Clinician Ahmed Eid Takes Advantage of Master's-Level Courses We recently interviewed Ahmed Eid (MA, '12), manager of residential programs at Hazelden Betty Ford in Center City, Minnesota, to learn why he—as an accomplished clinician with a master's degree from the Graduate School—continues to enroll in additional master's-level customized training courses. Which courses are you taking this semester? I am currently enrolled in Lifespan Development. Knowledge and understanding of the unique challenges associated with different stages of lifespan development are extremely important in our treatment approach. There are unique aspects in every phase that need to be taken into consideration as we conceptualize an effective treatment plan. As clinicians in the field of addiction, we find ourselves working with a variety of patients not only from different walks of life but different stages of life. It then becomes ethically incumbent that we provide them with tailored interventions that meet their current needs and address their current life situation. Ignoring the developmental stage can lead to ineffective approaches that can be harmful to patients. Taking this course has definitely broadened my perspective about lifespan development and has caused a shift in how I conceptualize treatments for different patients. I cannot overstate the benefit of taking this class to anyone working in the field and the difference it will make for those we serve. I am also taking Advanced Assessment and Diagnosis for Co-Occurring Disorders. Accurate diagnosis and assessment are critical to effective treatment. In short, if we do not know what the issue or concern is, we will not be able to treat it. The majority of our patients struggle with a co-occurring disorder of some sort, and attempting to treat one condition while ignoring the other simply does not work. Humans function as a whole, and as such, treatment should be holistic. Drug and alcohol use exacerbates all mental health problems without exception. Therefore, understanding the interaction between substances and mental health issues, as well as the unique impact that this has on the patient's ability to improve their quality of life, is paramount. Undiagnosed or, worse, misdiagnosed mental health issues can definitely contribute to a patient's relapse. This class has broadened the scope of my understanding of concurring disorders and has improved my ability to provide the needed care to our patients. How has your Graduate School degree improved your ability to perform at a high level in your current role? People trust us with their lives. They come to us with their pain and their troubles, and expect that we can help them improve their quality of life. It is our burden, as helpers, to provide them with the best treatment possible. This entails knowledge and experience based on the most current scientific evidence. As a clinician, I knew that passion and willingness were not sufficient to address the complex issues that patients present with. The education I received at the Graduate School set me on a path of continuous learning that is imperative for successful treatment. Addiction is an emotional issue for many. Much stigma and misinformation exist that often confuse people and steer them away from seeking appropriate help. I view my education as the tool that allows me to dispel stigma, change perceptions and correct errors. Would you encourage other clinicians to enroll in customized training classes for their own professional development? Time is scarce, and while we all aspire to keep up with research and continue to learn, we often find it hard to dedicate the time to do so. Enrolling in a class or two holds us accountable to ongoing learning and focuses our attention. As I participate in class and interact with peers in an academic setting, I find that new ideas emerge that I can implement immediately in my day-to-day practice. We all get stuck in familiar ways in approaching treatment, and I can think of no better way to gain new perspectives and modify our approach than having that structured and focused interaction with others in an academic setting.