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Psychiatry Residency, Canadian Mental Health

When I was a child, one of my aunts suffered severe depression. I was aware of mixed reactions among the adults in the family, some ridiculed here, others regarded her as merely weak, others as an embarrassment and others with sympathy; but no-one seemed to be curious about why she suffered in this way. I was only a child but I was curious and this fired an interest in the problems of the human mind and how they might be treated that has remained with me.

During undergraduate training, I was apprehensive about psychiatry rotations but this was quickly overtaken by an interest in the patients, their various conditions and the methods of treatment being applied. I knew that every patient had been someone with aspirations and plans and that their families and friends longed for them to find their way out of the mental maze in which they found themselves.

I was aware that wanting to help was not enough. To be of help to psychiatric patients requires a certain set of characteristics and I wanted to be sure that I possessed them.  I carefully considered the traits that I would seek in a psychiatrist that might treat me or a close family member. I concluded that whilst an ability to empathize is vital, this would need to be supported by outstanding professional competence. I would seek someone who demonstrated empathy together with competence in diagnosis, investigations and management, someone who is an excellent communicator and who works well within a team.  I have also become aware of the importance of sensitivity to non-verbal signals and responding appropriately to them.  I believe that I possess the necessary traits to become an excellent psychiatrist and that I have demonstrated this in the significant provision of psychiatric services that I have experienced to date in a wide variety of settings.

I am aware that cultural sensitivity and awareness is particularly important in providing psychiatric treatment as this can actually have a bearing on the way that the illness is perceived by the patients and their families and thus the management of the conditions suffered. I have happily studied, treated, and worked and socialized with people of a wide variety of cultural and social backgrounds and look forward to widening this experience during the residency. I have undertaken an observership in psychiatry at XXXX Hospital in Canada. I regard myself as familiar with Canadian mental health services and am ready to undertake a residency in a challenging but supportive environment.

I have gained significant and valuable experience both in hospital and community settings as locum senior house officer in the UK. This has provided me with clinical skills including the ability to take a history and mental state examination and to chart out relevant management plans applying a multidisciplinary approach. I have also been involved in the management of patients suffering acute psychiatric problems in ER as part of a liaison team.

I have been involved in various clinical studies in the role of research assistant at Credit Valley since July 2010. I have acquired skills in the design of research protocols, procedures and flowcharts and have specifically been involved in assessment of depression and schizophrenia. I have also assisted the principal investigator and coordinator in various duties relating to the research. I look forward to assisting with further research during the residency, hopefully in the area of neuro-psychiatry in which I hope eventually to specialize.

 I believe that I have demonstrated that I am an exceptional candidate for a residency in psychiatry and very much look forward to making a start.

 

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