GCB Staff Expert - Dr. Katherine Schmidt
GCB Staff Expert – Dr. Katherine (Katie) Schmidt
Board Certified in Addiction Medicine and Psychiatry
Tell us about yourself – what was your path to GCB? Can you describe your role and how long have you worked here?
I double-majored in Biology and Environmental Science as an undergrad at UC, completed my medical degree at Wright State, and then my residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin. I worked at both the HealthSource of Ohio as well as the VA prior to joining GCB five years ago.
I started here as a general psychiatrist, and am now the Associate Medical Director of GCB and the Medical Director of the Clermont Recovery Center (CRC). I have extensive experience working with patients with schizophrenia as well as mood, anxiety, personality and substance abuse disorders. I am the supervisor of our Dual Diagnostic, Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment and Hearing Impaired Teams, as well as the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Team, meaning my time is split between GCB’s Madison, Batavia and Amelia locations.
How did you become interested in your field?
I started out in the DAPP Program at UC majoring in Architecture, which was a compromise for my mom, because I was really interested in sculpting! Designing buildings didn’t seem meaningful to me, so I switched my focus to medicine after two years. I loved every aspect about medicine, and had a hard time deciding on a specialty. I ultimately chose psychiatry, because I liked really getting to know my patients.
What do you love about your work here at GCB?
I work with an amazing group of dedicated professionals who share my vision and passion for what we do. It’s a privilege for me that my patients allow me to get a glimpse into their lives. I love that GCB is an agency that puts their money where their mouth is! The right questions are being asked at every level - what is the experience like for a client? How can we make it better? This agency strives to make a difference in all areas of our patient’s lives, including employment and housing. GCB is a visionary – they do things right, because it’s the right thing to do, and that’s why I love working here.
What about your field or clients do you think more people should know?
The biggest misconception is that mental illness is somehow a character flaw. That someone ‘can buckle down,’ and get over it – that kind of mentality helps drive the stigma. No one grows up saying they want to become addicted or mentally ill. These are conditions, not choices that people have made.
And people can get better! I’ve seen clients on the Medication Assisted Treatment program go from being unemployed and behind on their bills, to getting full-time jobs, paying their fines and buying Christmas gifts for their kids for the first time in years. Treatment can be very powerful.
What are the biggest trends in your area of expertise?
As an Opiate Treatment Center, GCB is still very much on the front line of the opioid epidemic. From our view in the trenches, the tide has yet to turn. We see everyone from stockbrockers and attorneys, to construction workers and homeless people. And they all know someone who’s overdosed, making it very real.
What is life like outside of work?
I am a Turpin grad, and still live in the Anderson area. My husband is in risk management, and we have three children, ages 14, 11 and 6. I like to garden, and still enjoy sculpting and drawing!
Katherine (Katie) Schmidt, MD, was recently selected as the winner of NAMI’s 2017 Exemplary Psychiatrist award.