that’s satisfying,” she says. Most of Smith’s time is still spent
doing clinical work — something she wouldn’t change. “I’m a
psychologist first,” she says.
Smith’s schedule is also more flexible: She goes into work
later and leaves earlier than she used to so she can transport her
two kids to and from school most days. “They love to see their
mom pick them up,” she says.
Smith’s next goal is to pass the EPPP and get licensed.
She listens to review CDs on her way to work and blocks out
time on weekends to study. She also makes time for herself by
treating herself to a spa visit once a month and “unplugging” on
the weekends with her family.
When her second and final year as a fellow is up, Smith
wants to continue the balance of clinical work and research.
She’ll have to pare back her other involvements, but in the
meantime, she’s enjoying the excitement. “I feel like sometimes
I’m pulled in a million places, but in the end I’m so happy,” she
says. “This is exactly what I wanted to do.”
Erlanger Turner, PhD
Most weekdays, Turner, a licensed clinical psychologist and
assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s
Virginia Treatment Center for Children, is at the gym by 6 a.m.
“It gets my blood flowing,” he says. “That — and coffee.”
The rest of the day might include co-writing a book chapter
on mental illness assessment in African-Americans, editing
manuscripts as a member of the editorial board for Annals of
Psychiatry and Mental Health or co-leading a cultural competency
seminar for psychology interns, medical residents and social work
trainees. But his favorite part of his day is the clinical work. “Even
after a long busy day, it feels good when I finish a session,” says
Turner, who sees about 15 clients a week. “That’s something I want
to continue as my career goes forward.”
He also wants to continue conducting research on personality
risk factors for suicide and barriers to mental health services
among minority populations. “There are conflicting results in
terms of barriers to treatment seeking for ethnic minorities — is
it the stigma or something else?” he asks. “I’d like to look at other
cultural factors like community beliefs and religion.”
Another way Turner hopes to continue to shape the public’s
opinion of mental health services is through his Psychology
Today blog, The Race for Good Health, and other media
appearances. “It’s a great opportunity in terms of public
education and changing attitudes of the general public in terms
of mental health services,” he says.
Though it might not seem so, over the past year Turner
says he has gotten better at saying no. He turned down an
opportunity to serve as an expert for a Nickelodeon program on
childhood anxiety, for example, and recommended a colleague
instead. “I decided that I needed not to jump into so many
things,” says Turner, who renewed his contract at VCU this
summer. “One thing that’s helped is rethinking how I can use
this position in terms of solidifying career goals to be able to
move forward.” n
“I feel like sometimes I’m
pulled in a million places, but
in the end I’m so happy,”
says Dr. Kimberly Smith.
“I decided that I needed not to
jump into so many things,” says
Dr. Erlanger Turner.