Wednesday, June 30, 2010


ClinkShrink wrote about her taxicab driver in New Orleans and how a psychotherapist had changed his life in a single session. Psychobabble (a medical intern, soon to be a psychiatry resident...I think), wrote and told us about her experience with a kind cab driver who listened to her problems and provided free psychotherapy during a taxi ride to an exam after her car had been towed after she'd been on call (...Talk about a bad day!) You can read more Here! And welcome to the psychiatric blogosphere, Psychobabble.

This all reminded me of the essay/personal statement I wrote when I was a fourth year medical student applying to residency. I wrote an essay about the different experiences I'd had that influenced me to want to go into psychiatry. I had a bunch of experiences-- I'd known I wanted to be a psychiatrist or psychologist fairly early on, and I'd done rotations at other hospitals and had gotten a Mellon Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh's psychiatry department one summer. I thought I looked good on paper.

I showed the essay to my adviser, he read it, looked unimpressed, and said, "It looks like everyone's essay." Great. What else did I have to say for myself? I did what I had to do. I bought a bottle of wine and went home to the typewriter (those were the days).

The essay that emerged began by saying that if I wasn't going to become a psychiatrist, I would be a taxicab driver in New York City. I rambled a bit, talked about what the experiences I'd had, said nice things about taxicab drivers and finished it up. I don't have a copy of the essay, it was long ago filed and lost, and it probably wasn't as interesting as I thought it was. My adviser liked it better, and oh, it made for some funny looks at my interviews. Thanks for the memories, Psychobabble.