“It was hard to leave the Center today,” said Ross Goodwin on June 28th, his last day serving as Georgetown Ministry Center’s Consultant Psychiatrist. He is leaving after two years of providing psychiatric evaluations, ongoing therapy and medication management for its guests, in addition to accompanying Executive Director, Gunther Stern, on weekly street outreach to visit those experiencing homelessness living on the streets. The end of Ross’ time at the Center – an experience he describes as “wonderful” – coincides with the completion of his General Psychiatry residency at George Washington University. He will go on to begin his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.
Center guests came to rely on Ross’ presence over the past couple of years. “The fact that the guests at the Center came to expect me to be there, and noticed when I wasn’t there, and it meant something to them that I was there – I think that was the most rewarding thing,” said Ross. “To matter to people in that way – in a professional capacity and in a human encounter.”
Ross feels this is the work he was born to do. He became interested in psychiatry arguably late in medical school; initially thinking he wanted to be a pediatrician, he found he liked the notion of addressing a person in a holistic way, including addressing family systems as they pertain to childhood development. With this discovery, Ross entered his general residency at GW knowing he was interested in child psychiatry, an area where he felt the most himself and that he could naturally do the most good. His time serving adult guests experiencing homelessness at the Center has allowed him to observe how the interplay of mental health and socioeconomic factors play into an individual’s health and emotional, physical and intellectual development. “Understanding the importance of early support and intervention and how that can play out – we see the results of that in the people we serve here,” Ross said.
While Ross’ time at the Center as its Consultant Psychiatrist has come to an end, he describes the experience as rewarding and says he would like to remain involved in the future. “It’s been very meaningful to get to participate and have an impact on those lives, to understand people better,” said Ross. “To learn a lot about resilience and strengths that people show in the face of great adversity, how persistent people are, and resilient and hopeful … to get to be part of utilizing that hope and identifying those sources of strengths that might be hard to find or for them to see in themselves – it’s been rewarding.”
We thank Ross for his invaluable service and contributions to Georgetown Ministry Center over the past two years and we wish him all the best in his future. We will miss you, Ross!