Nate Sowa

Year:
2003
Major:
Biology with pre-medicine concentration
Graduate/Professional School:
M.D./Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Career:
Resident Psychiatrist (PGY-4), Dept. of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
In a nutshell, what do you do?
Currently, I am a resident psychiatrist at UNC Hospitals, which means that I treat patients admitted to UNC, as well as those in the outpatient setting for their mental health needs. I prescribe medications to target mental health symptoms, as well as provide psychotherapy services. I also spend a fair amount of time conducting research, particularly in the area of improving mental health care delivery for those with chronic medical illness (such as HIV) in medical settings. I am especially interested in the integration of mental health care into primary care and specialty care settings. I will be graduating at the end of this academic year, and am applying for a fellowship in psychosomatic medicine, which is the specialty of providing mental health care to the medically ill.
What are you working on right now?
My current research project looks at the treatment of depression in patients with HIV in infectious disease clinics. I am specifically interested in what factors predict which patients respond better to treatment and which patients may need higher levels of care.
Why do you love what you do?
Psychiatry is a wonderful field, where you get involved in the intimate details of people’s lives. Even more so than other fields of medicine, you recognize the importance of the social factors that influence an individual’s health—both physical and mental health. It is interesting work, and it can be highly rewarding. In addition, understanding the processes that lead to complex human behavior is a fascinating proposition.
How did Albion help you get there?
Albion provided me with the background in the basic sciences that allowed me to thrive in the academic aspects of medical school. It also gave me the tools to think critically and design interesting research projects. Essentially, my experiences there taught me the basics on how to learn, which have been instrumental in everything I’ve done.
For me, Albion...
... provided a remarkable environment for me to grow during a critical period in my intellectual development. It has given me the tools necessary to analyze and optimize any situation I may encounter. I owe so much to my time there.

Take It Further: Biology, Pre-Medical / Pre-Health, Chemistry