By: Brian Sou

How  did  you  decide  upon  a  career  in  research?  OR  Was  there  a  specific  point  in  your  education  or  professional  career  where  you  decided  to  pursue  research?  

I first became interested in research during my senior year in college while completing my thesis on the loudness scaling in chinchillas and rat. I highly enjoyed the research process and being able to answer unanswered questions, and working with a wonderful mentor. It was during my residency that I decide to pursue research and enrolled in a combined research and clinical addiction fellowship.

Tell  us  about  your  first  experience  of  being  mentored.    OR  What  is  one  of  the  most  important  qualities  in  the  mentors  that  you’ve  had?

My mentor in college, Rosemary Pierrel-Sorrentino, I met while taking classes in my major, a bachelor of science in psychology. I was taking a course in experimental psychology and decided to approach her to do a research project with her. I spent the summer of my junior year collecting data, both in the mornings and evening, seven days a week. While in the end, I decided that I wanted to carry out clinical rather than pre-clinical work, I enjoyed working with Dr. Pierrel-Sorrentino. She was incredibly supportive, helped guide me towards the decision to apply to medical school. She was a terrific role model in that she also had time to meet with me, helped me formulate research questions and learn the mechanics of carrying out a research project. And she was kind.

Which  professional  conference  do  you  try  never  to  miss?

The annual meetings of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and The College on Problems of Drug Dependence

What  does  work/life  balance  mean  to  you?  OR  What  is  your  favorite  recreation/pastime when  you  are  away  from  the  office.

I have been lucky in that I have generally enjoyed my job and I am passionate about what I do, However, my husband and 3 children take priority for me in terms of my free time and career choices. It is hard to always be “balanced” but letting family know that they are more important than any job I might have is something I have strived for throughout my career. I enjoy listening to music, singing in choruses, and traveling.

If  you  hadn’t  become  a  psychiatrist/psychologist,  what  might  have  you  done  instead?

Either a high school teacher or an administrator in the healthcare setting.