Fox Township native Micah Hoffman is currently living in Los Angeles and working as a resident physician in psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital of Ronald Reagan Hospital at University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. He graduated from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University with his Doctor of Medicine degree this past spring with high clinical honors.
"I enjoyed most aspects of medical school, particularly surgical services such as gynecologic oncology and gastrointestinal surgical services; however, I discovered that there was a fairly universal theme of patients with mental health issues or interesting family dynamics. This is why I enjoy consultation-liasion psychiatry services where I get to evaluate and treat patient's psychiatric needs as well as participate in their medical and surgical care," Hoffman said.
Completing his residency at UCLA was also an easy choice for Hoffman.
"I chose UCLA based on their academic reputation," Hoffman explained. "I interviewed at 17 different hospitals on the East Coast, in Florida, and California. It came down to Columbia versus UCLA, two of the top three programs in the country, and I just felt that UCLA was the perfect combination of academic research and amazing colleagues, not to mention the weather in Southern California."
Hoffman noted that UCLA ranks as the 'Best in the West' and is one of the top five medical centers in the country.
"It is a great place to work," Hoffman said.
He added that he also enjoys working with the center's patient population.
"We see some of the poorest of the poor and homeless of Los Angeles along with the services that cater to the wealthiest of celebrities and world dignitaries," Hoffman said.
On any given day Hoffman is typically responsible for about 20 patients.
"I round on approximately 20 patients daily and am responsible for both the medical and psychiatry care of inpatient psychiatric patients at the main Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital," Hoffman said.
The job is also not without its challenges.
"One of the biggest [challenges] is dealing with patients' families who have unreasonable expectations," Hoffman said.
He attributed this problem to two different sources, an unclear understanding of how medicine is practiced and a disregard for engaging in preventative healthcare practices.
"Another smaller challenge, given the hospital's location and population it serves, is maintaining the highest level of confidentiality regarding who is in the hospital. There are a lot of news services around," Hoffman said.
Hoffman will be a resident physician for a total of four years, and after two years of inpatient care he will focus exclusively on outpatient psychotherapy and medication management.
"My ultimate career goal is to have a private practice and to see patients on an inpatient basis as part of a consultation-liason service seeing patients on medical and surgical services with psychiatric needs," Hoffman said.
Micah is the son of Michael J. and Harriet Hoffman of Fox Township, brother of Zachary Hoffman, a commercial banker in Florida, and grandson of the late Harry and Kathryn Haberberger and Richard and Marie Hoffman of St. Marys.
He was a 2003 graduate of Elk County Catholic High School and a 2007 graduate of the University of Tampa.