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Psychiatry Personal Statement #2

At the beginning of my clinical rotations, I still had not chosen a specialty, and I faced a difficult decision that would affect me for rest of my life I discovered that I truly enjoyed Psychiatry as a subject during basic sciences. Fascinated by different diseases in Psychiatry, I looked forward to being in the clinical setting and applying my knowledge. I started my third year with an inpatient psychiatric unit rotation at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. While enthusiastic and excited to finally begin clinical medicine, I was apprehensive about walking into a lockdown Psychiatric floor not knowing what was about to face me behind those locked doors. It ended up being one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences of my life. Even though the rest of my core rotations were stimulating and educational, I never received the same gratification that I felt in Psychiatry. As I went through each core rotation, I found always myself concerned about the patients’ mental health as well as their physical health, especially as they went through the potentially traumatic experience of being in a hospital with an uncertain future. I knew that Psychiatry struck a cord with me that no other field did. I am glad to have opened those locked doors and found what I am confident will be the most rewarding career for me.

I particularly remember the day I met a paranoid schizophrenic patient who had been on the Psychiatric floor for the last month. Many times I found him in the isolation room with restraints due to his erratic behavior. I worked with him for about 2 weeks, talking to him prior to rounds, after lunch and before leaving at the end of the day. He gained trust in me and referred to me as “Little Doctor”. One day I approached my attending physician and asked if I could take him outside for some air. The attending was apprehensive but agreeable with the suggestion. Once outside, the patient saluted the US flag and shared his stories with me about being in the military. From then on I took him to salute the flag everyday until eventually the patient was well enough to be discharged back to the nursing home. This case is just one of the numerous reasons why the field of psychiatry appeals to me. It is not the instant gratification of curing the disease with medicine, but the patient’s ability to return to what he called his home and safe haven, that pulled me towards psychiatry.

During my rotation in Psychiatry, I saw the remarkable progression of patients suffering from depression who started out dissatisfied with themselves, and later completely turned around and with total control of their life. I never imagined that a person could go from one extreme to the other over such a short amount of time. I saw over and over how patients were more in touch with their families, their jobs, and their surroundings after receiving treatment. Patients in the waiting room always talked amongst themselves about how significantly their lives had changed, from simply being able to go out in public without fear, to being able to celebrate and attend a daughter’s graduation.

Prior to medical school, I completed a Master’s degree in Public Health. During my study in Public Health I developed a particular concern about the alarming rates of psychiatric illnesses related to alcoholism and substance abuse that plagues young people in our society. I recognize that working with young people who are struggling to become adults is inherently challenging. But I also know of the immense personal satisfaction that can come from such work. I have always enjoyed working with adolescents and illnesses unique to that age group. Therefore I plan on pursuing Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the future. My training in public health and as a psychiatrist will give me the insight necessary to effectively educate my patients on preventive care and, in the process, draw public attention to the benefits of health education. I believe I can excel in psychiatry with my strong communication skills and ability to deal with different situations. My ability to listen to patients effectively, with my commitment to psychiatry will enable me to become a well rounded physician. I look ahead to the next phase of my training with great excitement and strong commitment.


Psychiatry Personal Statement #2

 

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About USMLE

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the United States. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) sponsors USMLE.
The Three Steps of the USMLE
Step 1 tests the important concepts of basic sciences basic to the practice of medicine. It also places special emphasis on principles and mechanisms underlying health, disease, and modes of therapy. Step 1 ensures mastery of the sciences that provide a foundation for the safe and competent practice of medicine. It also tests the scientific principles required for maintenance of competence through lifelong learning.
Step 2 CK tests the medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision. It also includes emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. Step 2 CK ensures that due attention is devoted to principles of clinical sciences and basic patient-centered skills.
Step 2 CS tests your capacity to practice and provide good medical service in real-life situations. It also tests your communication skills.
Step 3 tests your medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine. Step 3 provides a final assessment of physicians assuming independent responsibility for delivering general medical care.

 

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