Student Information

Student Name

Alina Bekkerman





Internship Information

Company/Organization: Columbia University Department of Psychiatry

Mentor(s):Dr. Judith Rabkin

Topic of Internship

Medical - Psychiatric Research

Background Information

The New York State Psychiatric Institute is in affiliation with the Columbia University Medical Center. NYSPI is known for its exceptional clinical trials and research clinics, with over 500 funded studies with budget totaling 86 million dollars. The NYSPI always continues to work in trying to find the leading edge of today’s discoveries in mental health. There are many departments within the Institute that offer a wide array of clinical services, from schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders to eating disorders, substance abuse and other types of psychological issues. They provide inpatient care as well as outpatient care to a variety of people ranging from children to seniors. With over a dozen research clinics, the NYSPI is greatly known for its extensive research programs. The New York State Psychiatric Institute is recognized for running many types of clinical studies that involve clinical trials and observational studies. The NYSPI works to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of a specific type of treatment, and with their attentive clinical trials they are always able to discover better new treatments. With their observational studies, the NYSPI provides the essential information needed to help the progress of all branches of medicine, especially psychiatry and continues to help find ways to improve mental health.

Summary of Internship

As an intern at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University Medical Center, I am required to use common sense, keenness and have the ability to follow directions very well. As a high school student, I am limited in the type of responsibilities I can have that are assessable to doctors, residents and students in Medical school. However, I have still been granted the opportunity to experience the psychiatric field first hand, as no other high school or even college student can. My tasks range from data entry and verification, organizing and assembling binders that are used with patients, but most importantly I learn about psychological problems and the solutions that are available to fix them. My mentor, Dr. Judith Rabkin, uses every chance she can to teach me more about psychiatric diagnosis and different types of ways that she and the other doctors try to approach and fix the problems the patients are faced with. I am able to learn about patients who are affected with HIV depressive disorders. I get to understand how this depression affects their day to day activities, and what Dr. Rabkin is doing to help them. Although I do not get to communicate with the patients or learn about their specific problems (doctor-patient confidentiality), I am still very lucky to be interning side by side with Dr. Judith Rabkin, who has been engaged in this research for over twenty years and has had many publications about her research. My internship provides me with a great experience to learn about human research and different psychiatric diseases.

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