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Psychiatrist Brings Expertise with the Severely Ill and Peripartum Patients to Tri-City Area

Psychiatrist Brings Expertise with the Severely Ill and Peripartum Patients to Tri-City Area

We hear about people dealing with physical health problems and others with mental health issues, but actually there is a strong correlation between physical and mental health. Those dealing with chronic medical conditions are at risk of developing mental health difficulties and vice versa. This is where consultation-liaison psychiatry, or psychosomatic medicine, comes in. Suselina Acosta-Goldstein, MD, a board-certified general psychiatrist who specializes in this holistic approach to medicine, has just relocated from her home state of Texas to the Tri-City Area and brings with her over a decade of academic and professional experience in the field.

“Hospital patients dealing with active medical problems often face comorbidities with psychiatric disorders and symptoms that can include confusion, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia, low appetite, fatigue, and difficulties with their thoughts or behaviors,” said Dr. Acosta-Goldstein, who joined Washington Township Medical Foundation (WTMF) in July and now sees patients at Washington Hospital. “I consult with medical colleagues in the emergency, critical care and surgical departments on patients who need psychiatric care, such as evaluating those who may be overmedicated or undermedicated to balance that out, or to help reduce the severity of delirium symptoms that may be present in patients facing stroke, heart attack or severe infections.”

In addition to her Hospital rounds, Dr. Acosta-Goldstein meets with patients in her clinic. Her interest, expertise and experience lies in working with people who are looking to conceive, or are pregnant, recently pregnant, or postpartum, as well as members of the LGBTQ community seeking support. Psychological peripartum issues include infertility, miscarriage, abortion, hormonal imbalances, mood and anxiety disorders stimulated or compounded by pregnancy, and postpartum depression. Some patients are referred to Dr. Acosta-Goldstein by WTMF obstetrician-gynecologists, and others self-refer by calling her office to schedule an appointment.

“People don’t need to have a chronic psychiatric problem to see a psychiatrist,” explained Dr. Acosta-Goldstein. “It can be a temporary situation someone is dealing with that brings on symptoms, such as an acute medical emergency, a chronic condition like diabetes, or a life event like starting a family. That’s when I can help.”

Dr. Acosta-Goldstein first became interested in pursuing medicine by participating in a high school program that introduced students to careers in health care and she was inspired by a neighbor in her hometown on the Texas-Mexico border who was a pediatrician. While at Columbia University on a pre-med track with an emphasis on Latino studies, she realized that in addition to medicine she loved studying about the humanities and reading about different cultures and societies. While in medical school at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern, her pediatrics focus changed to psychiatry.

Dr. Acosta-Goldstein’s experience includes a women’s mental health track during her psychiatry residency where she worked with pregnant and postpartum patients as well as veterans dealing with PTSD. She served on the faculty of UT Southwestern as an assistant professor, consulting with medical staff at Parkland Hospital (a large 983-bed hospital) to provide psychiatric services to inpatients as well as teaching psychiatry and neurology residents on rotation. She also helped develop integrated psychiatry clinics within existing medical departments at the hospital.

“What drew me to Washington Hospital was the opportunity to work in a smaller community hospital where I can collaborate closely with my colleagues and spend more time with patients to provide excellent care,” said Dr. Acosta-Goldstein. She was also looking to relocate to a dynamic, diverse community that is nearby larger cities. Dr. Acosta-Goldstein enjoys reading, traveling, and cycling. She and her wife, Kimberly (who used to live in California) have three cats and two dogs, and are very community oriented. “We love reaching out to our neighbors; joining local groups; attending talks; trying the latest fashions; and experiencing new foods, cultures and places.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Acosta-Goldstein, call Washington Hospital’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department at 510.248.1820.