Rachel Rinehart, a Husky 100, purses a career in psychiatry

Department news | April 27, 2023

Each year, the Husky 100 recognizes 100 undergraduate and graduate students from the UW Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma campuses in all areas of study who are making the most of their time at the University of Washington. This year, Rachel Rinehart, an MD/MPH candidate interested in mental health, received this distinguished honor. She will graduate from the University of Washington with an MD/MPH in June 2024.

Rachel’s unique experience studying and researching mental health in twelve countries informed her work in medicine and global health. She was awarded the UW Global Mental Health Fellowship, mentored by Lydia Chwastiak, MD, MPH, where she designed a research study to examine barriers to care for psychiatry patients in Rwanda with the aim of testing the feasibility of delivering a successful peer expert program for serious mental illness through technology. Since the project took place during the 2021 COVID-19 lock-down, it was particularly relevant and timely. Although many international projects were stalled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rachel was able to complete the fellowship project because of her flexibility, creativity and strong community partnership. Her work will inform subsequent relief efforts for this population.

For her master’s thesis project, Rachel will again work with Dr. Chwastiak using data from the National Mental Health Study, a large-scale epidemiologic study that aims to provide accurate estimates of the most seriously impairing disorders in the US based on structured psychiatric interviews of over 7,000 adults by trained clinicians. Rachel will be working on a secondary analysis of this dataset.

Congratulations, Rachel, and best wishes as you move toward a career in psychiatry!