From Anxiety to Confidence: One Patient’s Story of HOPE!

By: Pine Rest Staff

Rainy day, a man with head in hand by a window. John*, who was struggling with crippling anxiety, was one of my first patients during my second year of residency rotation in the Loeks Residency Center at Pine Rest. Unfortunately, John and his wife were very limited in what they could do on a daily basis because John had panic attacks nearly every time he was in a social situation.

Despite his fear of appointments and meeting new people, he worked up the courage to come to the clinic in hopes of improving his mental health and well-being. At his first appointment, John was extremely anxious. I determined the best treatment for him would be a prescription medication in conjunction with regular therapy.

Over the next 18 months, I had numerous therapy appointments with John.

I have had the great pleasure of seeing John grow in confidence and ability, and he hasn’t had a panic attack in over year!

Man strumming guitar outside in the sunlightHe used to limit almost all social activity, but now John and his wife are leaders of a band and perform at renowned venues. Today, they travel regularly, which included a trip to Alaska this year.

It is rewarding to see the positive impact I am having through Pine Rest’s Psychiatry Residency Program.

After interviewing at several residency programs throughout the Midwest, during my fourth year of medical school at Wayne State University School of Medicine, I ranked Pine Rest as my first choice to complete my residency rotation. The compassion, accessibility, and world-class treatment at Pine Rest was unmatched. My time at Pine Rest has been a testament to what a great decision I made to come here.

I have been able to work with some of the best in the business, in superior treatment facilities, and I have learned a great deal. The Loeks Residency Center, which was established during my second year of residency, was the icing on the cake. The clinic has a dual benefit for residents and our clients in that residents get to learn and develop our skills, while at the same time providing quicker and much-needed access to quality mental health care.

Currently, I’m in my fourth year of residency at Pine Rest. I will be starting an Addiction Psychiatry year-long fellowship in July 2018 at the University of California, Los Angeles and plan on returning to Michigan once I am finished. My passion is to treat the disenfranchised, including those who struggle with addictions.

Content man playing acoustic guitar in his apartmentI also have seen firsthand what a difference the Patient Assistance Fund (PAF) means for those we serve. Without PAF, people might not have the opportunity to participate in the important work that will improve quality of life for them, their families and their communities.

John is a tremendous example of what can be achieved!

*Patient name changed to protect patient privacy

Your Gift to the Patient Assistance Fund Changes Lives!

In 2017, approximately 2,500 individuals received care because of gifts to the Patient Assistance Fund.

To learn more about John’s story and make your gift to the Patient Assistance Fund, visit One hundred percent of your gift donation will be used directly and immediately to help reduce the cost of treatment for individuals and families with financial need.

Pine Rest Psychiatry Residency & Fellowships

In June 2018, Pine Rest celebrates the graduation of its first cohort of residents, including Dr. Saleem, bringing to fruition the vision of providing high-quality, comprehensive education along with excellent clinical services. These residents and the ones to follow allow Pine Rest to increase access to care. Pine Rest heard the community’s need, and we responded. Our residents will improve lives in this region and across the nation for generations to come.

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