Fulfilling her goal of becoming part of an academic institution, Amelia (Amy) Rooks, MD, MPH, joined the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences on November 30, 2023. “There are a lot of things you can do in medicine and I saw many ways I could do that at the U,” she said. “I’ve had training in both pediatric medicine and psychiatry and am excited to work in both of those areas as I treat the whole child.” Rooks will practice at the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain as a child and adolescent psychiatrist.

She understands that there are challenges in treating this patient population today. “The pandemic affected all of us,” she said. “Now that we’re transitioning away from social distancing, more kids are going to school and getting back out into the world. As a result, we’re seeing the effects of those years in isolation, such as learning setbacks and the impact on mental health.”

Working with learners
As part of her new role, Rooks looks forward to teaching medical students as well as residents and fellows. “It will be mostly clinical work, watching them see patients and coming into their own as medical professionals,” she said.

Dr. Amelia (Amy) Rooks

Most recently, Rooks (pictured here) was a Post Pediatric Portal Fellow at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals of Cleveland in Ohio. She completed her pediatric residency at Hurley Children’s Hospital/Michigan State University in Flint, MI, and a pediatric internship at University of Florida Health Shands Children’s in Gainesville. She earned her MD and MPH from the University of Florida Medical School and her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Florida.

In 2017, Rooks was awarded for Outstanding Achievement of Medical Student Education. In 2016, she was initiated into the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and won a United States Health Service Excellence in Public Health Award, a national award that recognizes medical students who are public health champions.

People might be surprised to learn that right before Rooks started medical school, she lived in Japan for a year. “I grew up hearing stories about travel because my dad worked for an airline early in his career,” she said. “It inspired me to live abroad at some point.”

When she has free time, Rooks enjoys cooking, reading, drawing, and spending time with her twin toddlers.