Welcome! I am so excited that you are considering Yale for your psychiatry training! My name is Ariel, and I am a third-year resident. I am originally from Houston, Texas. After high school, I attended Harvard College and concentrated in African and African American Studies. I then completed my medical school prerequisites through the Johns Hopkins Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program before enrolling in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In college and in medical school, I sought out opportunities to work with the Black community through service, advocacy and research. At Harvard, I focused on ethnographic research and travelled to Brazil to study Afro-Brazilian Nationalism for my senior honor thesis. During my time at Mount Sinai, I studied PTSD in Black stroke survivors using a Community-Based Participatory Research Model. These experiences deepened my commitment to community engagement and sparked my interest in public psychiatry. At Yale, I do collaborative research on faith-based substance abuse treatment in the Black community, and plan to pursue an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship after graduation.
Why I Chose Yale
Throughout the residency application process, I fully expected to rank all of the Texas psychiatry programs at the top of my rank list. I’m from Houston, I have a close-knit extended family that all live in Texas, and I thought I was ready to move back home. But, I also knew that my ultimate goal was to care for people of color in a public setting. When I visited the Yale Psychiatry Program, I was really affected by the tour of the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC), it’s a unique partnership between the Yale University Department of Psychiatry and the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. At CMHC, residents care for the sickest chronically mentally ill patients under the supervision of academic public psychiatrists. In addition, there are opportunities to get involved in public psychiatry research. As I mentioned above, for the past year I have been working with Dr. Ayana Jordan, an Assistant Professor in the department, on Imani Breakthrough, a SAMHSA-funded initiative to develop a faith-based response to the opioid epidemic specifically in Black communities.
Through this project, I have had the privilege of working directly with Black community members and stakeholders across Connecticut. The strength of the opportunities available at Yale really persuaded me to think more earnestly about training here. I am so privileged to enjoy these opportunities and believe that the trajectory of my career is well served by being at Yale.
Yale has three outpatient sites for the PGY-3 Year: Connecticut Mental Health Center, Veterans Administration Connecticut Healthcare System, and Yale University Health Services. I was absolutely thrilled to be placed at CMHC, and even more excited to learn that I had been assigned to the substance abuse team at CMHC. I have panel of therapy patients (Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and CBT) and medication management patients (Dual Diagnosis including MAT). My daily schedule includes seeing my patients, attending didactics, and participating in supervision. Here’s a typical day:
8:30 am - 12:00 pm: Outpatient Psychotherapy and Medication Management Appointments
12:00 - 1:00 pm: Didactics (with provided lunch!)
1:00 - 2:00 pm: Research meeting
2:00 - 3:00 pm: Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Supervision
3:00 - 4:30 pm: Outpatient Psychotherapy and Medication Management Appointments
Where I Live
I live in Downtown New Haven. I am within walking distance of Yale New Haven Hospital and the Connecticut Mental Health Center. For the first two years of this program, I did not own a car. I walked to work every day, and when I had a rotation at the VA Hospital in West Haven I took the shuttle. My apartment building is really great and has a doorman, gym, recreational space and parking garage. I’m also in close proximity to all the bars and restaurants.
My Favorite Things to do In/Around New Haven
New Haven is a fun place to live! There are lots of organized public events such as the International Festival of Arts and Ideas every summer. Yale University always has interesting speakers (Michelle Obama!) coming into to town for lectures and workshops. New Haven also has a great restaurant scene and I love trying new restaurants. And finally, New Haven is really close to Boston and New York City. I can easily visit friends from college and medical school in those two cities or have them visit me!
I cannot believe that I did not mention my co-residents until now! My co-residents are a group of talented people with diverse cultural backgrounds and interests, and they are truly some of the most creative and inspiring people that I have met in my lifetime. I am unquestionably happy with my decision to train at Yale, and I hope to maintain the connection with my co-residents far beyond the residency program!