Hilary Linzie, MD ’17 Presents Award-Winning Poster at Psychiatry Conference

A recent grad discusses her research during residency and how her AUC experience has been an asset to her

Psychiatry resident Hilary Linzie, MD ’17 recently won 3rd place for her poster presentation at the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry’s annual meeting, held November 13-17. Consultation-liaison psychiatry (CLP) is a subspecialty of psychiatry focused on the psychiatric treatment of the medically ill.

Dr. Linzie’s poster, “Handoff of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder from Acute Care to Primary Care,” discussed results from a research project she led with colleagues at the Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center, where she is a second-year resident. 

“We see a lot of patients admitted for complications of substance abuse disorders, like alcohol withdrawal,” says Dr. Linzie, a Toledo native who earned her bachelor's degree at the University of Toledo. “So we looked at what happens after we do a treatment intervention, how primary care doctors continue the treatment, and how we can ensure a smooth transition for the patient once they leave the hospital.”

After conducting a survey among internal medicine and family physicians within the OSU network, Dr. Linzie found that they generally felt comfortable continuing medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for alcohol use disorder, but less so starting that treatment on their own. The findings also suggested that increased access to specialists such as addiction specialists or C-L psychiatrists, as well as more education on MAT itself, would help primary care doctors increase their use of MAT. 

“As public awareness of addiction is becoming more prevalent, especially with the focus on opiates, it’s important to understand how addiction is being treated after a patient leaves the hospital,” Dr. Linzie says. “While this research focused on alcohol specifically, it could be translated to opiates or other substances as well.”

Finding Her Passion During Medical School

After residency, Dr. Linzie plans to pursue a career as a consultation-liaison psychiatrist. She first learned about the specialty during her clinical rotations at Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) in East Meadow, NY. There, she also met an attending physician who would become her mentor, Dr. Guitelle St. Victor. 

While at the conference, Dr. Linzie had the opportunity to reconnect with her mentor, Dr. Guitelle St. Victor, who was presenting as well. “This is a great example of meaningful mentorship that inspires passion for your career,” says Dr. Linzie.

“I always had an interest in psychiatry, but working with Dr. St. Victor in this rotation really sparked my interest in CLP—seeing medically ill people who require psychiatric care as well,” Dr. Linzie says. “My ultimate goal is to do a CLP fellowship and specialize in perinatal psychiatry, which is the treatment of women who are of childbearing age or currently pregnant. Because pregnant patients are such a vulnerable patient population, CLP is often needed in these cases.”

In addition to her clinical rotations, Dr. Linzie recalls several experiences at AUC that helped prepare her for her career, such as being a peer tutor for microbiology and pharmacology, and a teaching assistant for anatomy. 

“Being a tutor and a teaching assistant was a huge benefit for me. It helps you stay up-to-date on the material you need to know for board exams and residency,” Dr. Linzie says. “I think it’s a really valuable tool that AUC has. Our Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) courses were helpful in preparing us for clinical rotations, too.” 

She also values her AUC experience for the memories and friendships she built during her time on the island. “I wouldn’t trade my time at AUC for the world,” says Dr. Linzie. “St. Maarten is a beautiful island and I met some of my closest friends there.”

Her advice to students? “Get involved in as many things as you can early on without compromising your grades, so you can figure out what you want to do,” Dr. Linzie says. “With that involvement, you’ll be able to network and meet people who can help you facilitate the career that you want.”