Amy Burleson Sullivan SBU 1999 at Cleveland Clinic

My favorite quote has always been Henry David Thoreau's quote, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have always imagined." When I was a little girl, my parents instilled the confidence and work ethic to achieve whatever we dreamed with integrity and class. This inspiration helped me to earn a Division I Full Basketball Scholarship to St. Bonaventure University, then my Psy.D. from GSPP, with a focus on health and medical psychology. While I had the privilege of undergraduate training at St. Bonaventure, I realized that the teamwork on the court and in the classrooms prepared me for the field of medicine and the teamwork that I participate in daily as we work collaboratively with our physicians and our patients. St. Bonaventure taught me how to be a leader through sports, volunteer work and through mentoring. After leaving NY, I went to graduate school in Atlanta and began focusing my career on health psychology, because of my interests that we developed by the strong science track that I chose and Dr. Donna Brestensky (chemistry) and Fr. Peter Schneibel (biology). I knew that I wanted to combine my chemistry background with psychology. I also began thinking of a research oriented career, because of the mentoring by Dr. Robin Valeri. These 3 helped me become the person that I am, they mentored and guided me and taught me critical thinking skills and how to apply those skills to the real world. After graduate school, I completed my internship at the University of Cincinnati and continued with fellowship training in pain medicine at one of the top 4 hospitals in the nation, the Cleveland Clinic. I am now in the role of Director of Behavioral Medicine, Training and Research for the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis at The Cleveland Clinic. The path was long, it was 9 years of schooling undergraduate and graduate, and 3 years of post-education training. However, the work was worth it as I find it a true honor and privilege to walk with patients and my fellows on their own personal journeys. More importantly however, is that I have learned incredible work-life balance skills, by being a part of a strong Women In Medicine organization. I use my God given talents at work and in training, but I only do that 3 days a week, while taking care of my husband and my 3.5 year old twins.  I feel truly blessed to be living the life I had always imagined. Please feel free to reach out to me through linkedin, if I can ever provide guidance to you. Amy Burleson Sullivan SBU class of 1999