John Vuchetich is the ACT Team Psychiatrist for Guild’s Assertive Community Treatment Services. John has been with Guild since 2011 and is passionate about working with clients to improve the quality of their lives.
Q: Describe a typical day as the ACT Team Psychiatrist.
A: These days, I generally participate in at least one Teams videoconference a day in place of the usual in-person meetings. I also depend on frequent communication throughout the day with team members, family members, and outside providers to keep up-to-date on what’s happening with clients and what needs to be done. I typically have several meetings with clients, whether a socially-distanced in-person meeting or a virtual meeting by phone or video, and I log onto Credible to write orders and renew prescriptions. I spend more time than I’d like filling out forms, writing letters, and completing prior authorizations for medications. I make time to do some professional reading each week in order to keep up with my field.
Q: How did your career path lead you to your current position at Guild?
A: I have always been interested in science but later was particularly drawn to psychology and medicine due to the focus on the problems of human beings. This led me to complete an MD/PhD program. My graduate work in clinical psychology included emphases in behavioral genetics and behavioral neuroscience. I spent about 15 years in an academic career after completing my psychiatric residency. During this time most of my clinical work was in inpatient psychiatry, but I also had several experiences in community psychiatry. I enjoyed my position on faculty at the University of Minnesota but eventually concluded that my patient care work was the most rewarding to me and decided to become a full-time clinician. I was always especially interested in serious and persistent mental illness, including the psychoses, and found the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model appealing. I was very happy to find this position at Guild. It is amazing to me that I have now been doing ACT work for 9 years.
Q: Is there anything a client has said that has stuck with you?
A: I am always touched when clients express gratitude, but I especially remember the times when someone says something to the effect of “you’re just like a regular person, and you treat me just like a regular person.”
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: I really enjoy being able to work in team settings and to follow people over time through their ups and downs. It is really a privilege to be let into the lives of our clients as a helping professional and to experience how we can facilitate recovery and improve the quality of peoples’ lives over time.
Q: What is something you’ve learned throughout your time at Guild?
A: Although I believed it before, the complexity of the recovery process has been demonstrated to me again and again. It has really become clear to me that, while symptom stabilization may be necessary for recovery and rehabilitation, it is just the first step. There is so much more learning and growth that occur during the recovery process, with each member of the multidisciplinary team helping the client in a different way.
Q: What’s your proudest memory from working at Guild?
A: We frequently speak of celebrations of client success in our team meetings. Often this results less from some big step than from a sudden realization about how far someone has come over time. However, when I read this question, what came to mind was statements from family members after a client had died, about how much the ACT Team had improved the quality of that person’s life while they were here with us.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: My biggest hobby has always been reading. I also love listening to music and doing outdoor activities with my family such as hiking, camping, skiing, etc.