Academics & Research

Psychiatry Triple Board Residency

Current Residents

PGY-1

Taylor Blanding

Taylor Blanding

Amanda McLearn-Montz

Amanda McLearn-Montz

Margaux Miller

Margaux Miller

PGY-2

Kristen Durbin

Kristen Durbin

Medical School: Warren H. Alpert Medical School of Brwn University

Why Utah? My path to Triple Board training technically began when I was a first-year medical student, but in hindsight, my prior life experiences laid relevant groundwork that led me toward combined pediatrics and psychiatry training. I taught bilingual third grade for two years prior to medical school, and while I valued my work as a classroom teacher, I realized many of my students needed less instructional support than social-emotional support to succeed - their experiences of childhood trauma and adversity often presented barriers to their academic success. Entering medical school, I sought out opportunities to work with kids in the Providence community and developed an unexpected interest in adolescent reproductive and mental health in the process. Despite early and frequent exposure to Triple Board at Brown and my baseline interest in pediatrics, it took time to realize pediatrics training alone wouldn’t fully equip me with the broad, interdisciplinary skill set and clinical experience necessary to holistically advocate for the mental and physical health of kids, families, and communities. When considering Triple Board programs, I prioritized programs with equally robust pediatrics and psychiatry training as well as the culture and camaraderie among current residents and program leaders. My interview at Utah was such a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively speaking - I had never visited the state before and was so pleasantly surprised by the balance of high-quality yet supportive residency training set amidst incredibly beautiful mountain scenery. (Did I mention I got to ski some powder the day after my interview?) It was clear the residents across pediatrics, Triple Board and psychiatry worked hard to become great clinicians together, and Triple Board as a concept seemed well-integrated and appreciated across departments. I immediately felt at home among “my people” when spending time with Triple Boarders at Utah, and that strong sense of community has persisted and been invaluable during my transition into residency. I’m so grateful to have matched here and look forward to the next five years of life as a Utahn!

Hometown: Prospect Heights, Illinois

Yuji Wakimoto

Yuji Wakimoto

Medical School: State University of New York at Stony Brook School of Medicine

Why Utah? Just like everyone else applying to triple board programs, I fell in love with my psychiatry and pediatric rotations in my 3rd year clerkships, and fell in love even more with the work that's done by child psychiatrists during MS4 rotations! I started toying with the idea of a career where I get to work within a school system helping kids out, both medically and behaviorally, and the combined training offered through triple board sounded perfect for this plan! On the interview trail, Utah stood out from the rest for a lot of reasons, especially for how beautiful Salt Lake City is! As someone who grew up in the northeast pocket (the Redsox/Celtics/Pat's are my jam), I was awestruck with the gorgeous mountainous views from anywhere in the city, in every direction I turned. Couple that with being able to train in high altitude (for those endurance athletes out there) and how unbelievably supportive everyone is here, I couldn't see myself training anywhere else. Whether if you're applying to peds, psych, or all of the above, I hope you can come visit Utah!!

Hometown: Tokyo, Japan & Boston, Massachusets

PGY-3

Spencer Merrick

Spencer Merrick

Medical School: University of Utah School of Medicine

Why Utah? As is apparent from my listed hometown and medical school, I just can’t bring myself to leave this place. The accessibility the Wasatch Front provides is unparalleled. Even if skiing isn’t your jam, the mountains are beautiful and worth a hike, a picnic, or a scenic drive as often as time allows. Also, skiing should be your jam. It’s awesome and the snow here is ridiculous.

I started as a resident in categorical pediatrics at the University of Utah, but couldn’t shake the psychiatry bug and applied to the Triple Board program about a year into residency. The training in pediatrics here is superb, and provides a strong peds foundation from which to approach child psychiatry. I love that regardless of my rotation (adult psychiatry, child psychiatry, general pediatrics), I spend a half day every week in a pediatrics continuity clinic treating ear infections, ADHD, eczema, and seeing my patients grow up through well child visits. Despite my late entrance, and despite being spread a little thinner, I have very much felt like a part of each of the respective residency program families.

Hometown: South Jordan, Utah

Rebecca Powell

Rebecca Powell

Medical School: University of Utah School of Medicine

Why Utah? Salt Lake City has some fantastic mountains that I hike in summer and ski in the winter. Southern Utah has my favorite red rocks for camping and rivers for kayaking. Besides my stereotypical Utahan outdoor activities, however, you can find me indoors dancing West Coast Swing. On the weekends I'm not camping or skiing, I'm out of town competing with my Utah WCS dance community. I've traveled to enough states and countries and found other residency programs and places that piqued my interest during medical school,but Utah felt the best. My co-residents, my attendings and mentors -- I wasn't willing to give them up for the novelty of a new place to live. At work, between the volume of children I see at the free-standing children's hospital, the range of patient populations between the adult inpatient psychiatry units in three different hospitals, and the wide variety of community clinics for kiddos I rotate in, my training is solid and I am excited for the opportunities already opening up to me when I graduate.

Hometown: St. George, Utah

Joanna Tomaszewski

Joanna Tomaszewski

Medical School: University of Utah School of Medicine

Why Utah? With an interest in biomedical science and engineering, I graduated from Northwestern University with a BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering. After 26 years of calling The Windy City home, I was ready for a change and made the decision to venture into the mountains of Salt Lake City for medical school. I chose the University of Utah Triple Board Residency program for a number of reasons. The first is for the the patient exposure; we see individuals from Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, yielding a catchment area of close to 400,000 square miles. During medical school, I learned an enormous amount from these diverse individuals and was eager to continue learning from them for the next 5 years. Second, the program felt like home- the  directors and professors were welcoming and the residents immediately became family. Lastly, the work- life balance in Utah is unbeatable and after a long shift at the hospital, I knew I could always feel refreshed after a hike up Millcreek, a ski in Little Cottonwood, or a ride in Park City. Despite now being one of the only Polish inhabitants of Salt Lake City (compared to one of a million in Chicago), I have found an outstanding community of individuals here and am proud to call Utah home. In my free time, I enjoy traveling the world, skiing, backpacking, hiking with my dog Fitz Roy, sampling cheese plates, collecting orchids, and Face-timing my family and friends back home. 

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

PGY-4

Natashia Bottoms, MD

Natashia Bottoms, MD

Medical School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Why Utah? Like a lot of the other people in this program, I entered medical school with completely different plans. Coming from Arkansas, I had no idea that Triple Board existed or that there was a way to combine my repertoire of video game trivia with my enjoyment of diagnosing people with personality disorders. Thankfully, due to the enormous catchment area, robust birth rate, and amazing people and administration in this program, you can do everything you want and more at Utah from pediatrics to psychiatry and everything in between. Because of the location in comparison to the other Triple Board programs, I scheduled my interview for Utah for last and was exhausted by the time it finally rolled around. The second I actually saw the mountains and met the people here, however, I was rejuvenated and enthusiastic all over again. No matter what facility I find myself working in, I truly do feel like I am a valued and respected member of the team and have grown both as a physician and a person in ways I never expected. And I am living proof that you can be athletically challenged and still enjoy the natural wonders of Utah! Good luck out on the trail and hope to meet you soon!

Hometown: Springdale, Arkansas

Jordan Koncinsky, MD

Jordan Koncinsky, MD

Medical School: University of Utah School of Medicine

Why Utah? Growing up in the central mountains of Idaho and then living in Boise prior to moving to SLC, mountains and outdoor recreation were important to me. I describe myself as a small-town girl who tolerates cites so I was excited to come to the U for medical school. Given my master’s in breast cancer research, I thought I was going to go into adult Heme/Onc. However, psychiatry was my second rotation of third year, and I was lucky enough to complete 3 weeks working in child psychiatry and 3 weeks at our med/psych unit with severely mentally ill patients. I enjoyed it so much, I knew this was my calling. But then my next rotation was pediatrics. I enjoyed it so much, I knew this was my calling! Triple board was a perfect combination of both. However, deciding on triple board seemed like a big decision given the multiple transitions. I was lucky enough to be at an institution where I could talk with other triple board graduates. But it wasn’t until my rotation at UNI Home where I realized how Triple Board could be most beneficial for my career. This program is a medical home for children and adults with autism and developmental delays. It was the perfect combination of medically and psychiatrically complex patients! Working with this population holds a special place in my heart as my sister has developmental delays and I was excited to help families who experience similar triumphs and tribulations to my family. But I digress. Why Utah? The community is amazing! Everyone is supportive of a work-life balance. The people in the peds and psych programs are kind and excited to teach. While I felt this at other programs too, my main reason for staying is the outdoor community. I can work all day but still am able to hike, cross country ski or snowshoe with my dog after work. I continue to struggle with transitions between pediatrics and psychiatry, but I know this would be true of any program I would have attended. But the community of fellow residents and outdoor activities make these transitions not seem so bad. If I had to do it again, I would definitely choose Utah! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Hometown: McCall, Idaho

PGY-5

Joshua Gibney, MD

Joshua Gibney, MD

Medical School: State University of New York at Stony Brook School of Medicine

Why Utah? Hey all, I’m Josh and I’m the favorite around here. I started medical school geared up to do family medicine, but as I progressed through training I fell in love with pediatrics. But after taking pediatrics and then psychiatry during my 3rd year rotations, I was divided on my career choice. I lucked out by having an attending at my medical school who completed a triple board and from then on, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else! The Utah program was certainly a highlight on the triple board interview trail. The dedication to integration among the specialties while each offering rigorous training in its respective field made it special. Being a triple boarder, you gain not one, or two, but three families. You will feel at home instantly. On top of this, you can’t beat the amount of activities that are available outside of the hospital. In case you didn’t know, there are a few mountains around Salt Lake. The best way to sum up living in Salt Lake City: good chief residents, good snow, good hikes, great people.

Hometown: Cambridge, New York