When I started my career as a licensed clinical psychologist I never thought the best part of my job would be saying goodbye to my patients, but strangely enough it is! I do individual therapy with teens and tweens as well as family therapy with kids and families, and to see them improving so much that they don’t need me anymore is really rewarding.
I grew up just outside of Los Angeles and knew I didn’t want to work in an urban area. When I was looking for an internship three years ago, I interviewed at numerous sites but fell in love with Pennyroyal Mental Health Center in Hopkinsville, KY because of their commitment to the community. We have a great program that helps get transportation for our clients to the clinic and there are also in-school therapists for families who otherwise wouldn’t get treatment.
That’s why being an NHSC member means so much to me and why I love Pennyroyal: Service for those who wouldn’t normally have access to care. The National Health Service Corps is more than just loan repayment. We are a community of people serving people who would normally go without health care. Being an NHSC member and working at Pennyroyal has been a life-changing experience for me.
So many people come out of school focused on where to go and what discipline will make them the most money, which I can understand. But, rural areas have a low cost of living and if you are an NHSC member you also receive tax-free loan repayment. I think people assume they won’t want to work in a rural area, but once they go and see what’s out there it will blow their mind! Rural sites have a lot to offer and I’m only 40 minutes from a big city.
I’m really enjoying my life right now. I’ve fallen in love with Kentucky and Tennessee. It is so beautiful out here and it’s a great place for our two big 150 pound dogs. I’m training for my first sprint triathlon which will include swimming, running and biking. My husband is training with me, except for the running. He hates that!