By Indiana State University
Jun 17, 2019
Emily Fink’s first decade out of college she attempted a career in the performing arts.
Then, she hit her 30s.
“I switched to psychology in my early 30’s when it became less fun to be a starving artist,” said Fink, who is pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D) at Indiana State University. “I’m currently specializing in health psychology, which is a field that examines the manner by which medical concerns impact mental health and vice versa. My dad was a surgeon and my mom is a social worker, so it’s a nice marriage of their two interests.”
Fink, a New York City native, was hooded in May but will formally graduate in August upon successful completion of her year-long clinical internship at the University of Florida Health Sciences Center at Shands Hospital this summer.
She is primarily a clinician, which involves a mix of assessment, treatment, and consultation with medical providers. In September, Fink will begin her postdoctoral fellowship in bariatrics at Cleveland Clinic.
“My specific area of focus in health psychology is obesity and weight-management, so I provide evidence-based strategies to help people lose weight and perform assessments for those considering bariatric surgery,” Fink said. “I love this particular area because the relationship between eating and mood is so intertwined for most people; it really exemplifies the mind-body connection.”
Fink was attracted to Indiana State because of its reputation as having a strong PsyD program, but she ultimately accepted the offer to attend the program because of the people she met on interview day.
“I really connected with faculty and was so very impressed with the existing doctoral students,” she said. “As for training, the size of my cohort meant that we each got a ton of individual attention at ISU. I had faculty who were genuinely interested in my professional development and my well-being as a person.”
State’s PsyD program allows for a peer supervision model, Fink said, where novice clinicians are paired with a more advanced student when students first start working with patients.
“My peer, the brilliant Dr. Elaine Gilbert, not only had a huge impact on my development as a clinician, but also became a good friend,” Fink said. “Her insight as a young professional 3 steps down the road from myself has been so valuable to me over the years. I appreciate that ISU provides a structure for those relationships to form.”
Fink’s experience at State will help her as she continues a career in the ever-changing clinical psychology.
“Every day is different at my job, which is one of the things I enjoy in health psychology. On any given morning, I could be performing an intake for someone who wants treatment for insomnia, assessing a patient for transplant candidacy, conducting therapy with a newly diagnosed cancer patient or consulting with surgical staff,” she said. “The best part of my job for me is seeing patients grow and take steps towards meeting meaningful goals. Making change isn’t easy. I feel privileged that I get to serve as a resource and witness to those who are doing the hard work of facing that challenge. I’ve got a lot of respect for my patients.”