What Does Success Look Like to You? — Dr. Amy MacIntyre, M.D.

What Does Success Look Like to You? — Dr. Amy MacIntyre, M.D.

Dr. Amy Macintyre, M.D. has been a psychiatrist for more than a decade and a half. She began her  training at Kenyon College, in Gambier, Ohio, then attended Tufts University Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Her first year as an intern was spent in what was known as a Triple Board Program, one of only ten such programs offered across the country at the time. The program combined three boards: adult psychiatry, child psychiatry, and pediatrics. Amy completed this program internship at Tufts University, focusing primarily on pediatrics and child psychiatry. She then decided to turn her efforts to adult psychiatry by enrolling in Brown University Medical Center in Providence, Rhode Island and entering an adult psychiatry residency. Amy continued her studies at the Western Psychiatric Institute Clinic, which is part of the University of Pittsburgh, where she undertook her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship. After completing her fellowship program, the newly-minted Dr. Amy Macintyre accepted her first professional position with a group practice in Philadelphia. She stayed with the practice for about a year and a half before launching her own practice. 

Dr. Amy Macintyre has operated a successful psychiatry practice since 2006. Over the past sixteen years, she has expanded it significantly. She has also had the pleasure of working alongside two nurse practitioners, greatly enjoying the collaboration of working with a team. Dr.MacIntyre prides herself on  prioritizing patient care and comfort, as well as working with her patients to discover the best treatment options for each of their particular needs and lifestyles.

In her spare time, Amy enjoys an eclectic variety of reading materials, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also an avid traveler.


Can you share a little bit about the early days of starting your own office?

When I first started my practice, I assumed a combination of roles. I had my private practice, and that was just me treating private patients. But I also worked in a community mental health center in two different settings. I practiced psychiatric care for one of the schools in the Philadelphia School System. In that capacity, I came in one day per week to make mental health care more accessible to the students and their families. Parents would drop their kids off at the school or come up to the school to see me during the course of the day and I would counsel them together on campus. Many times, I would follow up with a child to prescribe medication for their anxiety, depression, or ADHD. I also worked on campus in that same community mental health center where I saw outpatients. I did that for a couple of years. When my practice grew, it became more difficult to do both. But at the time, I really enjoyed offering that sort of full range of psychiatric service options to people.


How do you believe you have achieved success?

I like the discipline of psychiatry, the intricacies of psychopharmacology, and the management of medications for patients. I also enjoy the interactions with the whole family system, whether I’m seeing an individual adult, or an adult with their spouse, or an individual adolescent. I feel very lucky to do what I do, and to have patients who want to be here and are actively seeking treatment. I sort of feed off their motivation to get better. It really is a partnership in that respect.


What are some of the obstacles you had early on while developing your practice? And how did you overcome them?

It was scary to open up a private practice. I was very aware that the outcome of the enterprise rested squarely on my own shoulders. Win, lose, or draw, it was all on me. I was able to overcome that fear by reaching out to colleagues and having collaborative discussions about how best to manage situations as they arose. Actually, when I left the practice of my former boss, he and I stayed in touch. Over the years, he’s been a great resource for me. I have other mentors in the psychiatric community, as well. All of them have been a great help to me navigating a wide variety of situations.


What drives you to succeed?

I love what I do. Providing the best quality care that I can and providing a thoughtful assessment of people when they come in with their concerns is what drives me to succeed.


How has your definition of success changed over the years?

Ever since I was accepted into medical school, I’ve felt lucky. I knew I wanted to be a doctor from an exceedingly early age. Becoming a doctor was my definition of success, and I’m fortunate enough to be doing exactly what I love for a living. My dad was a pharmacist, and some of my other family members are physicians or otherwise employed in the medical industry. Probably partially because of that, I’ve always been interested in medicine. To me, practicing medicine is itself a success. Even during my pediatrics internship year, I felt honored to be in that role and to take care of families. I still feel that tinge of pride when I think about what makes me the happiest in my job.


What has it meant to you to achieve the level of success you have?

I take pride in the work that I do and I’m honored to be a professional in the medical industry. I also feel proud of the connections that I have with people, be they my patients or my colleagues.


Do you have any advice for others who are seeking a career in psychiatry?

Psychiatry is a little bit different from other sorts of medicine. In psychiatry, we don’t know as much about why and how things happen as much as, say, a cardiologist does. The answers in those fields are more concrete. So, for anyone considering a career as a psychiatrist, becoming comfortable with that aspect of the discipline is critical. It’s also incredibly important to communicate and connect with patients. That’s the only way to really understand them and address their issues. You have to genuinely listen to what people are telling you. An old adage of the profession is that patients will always let you know what’s going on with them, and in doing that, they will tell you what they need.


How do you feel achieving success affects a person’s outlook?

I think success feeds back into itself. If you enjoy what you do for a living, you can relish in the success of your achievements. If you continue to like what you do through the years, you will inevitably continue to feel blessed and honored, and as a result, you will continue to have success.