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Psychiatry Residency, Nigerian Immigrant, Helping the Homeless, Substance Abuse

Updated: Jan 24


In 2014, I relocated from Nigeria. From 2014 to date, I have been involved in several activities to enable me to practice medicine in the US. Some of those activities include but are not limited to passing the USMLEs, working as a small group facilitator for Kaplan Test Preparation, doing observership, and other volunteer activities. During this time, I have continued to become better acquainted with how medicine is practiced in the USA and the culture of the USA. One of the significant benefits of migrating to the US from Africa is that I have adequately understood how migration impacts an individual's emotional, psychological, and mental well-being. I say this because, as an immigrant, I faced many challenges, including culture shock, language barrier, mode of interaction, and the general culture of this society. I was able to adapt positively to these negative stressors. However, I have talked to many immigrants, both in the medical and non-medical professions, who succumbed to the pressures of a fast-paced society like the US to the extent of causing a mental breakdown. Therefore, I have cultivated a particular interest in psychiatry because I would like to delve deeper into understanding how stressors can negatively affect human health.


This is one of the reasons I have chosen to give my professional life to Psychiatry, helping in this most critical – and foundational – aspect of health and successful living. I hope to be selected for a residency position on the front lines of urban psychiatry in America, helping the underserved successfully handle their mental health issues such as substance abuse, depression, and anxiety, PTSD, particularly for veterans and those at risk of suicide. This is one of the things I love about Psychiatry; With the enormous diversity of cases, everyone has to fight his own battle against unique stressors. I have learned from volunteering in homeless shelters that substance abuse is especially prominent in poor communities. While I look forward to treating patients of all patients, regardless of racial, sexual, and economic backgrounds, I feel especially called to help underprivileged people.


Working for various healthcare institutions over the years, both in the US and Nigeria, has improved my ability to communicate with patients and other professionals alike and better understand the challenges my patients face. My most recent experience is an observership at Griffin Memorial Hospital, mostly in-patient with a few outpatients and forensic telemetry. I also completed a sub-internship in Internal Medicine at XXXX Hospital and was trained and gained experience providing consultations in the in-patient psychiatric unit. My first exposure to psychiatry was a clerkship in the area while still a medical student in Nigeria. In addition to my intellectual passion for Psychiatry and how it provides me with such an opportunity to exercise my compassion, my family circumstances are also a factor in my decision to pursue this area of medicine. My father passed away right before I entered medical school, and my mother passed in my second year of a 6-year medical program. Now 32, I spend part of my free time baking cakes in honor of my mother, who was a baker. This way, I always have cakes on hand for the weekend when volunteering at the Houston food bank and homeless shelters.



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