Residency in Psychiatry, Alzheimer’s Chinese

At first, I was not especially excited about my psychiatry rotation and regarded it only as a duty that I had to fulfill in order to qualify. However, I soon became fascinated with the patients, their conditions and treatments, and realized that every patient was a person who harbored goals and hopes and had a family who loved them and anxiously awaited them to emerge from their mental ‘maze’. My apprehension was soon replaced with a very keen interest in psychiatry and an empathy and desire to help these patients. I subsequently scored 90% in the part of my exams relating to this specialty but did not then pursue my interest. Nevertheless, having faced several family situations involving psychiatric illness, my early interest in psychiatry has been re-fired. I now seek a challenging residency in the specialty that will equip me to become an excellent psychiatrist and researcher in this vital area of medicine.

 My father is showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and I have read all I can on this topic in the hope of helping him and others in his situation. I know that, because of the aging population, there will be many children like myself and my siblings who will watch a parent slowly become unrecognizable. I am also aware that much research is being conducted and that there is reason to hope that there will be solutions. I hold a Ph.D. and feel that my personal interest and my research skills may enable me to usefully assist in research into this heart-rending disease. In addition to my father’s problems, other close family members have suffered depression and I have witnessed the very positive effects of good psychiatric care and counseling which has furthered spurred me into seeking this residency. Also, throughout my medical career, I have regularly dealt with patients who suffered psychiatric illness and family members in emotional distress and have felt that I have been very effective in dealing with them and have been recognized as such by my colleagues and superiors.

 Before deciding to submit this application, I carefully considered the characteristics required of an excellent psychiatrist. A good doctor not only cares for patients but cares about them and this has always been true of my own attitude to patients and their loved ones. I also possess the analytical skills, demonstrated in my research, that are required for complex diagnostic work required in this specialty. Over the years, I have acquired some skill in identifying non-verbal signals given by distressed and anxious people and in interpreting and responding appropriately to them. I look forward to developing this skill further within the program.  I have always sought to treat patients holistically as a unique person rather than a ‘bundle of symptoms’ and believe that this attitude will help me to become an effective psychiatrist.  I also believe that my substantial training and research work in nutrition may be useful in the search for treatments of some mental illnesses.

 I am aware that cultural sensitivity and awareness is particularly important in psychiatry. I look forward to treating a diverse population of patients and learning how culture impacts on treatment.

 I realize that there will be many well qualified applicants. However I consider myself to be an exceptional candidate. I am an experienced physician and researcher and I strongly believe that I possess the technical knowledge, skills and personal characteristics necessary to ‘add value’ to the residency and to complete it successfully. My main recommendation is a very high degree of motivation to help patients which is borne of professional and recent personal acquaintance with the unique suffering that psychiatric illness brings.

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