Healthy Minds is proud to announce that our Medical Director, Dr. Lisa Durette, has been nominated for a 2018 Las Vegas Top Doc award by My Vegas Magazine.
Dr. Durette, MD, DFAPA, DFAACAP, has previously been awarded Las Vegas Top Doc six times. The Healthy Minds’ team gets to see Dr. Durette’s dedication to improving child and adolescent mental healthcare in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada on a daily basis, so it’s rewarding to see her efforts publicly recognized by others in the community as well.
In a brief interview about the 2018 Las Vegas Top Doc nomination with Dr. Durette, she discusses what keeps her motivated and what she’s focusing her efforts on in the years ahead:
Interview With Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr. Lisa Durette, Las Vegas Top Doc
What are you most focused on right now, professionally?
“As much as I love seeing patients, I’ve come to realize that I really love teaching and can have a broader impact through teaching and training the next generation of mental health experts than I can by focusing solely on seeing my own patients. It’s an amplification effect; if I’m able to help get dozens of highly trained and experienced child and adolescent psychiatrists practicing here in the community, they can do far more good than I can do alone.”
Tell us more about what you’re doing to make that happen?
“First, the ‘why’: Historically, there’s been a severe shortage of child psychiatrists in Southern Nevada, and I’m very focused on seeing that change. If we can positively intervene early in the life of an at-risk youth or a child suffering from mental health problems, that treatment can have profoundly positive ripple effects throughout that individual’s life and even transgenerationally. Those positive effects also extend outward into the broader community as well.
As for the ‘what’: it really breaks down into three key areas. In addition to my work at Healthy Minds, I’m teaching both first year medical students and child & adolescent psychiatry fellows at UNLV School of Medicine. Finding and attracting qualified candidates to the field is a first step. The medical students are brilliant young adults who can profoundly impact our community if the infrastructure is in place for them to stay and practice here.
Second, I started and am the current Program Director for the UNLV School of Medicine’s Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program, which is fully accredited by ACGME. That means talented up-and-coming mental health professionals no longer have to leave Las Vegas in order to complete their fellowship, and our community is more likely to retain those professionals as they begin their careers.
Third, is public policy and advocacy at both the local and national level. That primarily pertains to changing public perceptions of mental healthcare while also helping policy makers develop data-based solutions for how public resources are allocated at a community level.”
You’ve had to overcome a lot of personal difficulties over the past year. How do you do it all?
“It has been an incredibly challenging year! I just celebrated being one year in remission for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which was the fourth time I’ve beaten cancer. In January, my mother died from complications related to lymphoma.
To say that I’ve cried a lot and experienced an enormous amount of psychological pain is an understatement. How I’ve dealt with these various traumas is by allowing myself to feel the pain, not hiding it or hoping it will go away on its own. I’ve honored those feelings. I set aside time to fully experience them before moving forward, but I knew even while crying my eyes out that I was going to eventually move forward, that this was just a normal and necessary step in the healing process.
Sharing these experiences and feelings with my support network of friends (which I affectionately refer to as my “Fight Club”) and family has been essential to my healing, and I’m also incredibly thankful to have a wonderful therapist I can talk with as well. Yes, mental health professionals rely on other mental health professionals too!
I’m also able to stay focused on my professional goals due to love. I love what I do, and the people I do it with. I also love my daughter Alli beyond words, and know that I have to be strong and move forward for her as well as for myself. She needs her mom, and it’s important for me to set an example for her. Hopefully, that example is of someone who is strong enough to allow themselves to be vulnerable and to ask for help when she needs it.
Then I get back to work – work which I hope makes the world a little better place for the kids of Clark County – my home.”