Clinician Spotlight: Elliottnell Perez, M.A.

March 1, 2023

Where did you go to undergrad?

I went to University of Connecticut – Storrs campus.

Did you always know you wanted to work in a medical setting or have any previous medical setting work exposure before graduate school?

I did not have clinical experience working in a medical setting before graduate school, but I did
have research experience in a medical setting. I enjoyed working in the Veteran Affairs medical
center in Connecticut and knew I would like to return to a medical setting.

Why did you choose to join the Primary Care Psychology Training Collaborative run by Drs. Rybarczyk and Jones? Did you hear anything in particular from other students that made you want to work in primary care?

I have always been interested in expanding my knowledge and repertoire of clinical skills and
interventions during my training and the Primary Care Psychology Training Collaborative run by
Drs. Rybarczyk and Jones afforded the opportunity to work alongside providers treating a
diverse clinical population with a variety of presentation concerns.

What primary care clinic(s) do currently you work in? 

I currently work in Complex Care Trauma and the PC Psychology team at the Ambulatory Care
Clinic. I’ve also had the opportunity to work in Hayes Family clinic, Crossover Ministry, and
Health Brigade.

What clinical populations are you interested in working with?

I am interested in working with patients across the lifespan for neuropsychological assessments.
I think it is fun and challenging applying various developmental expectations towards cognitive
evaluations. I am hoping to gain pediatric neuropsychological assessment experience during
internship. Within the intervention/therapy arena, I am interested in working with young,
middle-aged, and older adults on behavioral health and psychological concerns. I like a bit of
everything. Of particular interest, however, is sleep. I love the opportunity to introduce CBT-I or
brief behavioral interventions for insomnia.

What have you liked about your primary care rotation? 

I have really enjoyed the opportunity to work within an interdisciplinary team of providers to
provide the best care possible. It has been wonderful learning more about what other providers
do and the lens through which they view presenting concerns. I have also really enjoyed the
opportunity to work with numerous patients on a variety of goals and presenting concerns.

What are your big takeaways from your work in primary care so far? How do you think this opportunity will prepare you for the workforce when you graduate?

I think my experience within the Primary Care Psychology Training Collaborative has expanded
the types of presenting concerns and clinical populations I am prepared to work with. PC
Psychology has provided me with experience within community mental health clinics and
hospitals, implementing behavioral health and psychological health interventions, for young
adults through older adults. I think the biggest takeaway for me during the past 5 years is
flexibility. Being prepared to work with the unexpected at unexpected times. Meeting patients
where they are during visits in order to foster not only rapport and trust, but enhance
motivation, self-efficacy, and/or hope.