Dr. Riley Machal


Dr. Riley Machal

Riley Machal, MD grew up in Ord, a small town located in central Nebraska and then attended Chadron State College in Chadron, NE before moving on to medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Throughout my training, I continually felt most passionate about reducing disparities in physical and mental health in rural communities and improving the education of medical students and residents,” said Dr. Machal, “As such, a role with the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska seemed to be the perfect fit.”

Joining BHECN in August 2022, Dr. Machal will become the first Associate Director for Medical Education. A new role and one of several BHECN has been adding in 2022 after receiving additional funding from the Nebraska Legislature via LB1068.

“I will be impacting the education of our psychiatric residents as well as creating educational content to improve the psychiatric care that patients in rural areas receive from their primary care providers,” said Dr. Machal.

When asked what inspires her she replied, “In all aspects of my job, I get to help people. I truly enjoy working with my patients to improve their lived experiences and I am always thrilled to get to spend more time helping to educate the next generation of healthcare workers.”

When she isn’t working, Dr. Machal enjoys reading on her porch while her dogs play, spending time with her niece and nephew, cross stitching and knitting.

Welcome to BHECN!


Q & A with Dr. Riley Machal

Q: What makes you good at what you do?

A: I think the most important aspect of my personality to each of the hats I wear is my ability to be compassionate. From educating other health professionals to seeing my own patients, there aren’t many days I get through without extensively exercising my compassion and empathy muscles! 

Q: Flashback to when you were ten years old. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A: When I was 10 years old, I wanted to be a dog groomer! While I still love dogs, I’m content to spoil my 2 and leave the grooming to someone else for the time being. 😊

Q: What is a career goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?

A: During the next year, I’m planning to implement a new small group experience for medical students in their first year that focuses on shared decision-making and consent to treatments.

Q: Who is someone you admire, and why?

A: My residency program director, Dr. Julie Niedermier, will forever be among the people I most admire. She is diligent, hardworking, and always advocating for her residents. She, in part, inspired me to embark on a career path focused on improving medical education and I hope to one day follow in her footsteps as a program director for a psychiatry residency program.

Q: What is the last book you read/show you watched/something you can’t get enough of?

A: The book I am currently reading is The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.

Q: What are some causes you care about?

A: I’m passionate about:

Q: What is the first thing on your bucket list?

A: Write a novel.

Q: How do you want people to remember you?

A: I’d like to be remembered as a caring and generous person.

Q: Do you have a personal motto or a cool quote you live by?

A: “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated” Maya Angelou


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