Loma Linda University Medical Center - Psychiatry Residency Program - Chief Residents

Chief Residents

*Chief Residents

Aimee Ellison, MD
Chief Resident
Why Psychiatry?
I was personally touched in my life by someone close to me who was struggling with ADHD and subsequent depression. It took its toll in every way - academically, occupationally, socially, and psychologically. I got to see first hand how getting the proper diagnosis and treatment can have an astounding impact on a person's life, as well as the lives of every one around that person. I realized I could really make a difference by going into psychiatry.

Why Loma Linda?
Since I was a medical student here, I had the advantage of working first hand with the program director, the program chair, attendings, residents and staff. You can quickly learn the "ins and outs" of a program that way, and at Loma Linda University I knew I would get a strong education, good diversity of patients and experiences, and integration of spirituality with psychiatry not often found elsewhere. But the biggest factor in my decision was the people. I felt a real sense of family here; not only with the residents being really supportive of each other, but with the program staff as well.

What do you like about the program here?
There are a lot of opportunities here to explore your interests; the program is flexible in helping you shape the residency experience you want. For example, this program offered the unique opportunity for residents to go with attendings and participate in psychological first aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Sri Lanka tsunami. Other residents have done electives in India, China, and other countries. Whether you want more experience in internal medicine, or pediatrics, or more research or educational opportunities, the program is always willing to work with you. It's also a program where you as a resident have a voice; this residency is always growing and improving upon itself, and residents get to have a lot of input in what they'd like to see happen in the program. Finally, as I have already mentioned the best part is that the people here are awesome!

What do you like about Loma Linda as a place to live?
It does get a bit too hot in the summer for this girl from the Northwest, but I like the community and the close proximity to the mountains, the ocean, Disneyland, and major cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs.  

Timothy Lee, MD
Chief Resident
Why Psychiatry?
I should’ve had a clue back in undergrad after minoring in psychology, but going into third year of medical school I wasn’t seriously considering psychiatry as a career – I thought it would be intimidating and stressful working long-term with people suffering from mental illness.  I found out, however, during my clerkship that it was much more rewarding and meaningful than intimidating or stressful.  Psychiatry suits my strengths as a clinician, including my patience and compassion for others.  Certainly patients in all medical fields need that kind of support and understanding, but I feel that there is no population that needs this more than people struggling with mental illness.  Finally, I found during my third year rotations that the most meaningful part of clinical work for me was getting to know the person behind the patient – going deeper than the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment and understanding the person experiencing these things.  I found no other field gave me a better chance to do that than psychiatry.

Why Loma Linda?
I had never heard of Loma Linda before searching for residencies in Southern California where I grew up and my parents still reside.  Entering fourth year of medical school, I initially had my heart set on another program, but after coming to interview at Loma Linda I decided to put it at the top of my list.  Being a Christian, I became excited by the opportunity to work in an organization founded on spiritual principles, a place where the patient’s spiritual well-being was an important part of assessment and treatment.  There are few places in the world where a resident can find guidance as to integrating spiritual care into psychiatric practice, and fewer places where one is encouraged to do so  - Loma Linda is one such place.

*BMC Chief

Douglas Holl, MD
BMC Chief
Why psychiatry?
Psychiatry offers me the ability to know my patients at a deeper level than many specialities can and as a result I feel like I'm doing what a physician was meant to do - to heal. The lifestyle isn't bad either!

Why Loma Linda?
Integration of the "wholeness" concept was important in my decision to come to Loma Linda. The model, "To Make Man Whole" rang very true to me and as a result I wanted to incorporate all aspects I could in my practice of psychiatry, including spirituality if I so choose.