If you ask Dr. Michael Redovian, he’ll tell you psychiatry always seemed to come naturally to him. Even in his teen years, he was known by family and friends as the patient, approachable and nonjudgmental person they could turn to for help. So, it’s no surprise he turned his passion of helping others with a mental health crisis into a career.
Today, as Akron Children’s newest child and adolescent psychiatrist in our Lois and John Orr Family Behavioral Health Center, Dr. Redovian approaches every patient by first attempting to walk a mile in their shoes. Even if he’s never wrestled personally with what a patient is going through, he tries his best to understand it so he can better help them get to the other side.
In his new role, he is most looking forward to getting to know patient families and being a positive influence in their lives. After all, Dr. Redovian’s goal is to leave the impression with each and every patient that they’re not alone.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s Hospital?
Because I’m from the Akron area, I always knew Akron Children’s had a positive reputation. When I started my medical training, I was able to see firsthand not only the great care it provided, but also the amazing culture among its staff. Akron Children’s has truly felt like home since I walked in, and I couldn’t picture myself working anywhere else.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish?
As a child and adolescent psychiatrist, my goal is always to help kids and teens work through whatever mental struggles they’re dealing with. Sometimes that involves medications, sometimes it doesn’t. No matter what, I want to help children and their families get through their tough times.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
Psychiatry is something that’s always come kind of naturally to me. I enjoy being that nonjudgmental person people can talk to about whatever, and I like to think I do my best to help them put things into a different perspective.
When did you decide to become a provider and why?
High school. I always thought I’d going to college to study psychology, but then in health class, I watched “A Beautiful Mind.” That sparked my interest in schizophrenia, and things kind of rolled from there.
What do you like most about being a provider?
Getting to know people and trying to be a positive influence in their family. Mental health issues can often drive wedges between family members, and I like being someone who can help smooth things over.
What impression do you hope to leave with your patients each day?
I hope to leave patients with the impression that they’re not alone in what they’re going through. Even if I’ve never had to deal with specifically what they’re struggling with, I’m at least doing my best to understand it.
What do you think is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest obstacle to overcome is stigma surrounding mental health. I often see patients come in with family members who describe them as “crazy” or “unstable,” which can be really damaging. In my visits, it’s not uncommon for me to coach family members on different ways to approach their child.
How do you deal with the emotional impact of being a provider?
I try to leave work at work as best as I can and surround myself with other providers who understand what we go through. A little humor never hurts, too.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Portage Lakes area, just south of Akron.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For the longest time, I wanted to be a chef. I still love food and cooking, but I know I don’t have the personality to run a restaurant kitchen!
Who’s on your playlist?
I listen to lots of rock and alternative music — from the classics like, The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Queen to modern stuff like, The Wonder Years, Panic! At The Disco and Twenty One Pilots.
What’s the hardest lesson you had to learn?
The hardest lesson I’ve had to learn is asking for help. I think a lot of people who end up in professional positions tend to be high achievers throughout school, so when I hit some struggles academically, it was really difficult for me to admit that I needed help. Once I did, things went so much more smoothly that I wished I had done it earlier.
What piece of advice did someone give you when you were young that still resonates with you today?
I still think about the lesson my dad taught me to never view myself as better or worse than someone, from the billion-dollar CEO to people sleeping on the streets. I try to live that way on a daily basis.
What was your first paying job?
My first job was a warehouse worker. I broke down pallets and loaded trucks for a shipping company owned by a family friend.