Instead of my accolades many of you have asked me in the past "How did I ever choose to do Psychiatry?" Growing up in a Chinese family, mental health was rarely discussed. My older brother had become a successful geriatrician and when I entered medical school it was my desire to either become a surgeon or follow in his footsteps. It was during my Psychiatry rotation that I was entrusted with the care of a particular patient. She was admitted for attempting to commit suicide, and soon I found myself spending hours talking to her on the inpatient unit. I had learned that in the past she had hopes and dreams of becoming a beautician but due to life circumstances was unable to continue to follow her dreams and started to become hopeless and depressed which eventually led to the situation she was in now. After about a week of treating her, she was eventually released from the hospital. At the end of my month long rotation I received a phone call from her when I was about to leave the unit. She told me that after our long conversations on the unit, she decided to go back to cosmetology school and started to pursue her career. What astounded me was what she told me next. She told me that after she was discharged from the hospital she had gone back to her apartment only to find that her brother who was staying with her was standing on the window ledge outside preparing to commit suicide. She started talking to him and was using the things I had told her and he eventually came back in and agreed to go to the hospital to get help. From this point on I knew that God had a plan for me to continue on in the field of Psychiatry.
From that time I graduated from Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed my four year residency at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge Illinois. I have continued to do outpatient psychiatry for the past 20 years with a mix of inpatient care, consultation, geriatric care and I continue to work with autistic and mentally delayed adults at Clearbrook and Glenkirk. I work with many types of individuals with mental illness including anxiety, depression, bipolar, ADHD, PTSD, traumatic brain injury and so on. My fourth child is adopted so this has given me a unique perspective into adoption, and because of this I have also done adoption evaluations as well and enjoy helping prospective adoptive parents. For many of my Christian faith based patients, I have had the pleasure of working with and understanding their faith and how this fits into their need for Psychiatric treatment. I am also an avid believer that medications are not the only solution but integration of improved diet, better living choices, and an understanding of how the stress of our environment around us, plays a vital part to the puzzle that makes up our whole mental and spiritual well being. Thank you for taking the time to read this and learning more about how I was directed to the field of Psychiatry and my own passions for working together with individuals in navigating the difficult waters of mental health.
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