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Reducing the stigma of psychiatric care

During her first year of psychiatry residency in Jacksonville, Kamyl Harvey Bogan, MD, was accepted to the American Psychiatric Association Foundation’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Minority Fellowship.

By age 15, Kamyl Harvey Bogan, MD, was confident medicine would play a significant role in her future. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Bogan initially set her sights on biomedical engineering, but an interaction with a psychiatrist in her teens redirected her interests.

“I was in an organization called Youth That Care and met a psychiatrist named Dr. Stewart,” Bogan said. “She showed me that psychiatry is patient-centered medicine where the whole person must be evaluated and properly cared for based on their symptoms and overall presentation.”

That period of mentorship focused on mental health stigma reduction would mark the onset of her medical career and eventually bring her to the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville as a psychiatry resident. Bogan attended Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate degree and East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine for her medical degree. The UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville was Bogan’s top choice for residency training.

“With the diverse patient population and available resources, I knew this was the best place to develop. I am proud to be part of a community focused on innovative care,” Bogan said.

SAMHSA Minority Fellowship

During her first year of residency in Jacksonville, Bogan was accepted to the American Psychiatric Association Foundation’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA Minority Fellowship for 2022. The one-year fellowship, funded by SAMHSA in the Department of Health and Human Services, is for psychiatry residents committed to addressing psychiatric mental health challenges of minorities. As a fellow, Bogan will receive $25,000 in federal funds to develop and carry out an innovative project to reduce mental health disparities in underserved communities.

Ana Turner, MD, a UF assistant professor and program director of the psychiatry residency, admires Bogan’s commitment to delivering high-quality psychiatric care to the community at large and beyond.

“We are very excited for Dr. Bogan’s project to be awarded such great support by the APA and SAMHSA,” Turner said. “She has shown genuine care and compassion for those underserved in our community. Her project will help those most in need. This opportunity will not only help her patients but also help her develop into a leader of community psychiatry.”

Reducing the stigma of psychiatric care

Since starting her training in 2021, Bogan has been educating the community on mental health resources available for those with concerns or illnesses. Her goal – reducing the stigma that often accompanies receiving psychiatric care and create opportunities to support diverse communities in the realm of psychiatry.

Platforms such as the Youth Empowerment Summit, or Y.E.S., held by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., have given Bogan opportunities to address negative stereotypes. There, she spoke directly to individuals with concerns about receiving psychiatric care. Following these events, Bogan hopes those in attendance are more open to pushing past stigma and seeking appropriate care.

“I had a chance to break down some of the resistance toward treatment and therapy by hearing the concerns of parents who were nervous about medications and therapy,” Bogan said. “This is why psychiatry and community outreach go hand-in-hand. If I’m not informed on what the needs are in the community, I can’t fully provide the necessary services.”

Training in unprecedented times

As one of thousands of residents and fellows across the country who have had to navigate training programs during a pandemic, Bogan notes the challenges COVID-19 presented.

"I have come into medicine at a unique time in history where masks are worn," Bogan said. "I can't see my patients’ faces when I'm trying to learn about what their affect looks like or understand what they are saying about their emotional experiences. It requires me to be innovative and resourceful in approaching things."

Not even a mask could stop her determination to help patients and spread joy in very dark times. Bogan, who also sings, would often take her love of music and share it with individuals on the psychiatric floor at UF Health Jacksonville. Over the past year, she has performed for Black History Month, church, and during recreational therapy as a way to give back and lift spirits with music.

"What we do goes beyond evaluating a patient, determining a diagnosis and prescribing medications. It's also about giving hope," Bogan said.

As she continues her training, she wants to be the best possible advocate for her patients and the surrounding community. Bogan hopes to embrace more opportunities to advance her skills and make a positive impact as a psychiatrist.

"I never want to stop learning," Bogan said. “I don't want to ever lose my desire to know more and better advocate for my patients. At the end of my four years, I want to be an empathetic, thoughtful person and a medical professional who cares for the whole patient."

When Bogan is not working she enjoys spending time with her husband of three years, who is a Surface Warfare Officer stationed at Mayport, as well as singing opera, writing songs and poetry, and traveling.

The University of Florida Department of Psychiatry in Jacksonville offers a four-year, ACGME-accredited psychiatry residency that emphasizes experiences in a variety of settings that include the full range of patients with psychiatric disorders. The program's areas of strength include child and adolescent psychiatry, as well as addiction and community psychiatry. Visit https://psychiatry.med.jax.ufl.edu/ for more information.

About the author

Kristian Thomas
Communications Coordinator

For the media

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Dan Leveton
Media Relations Manager
daniel.leveton@jax.ufl.edu (904) 244-3268