Farooq Mohyuddin reflects on the new Saint Elizabeths Hospital and psychiatric training

Immediate Past President Lenore Pomerance interviewed Farooq Mohyuddin, MAGPS President-Elect and Director of Training for psychiatric residents at the new Saint Elizabeths Hospital about the upcoming Spring Conference to be held at Saint Elizabeths. Farooq also teaches group psychotherapy to psychiatric residents.

LP: Farooq, Iʼd like to ask you the same question I asked our president, Reggie Nettles: how do you feel about our Spring Conference being held at Saint Elizabeths?

FM: Iʼm very excited. It feels only natural that MAGPS holds its Spring Conference at Saint Elizabeths and that we embark on what I feel can be a mutually stimulating and rewarding experience for both organizations. Saint Elizabeths has always been a leader in training mental health professionals, particularly in group work. We run hundreds of groups every month. Our beautiful new facility with its state-of-the-art auditorium and meeting rooms returns Saint Elizabeths to its historic prominence in the mental health field, both in treating patients and training mental health professionals.

LP: How did you come to be working at Saint Elizabeths?

FM: When I came to the United States as a surgeon from Pakistan I was looking for a career change. I came to Saint Elizabeths as a volunteer. After a year of working with groups I was hooked and decided to become a psychiatrist. I did my psychiatric and group training at Saint Elizabeths under Barry Bukatman and others. That year, 1999, Barry took me to my first MAGPS conference and Iʼve been coming ever since. It was a personal loss and a loss to MAGPS that as President-elect, Barry died before he took office.

LP: What would you like to see conference participants take away with them from their experience at Saint Elizabeths?

FM: The majority of members coming to MAGPS conferences are in private practice, though many of our students and young professionals either intern or work in pubic agencies. Statistically, there are many more groups being run in pubic agencies than in private practice. Iʼd like to see participants getting excited about doing more research on agency groups, both in-patient and outpatient. In addition Iʼd like to see more of a dialogue and collaboration around group therapy between public and private practitioners.

LP: Whatʼs your favorite route of driving to Saint Elizabeths?

FM: Coming from Alexandria, I get onto the Beltway at Telegraph Road and cross the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. I get onto 295 which gets me straight to the hospital.

LP: Is there anything else you want to add?

FM: It is significant for me personally that the MAGPS conference comes to Saint Elizabeths as I move into the presidency of MAGPS. It is wonderful for me that two important parts of my professional life: MAGPS and Saint Elizabeths are coming together.

LP: Thanks Farooq, see you at the conference!