DETROIT -- Henry Ford Psychiatry resident Theresa Toledo, M.D. is the proud recipient of a scholarship from the Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michigan to attend a national Leadership conference.
Dr. Toledo was selected by a WCMSSM committee from among a pool of young physician applicants to attend the 2018 American Medical Association’s (AMA) National Advocacy Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.
Others attending the conference included Charles Barone M.D., Henry Ford chair of pediatrics and WCMSSM president-elect and Betty Chu M.D., chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
In announcing the scholarship award that covers expenses for the three-day conference, the WCMS committee commended Dr. Toledo for her interest in organized medicine and advocacy on behalf of both patients and physicians.
"I'm very excited to receive this honor," said Dr. Toledo. “The opportunity to be exposed to advocacy at the national level comes at a really important time when we’re hearing so much about opioids and suicide. To learn firsthand what’s being done in Washington to address these issues, especially from the psychiatry standpoint, will be of great benefit to a young physician like myself. I am a firm believer in the role of physicians as advocates for ourselves and our patients,” she added.
Dr. Toledo notes that as it relates to mental health, in particular, young physicians need to be aware of what the landscape might look like in the future, based on the decisions being made today by lawmakers in Washington. “We’ve been working on eliminating stigma for years, but will today’s politics make things better for our patients, or worse? It just says to me even more; we need to be knowledgeable and actively involved now in the decisions that will shape health care.”
Dr. Toledo began her advocacy journey when she joined a student-run program as an undergraduate at UCLA. Her commitment to championing causes she believes in has carried over to her current work in psychiatry and as president of the Michigan Psychiatric Society-Resident Fellow Members.
During her residency at Henry Ford, Dr. Toledo’s patient advocacy work has centered on caregiver burnout and legitimizing the role of guardians, including efforts to develop a clear description of a guardian’s responsibilities that are easy to explain to patients and families.
Through collaboration with other residents and senior staff physicians, she has been an advocate for physician wellness and preventing resident burnout.
Dr. Toledo is past president of the Henry Ford Hospital Psychiatry Residency Association.
She will complete her residency this summer and later begin a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry.