Get to Know Tiffany Thomas-Lakia

It’s been years since Tiffany Thomas-Lakia, M.D. (’04) studied to become a doctor on NEOMED’s campus. Now she’s back to make a difference in students’ lives as a psychiatrist on the Center for Student Wellness and Counseling Services team.

Tell us about yourself, Dr. Thomas-Lakia.

TTL: I am a 2004 graduate of NEOMED. I'm originally from the Rootstown area and I actually have an identical twin sister who also graduated the same year from NEOMED. After graduation, I completed a pediatrics residency at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, located in Cleveland, then completed a fellowship for pediatricians interested in child and adolescent psychiatry. I’m triple board-certified in general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry and pediatrics. I've been living in the Cleveland area for the last 10 years, but my family and I recently moved back near Rootstown to be closer to my family.

How often will you be on campus?

TTL: As of right now, I'll be here one day a week. I will be seeing students who have been referred from the CSWCS. I'll be getting to know them, completing psychiatric assessments, coming up with treatment plans and working as a team with the counselors. I have a special interest in treating young adults and am excited to have the opportunity to work with the medical, pharmacy and graduate students here at NEOMED. I’ve been in their shoes before, but also realize that a lot has changed in the last 15 years. My hope is that I can get input from the students and be a voice for them in terms of what they’d like to see offered by the CSWCS.

What are you looking forward to as a member of the CSWCS?

TTL: I'm very excited about working here at NEOMED and being involved in all the programs that they have here. It's a great team in the CSWCS. They already have some amazing programs in place for the students. I can’t wait to get to know some of the students, faculty and staff and help out with some of the outreach and education programs for mental health that are going to be happening here.

I also have a special interest in lifestyle medicine, which is an evidence-based practice of helping patients adopt and sustain healthy behaviors that affect their health and quality of life. I strongly believe that mental health is a key component of lifestyle medicine. I’m excited to incorporate this interest in my work with the students at NEOMED. In addition to the students using this knowledge for their own self-improvement, I’m hopeful that this will also translate into improved care for the patients that the students may serve in the future.

Tell us about your work at Akron Children’s Hospital.

TTL: I'm considered a hospitalist, so I work on the inpatient child and adolescent psychiatric unit at Akron Children's Hospital. I have been very fortunate to find great opportunities in this area and to get to work alongside many other physicians there who trained at NEOMED.

Is it true that both you and your twin sister work as child psychiatrists?

TTL: She originally had a different path in medicine. I trained in pediatrics and she completed pathology and dermatopathology first, then completed residency and fellowship in psychiatry. Now we’re both child psychiatrists! We’ve always had very similar interests, so it’s not surprising to anyone that knows us that we ended up specializing in the same field of medicine. We look a lot alike, so you’ve been forewarned that if you see me around and I don’t recognize you, it just may be my sister!

Photo courtesy of Akron Children’s Hospital

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