Psychiatry Personal Statement

Sample Psychiatry Personal Statement

Nelson Mandela, a great humanitarian of our age, said that “a good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination”. I believe that I have the above mentioned ingredients to be a competent and compassionate psychiatrist. The stigma surrounding mental illness often invites judgment and alienation, so a good psychiatrist not only needs to be competent and knowledgeable in the discipline, but also empathetic and sensitive towards patients. Conceptualizing abnormal mental states with the aim of understanding ‘how they have become who they are’ is very stimulating and challenging, as I have discovered in the course of my professional training in the UK, and I am keen to pursue a residency program in the United States to further enhance my skills.

I have always had a fascination for biological sciences, partly inspired by my father, a scientist. After completing my secondary education, I gained admission to a prestigious Mumbai institution, based on a countrywide competitive exam. It was here that I experienced my first clinical attachment, in Psychiatry, and became so attracted to this field. I believe it offers enormous variety for a practitioner, as each patient’s story is different from the others, and thus a flexible attitude is essential. I feel this sets the discipline apart from other medical fields which seek answers based on case evidence alone.

I came to the UK in 2003 and enrolled on the prestigious Mersey Training Scheme in Liverpool, where I was fortunate to work with very accomplished Psychiatrists. As a result of this training I have middle-grade experience in Psychiatry both in regular and on-call roles, and have taken posts in a variety of areas including Adult, Old Age and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. I have also found the diverse settings in which I have practiced, such as in-patient, out-patient and day hospital units, very instructive in developing my flexibility and ability to relate to different types of patients with individual needs. I have been able to gain specialized experience with Community Mental Health Teams, closely following their work to achieve understanding of this type of psychiatry and the often sensitive nature of conditions. I have enjoyed this element of my training, as Psychiatry as a career often involves very independent work, and I am glad to have developed valuable teamwork skills.

I have also trained in Psychotherapy, including a 16-week psychotherapy case adhering to the CAT model, supervised by a SpR in Psychotherapy. I successfully completed a course in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, in which I studied the CBT model and worked with audio tapes of a case session to produce a specialized essay. A 10-week training workshop accompanied this and allowed me to gain supervision from a Consultant Psychotherapist. Assisting with an Assessment for Psychotherapy early in my training has also complemented my study and understanding of the whole process of an individual gaining treatment. I have a particular interest in family psychiatry, inspired by attending Family Therapy seminars, and clinics at Winsford between 2007 and 2008, as well as Parent Infant Intervention as part of studying Psychodynamics under a Consultant Pyschotherapist previously.

Since completing my practical training in the UK I have become a member of the Royal College of Psychotherapists, through successful completion of the Membership Examination. I have been at the forefront of conducting original audit work in my training and believe research is a key aid to better clinical practice, which is a combination of utilizing both case evidence and individual clinical expertise. My deep desire to improve patient care helped me to generate audit designs that addressed important and relevant clinical issues. I won the Royal College of Psychiatrists Audit Competition in 2006 (“Monitoring for Metabolic Syndrome in long term rehabilitation setting” ) and 2005/2006 Audit Prize Meeting in Liverpool. I replied to a paper in British Journal of Psychiatry in October 2006 (“Contribution of depression to impaired health related quality following first myocardial infarction”) and was published on 1 February 2007.

Thus far, working in Psychiatry has been a very fulfilling experience. I have seen that psychosocial treatments can be instrumental in making a positive difference to an individual’s life, and feel that an effective and well organized training scheme will facilitate my learning of best clinical practices. As part of my training in the US I would welcome the opportunity for clinical research and I believe I can be an asset to the training program given my existing abilities.

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