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Why I Chose Yale

My Background

My name is Gabriel Cartagena. I was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, of Puerto Rican heritage. I am currently a Clinical Health Psychology Resident at VA Connecticut Healthcare System and Yale Department of Psychiatry, and I was a previous clinical fellow of Behavioral Medicine at the Yale Clinical and Community Psychology Internship. I earned my doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology from the University of Florida.

Why I Chose Yale

When applying and interviewing, Yale felt like a place where I could truly be myself. Not only are the faculty and staff welcoming, warm, and supportive, but I got the sense that they were truly invested in my growth and training.

My Professional Activities

I’ve been at Yale for a little over a year now. I provide inpatient and outpatient psychotherapy for Veterans diagnosed with cancer, as well as serve as an outpatient psychotherapy in primary care, women’s health, and polytrauma settings. I also conduct community-based participatory research focused on the relationships between intimate partner violence and cancer for marginalized groups.

My Favorite Things to do in/around New Haven

New Haven is rich with things to do and see. Now that the community is as vibrant as ever, I love going to music events, eating foods from different cultures, and the nature that surrounds the city, such as kayaking or going for morning runs up East Rock.

Final Thoughts

At Yale, there are no wrong answers. The focus is on the journey and giving everyone the freedom to think critically. When you’re in an environment that nurtures you, you’re more likely to feel confident about yourself and your knowledge; this in turn impacts how we show up for our patients. Compassion and nurturing are healing, and Yale has a training environment that is completely committed to compassion and openness.