Patrick Gibbons, MD (AUC ’12) spends half his time working in the inpatient maximum security unit at the University of Rochester Medical Center. There, he treats patients who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity, meaning they committed a crime while in a state of psychosis. The rest of his time he devotes to interacting with the court system—completing reports and evaluations for various reasons surrounding psychiatry and mental health, speaking with judges and lawyers, and testifying as an expert witness.
Dr. Gibbons is in his first year of a forensic psychiatry fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center. A few months ago, he was the chief resident in his psychiatry residency at University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria, Illinois. How did he get here? To quote Dr. Gibbons, it was “a series of fortunate events.”
FORENSIC PSYCHIATRY in his words: “It’s about working with psychiatric patients who are involved in the legal system. I love it because I get to help good people who have severe mental illness and were in unfortunate circumstances—they were sick and they committed a crime.”
AFTER GRADUATING from the University of Illinois with a degree in electrical engineering, he moved to Portland, Oregon to work as a stockbroker. If he hadn’t, he never would have met the friends who inspired him to be a physician—a group of medical students in the apartment next door.
“I WASN’T IN LOVE WITH MY JOB at the time, and their lives sounded more interesting,” Dr. Gibbons says. “I never would have thought to go to medical school if it hadn’t been for them.” He was concerned his undergrad GPA wasn’t competitive enough for medical school admission, but they suggested he look into Caribbean medical schools.
DR. GIBBONS CHOSE AUC for its reputation, the class size and the island.
HE MET HIS FIANCEE ON DAY 1 of AUC as he hauled his luggage to the front desk to sign in. They’ve been together ever since—from traveling St. Maarten to a successful couples’ match at their number-one choice: University of Illinois (he in psychiatry, she in pediatrics). Now, they both have fellowships at the University of Rochester, where his fiancée is a pediatric hematology oncology fellow.
CARIBBEAN LIFE suited him well. “I studied on the beach, I got scuba certified, I did my third year in the U.K. and saw all of western Europe. It was phenomenal.”
HIS PSYCH CLINICAL ROTATION was a game changer. “I was set on internal medicine, had picked IM programs, was writing my IM personal statements…and then I did my psych rotation, and I knew I couldn’t do anything else,” says Dr. Gibbons. “You get that moment that people talk about, where it just clicks with you.”
TO SUM it up: “It’s been a series of fortunate events. I owe a lot to AUC.”
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Posted September 27, 2016 10:48 AM