I didn’t know I was going to be a psychiatrist but my story pretty much goes full circle. I remember writing on my applications about my fascination with Wolverine and how he could heal himself of any illness. I loved learning about the immune system and how, although it wasn’t as strong as Wolverine, could still keep us safe on a daily basis and help our wounds heal. As a young child, I compiled and illustrated stories about the immune system and cherished the educational, storytelling aspect of medicine.
I didn’t really return to this juncture until I was well into my MD/PhD training. In my application to the MD/PhD program, I wrote about how medicine was a chance to heal individuals and how research was a chance to impact more than than those I could reach individually. As I continued my training, I realized my interest still remained in storytelling. I tried to start a project called Health Stories for Kids, which was a means of educating families on health-related topics. The project didn’t evolve to where I wanted but served a stepping stone in my continued growth.
I realized my passion for a holistic approach and wellness focus in helping others to be the best version of themselves. I wanted to incorporate fitness, nutrition, positive habits, and behavior into helping people understand how they can overcome struggles and mental illness. Psychiatry was a natural fit at this point.
At the same time, I discovered how much growing I needed to do myself. Through my own therapy and challenges, I realized stories, including my own, are central to how a person can change our identity and is a necessary step towards progress and growth.
Now, I want to help others find their own story and to match that story in a healthy, compassionate way to the values they hold most important to them. My goal as a psychiatrist is to help people do this and to where they find meaning and contentment in their lives, through both the positive and negative events, and realize that together these events make up the journey of life. I believe and many others got caught up in the idea that eternal happiness in life is the goal and that’s what we should strive for.
Now I believe that life in some ways is inevitable, and that much of what is good or bad will happen to us that is outside our control. We can then learn to accept these events, grow from them, and choose how we respond. Here is where change can occur, our stories can align, and we can create meaning and contentment. I feel it’s my job to help people get there. My current goal is to expand the project Only Human One You to help people realize that their path is unique but there are those who can help you change and grow, and not just therapists and mental health professionals but other mentors and stories.