Faculty Spotlight - October 2017

Erin Dillon-Naftolin, MD

Erin Dillon-Naftolin is an acting associate professor in the UW Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. She attended medical school  and completed her psychiatric residency at UW as well. She currently works as a child and adolescent psychiatrist in several clinics and provides consultation through telepsychiatry in Vancouver, WA and Wenatchee, WA. She loves getting to know patients and families on a long-term basis and also appreciates the in-depth relationships with teams that working in Collaborative Care provides.

  • What do you find most satisfying about working in integrated care?

Working in integrated care is very satisfying because it is making real headway in the huge problem we have with limited access to pediatric mental health care. It is exciting to consult with primary care providers who are seeing the majority of these patients and who are rapidly becoming more adept at managing mental health issues through this model. 

  • What are your ideas about new programs and/or new directions the Integrated Care Training Program (ICTP) should develop? 

I would like to see ICTP programs brought into smaller group practices and school-based health centers in order to reach more children and adolescents who need these services.  

  • What led you to where you are today professionally?

I always knew I wanted to work with kids, although I started medical school planning to be a pediatrician. I realized on my first psychiatry rotation that I wanted the luxury of more time to spend with patients, and so child and adolescent psychiatry was a natural fit. I love the opportunity to intervene early, and in the best cases, stop something from going on to be a chronic illness.

  • What is the best praise or advice you’ve received? 

Never send an email in the middle of the night. Waiting for the light of day will usually allow you to send a calmer, clearer message.

  • Describe your perfect day outside of work (real or imagined).

A cool fall day, walking on Cougar Mountain trails with my dog and family.

  • What book are you reading and what do you like about it? 

I’m currently reading Born a Crime by Trevor Noah from "The Daily Show." I am normally a lover of fiction, but this is a witty autobiography about his life growing up in South Africa before the end of apartheid when the Immorality Act outlawed interracial relationships. 

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