Kassandra Ortiz - Scholarship essay | Pacific Medical Training

Submitted 2022-11-01

It was not till a couple of years ago that I decided that I wanted to become a doctor, specifically a psychiatrist. I have wanted to become a psychiatrist to help those who suffer from mental illness, just like how others helped me with my own mental illness. I have suffered from mental illness from an early age and received help for it, it was not until a couple of years ago that I finally accepted the help that others gave me. When I finally accepted that help, it was like my eyes opened to a better reality, a reality where I could live a happy life instead of a miserable one.

I know that as a psychiatrist I will deal with many individuals with many different mental disorders. Many people do not realize how important psychiatry is in our day and age, but that has been changing little by little. One thing that Psychiatrist deal with are people with suicidal ideation. One way Psychiatry performs life saving techniques is by helping people with suicidal thoughts overcome those obstacles and hopefully helping them live another day.  

Last year I mentored under a psychiatric nurse partitioner. With her I was able to see many different patients. Some of which were dealing with serious mental disorders. One person she saw was going through severe mental distress and requested an emergency appointment with my mentor. I was unable to sit in with the patient, which I understand because they were in distress and did not want a student in the room due to how delicate the situation was. After the appointment, my mentor sat down with me and talked to me about how to deal with emergencies like the experience she dealt with.

She talked to me about what I will have to do if I plan to work in the psychiatric field. As a person who responds to delicate situations, you need to deal with the situations in delicate ways. As a psychiatrist I will need to work with my patients and other health professionals to stabilize my patients. Another thing I need to do is learn how to deal with my emotions in an effective way. I cannot let my own feelings get in the way of helping my patients. It is also inevitable that I might have to deal with the death of a patient of mine. I cannot let this stop me from helping my other patients.  

These last few years I worked hard on learning to deal with my emotions in an appropriate way. Before I started working on my emotions I would lash out at others and get angry over any little inconvenience that would happen. I thought I was fine, but eventually I understood that I needed help. I was hurting myself and others without meaning too.

In my culture we are taught that if we do not talk about our mental health, it will not be a problem. However, I finally looked at myself and my actions and I decided that I needed to get help. I did not like how I was acting towards others, as well as myself. One thing my sister would always tell me was, “you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink the water.” At first, I did not know what that meant, till I eventually got the help I needed. Now I know that she was trying to tell me that unless I wanted the help, I would not get the necessary help I needed.

After years of mental health treatment, I finally decided to let people help me. I finally opened myself up to others who were there to help me get better. It took a few years, but I eventually changed my ways and got better. I am still working on myself to make me a better person. I know that I have changed a lot, but I still need to make more changes because I am still growing and learning about the many different things’ life can offer.  

I know that being a psychiatrist will be an extremely rewarding job for me. I want to help others with their mental health and get them the services they need. One rewarding thing I am hoping to see with my patients is their getting better and living a fulfilling life. Once I see that it will motivate me even more to help those in need. Being a psychiatrist is a hard job, but it is satisfying as well. 

I am a person who has developed a lot in my short life, however I know that there is a lot more that I need to learn. Having an open mind and heart will make it easier for me to learn what is important in life. I am planning to use what I learned in life to help my patients flourish in their lives as well. I will work hard as a psychiatrist to help others the way others helped me in my darkest time.