Spring 2014
Resident Round-Up

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Patrick Bennet consults with Faisal Suba

Third-year psychiatry resident Patrick Bennet, D.O., left, consults with Faisal Suba, M.D., on a case. Photo by Edgar Antonio Núñez

Home Means Nevada for Two Faculty Members

By Anne Pershing

Two physicians who went through the School of Medicine’s psychiatric residency training program, made the decision to join the faculty so that they could stay in Nevada. Both are now with the School of Medicine’s psychiatry department in Las Vegas.

And Faisal Suba, M.D. and Jonathan Wirjo, D.O., will tell you they couldn’t be happier with their decision.

“I really found that my time at the School of Medicine as a resident from 2007-2011 gave me the opportunity to grow and mature as an individual. I received an excellent education from the faculty, which I hope to pass on to other medical students and residents,” said Suba, who served as a chief resident from 2009-2011.

“I was always interested in psychology and psychiatry and that interest grew in medical school and my residency. It was a great fit for me and I don’t regret it. It’s wonderful helping others improve their lives and relationships with others, which is why I wanted to become a faculty member and teach.”

Suba received his medical degree at the Universidad Technologica de Santiago in the Dominican Republic in 2002. He grew up in the Bronx, NY, and attended college at the University of Stony Brook in New York.

Suba says he wants to stay in Las Vegas because there are many opportunities for psychiatrists.

“With my training here, I got to know a lot of good people. I felt this would be a good place to start my career. My wife, Aliyah, our little son and daughter and I have no plans at this time to locate somewhere else.”

“We like it here and being on the faculty is a special privilege. When I was asked to join the faculty, it was such an honor and I still feel that way.”

And Wirjo agrees with his friend, Suba, about not wanting to leave Nevada.

“I love it here. As a School of Medicine resident, I quickly learned there was a shortage of mental health professionals in Las Vegas and I wanted to stay involved with the university.”

“I love to teach and I also want to motivate other residents to stay in Vegas and help out. There’s a big need for mental health services and we’re working to improve the quality. I want to be a part of that.”

Wirjo was born in Toronto, Canada, raised in Southern California and is now a U.S. citizen. A graduate of U.C. Berkeley, he attended medical school at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif.

He also served as a staff psychiatrist at Southern Nevada Adult Medical Health Services at Rawson Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas; served as a health care consultant and analyst at Southern California Permanente Medical Group in Pasadena, Calif.; and as a project analyst and research assistant for the Kaiser Permanente Group in Oakland, Calif.

He’s also proud to say that medicine runs in his family as his father, who was an anesthesiologist, is now an international pain specialist in California.

Along with teaching, Wirjo is one of three who recently started a psychiatric medical group in Las Vegas called Focus Mental Health Solutions.

“We are the founding and managing partners of the only psychiatric medical group in Southern Nevada providing inpatient, emergency room and consultation and liaison psychiatric services for numerous hospitals in Las Vegas, and we are actively recruiting others to join us,” he said.

“I’m invested in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. I want to help improve the mental health of our community and what better way to do that than teach psychiatry to our students and to create a special medical group that helps those who are seeking help.”