closely with nurses, social workers, psychotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Many psychiatrists are also involved in public outreach and legislative advocacy work that we believe will benefit our patients. An interdisciplinary education sets the foundation for this, and helps us learn to appreciate and hopefully integrate multiple perspectives in the care of our patients.