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2 September 2010

Psychiatrist at Miller available to students

For students in need of prescription medication in addition to therapy, a licensed psychiatrist is now available to students through UM’s Counseling Center. Dr. Edmi Cortes, the Counseling Center’s newest addition, will be providing her services to students on campus who need extra medical attention.

In order to make an appointment with Cortes, students first have to meet with a counselor in the Counseling Center located in Rhodes House, Building 21. The counselor will examine the student’s issues and concerns, and, if needed, will then refer them to Cortes whose office is located at the Miller School of Medicine.

“With a psychiatrist at such a convenient location, people may actually start to get help with their issues,” senior Anthony Dorsey said.

According to Dr. Pamela Deroian, director of the Counseling Center, has consulted psychiatrists from the community to work with students for years.

“The psychologists on campus provide counseling whereas psychiatrists will deal more with medication management,” Deroian said. “Now we have doctors that are part of our UM family. We have always wanted to get this moving, but never had the time to implement it.”

After interviewing several qualified candidates, Cortes was chosen to be the new psychiatrist who will be responsible for providing medication for students.

Her duty as psychiatrist will be to “assess for any indication of medication as well as therapy,” Cortes said. “The advantage of having a psychiatrist on campus is that we won’t have to refer our students to outside psychiatric care.”

Dr. Cortes will be available Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Having a psychiatrist on campus just gives us one more tool to use to help us grow and be effective students,” senior Kelly Burns said.

The most common issues that affect college students, according to Deroian, are depression and anxiety.

“Everyone goes through things, and when you just don’t feel like opening up fully to your surrounding peers, you have someone genuinely there to listen,” senior Miranda Ratcliffe said.

The school has taken other measures to study and maintain mental wellness among students. Last April, President Donna E. Shalala hired Charles Nemeroff M.D., Ph.D. as the new chair of the department of psychology at the Miller School of Medicine.

“Dr. Nemeroff has a lot of expertise related to college students and suicide prevention,” Deroian said. “We thought he would be a good addition to our school.”

Students do not have to be covered by the student health insurance to see the psychiatrist, however they will be charged a small fee if they have an outside insurance plan.

Cortes plans to make the in-patient psychiatric unit at Jackson Memorial “one of excellence”.

Olivia Woolbright may be contacted at owoolbright@themiamihurricane.com.


INFO BOX:

Dr. Cortes will be available Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To contact the Counseling Center, call 305-458-5511.