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Eliseo J. Barajas, MD, Physician Resident – Training in Psychiatry

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What is your current title and role?

I’m a psychiatry resident physician in San Bernardino County.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Patterson–a small town in California’s Central Valley.

Tell us about your professional (medical, nursing, allied health, etc.) school?

I received my medical degree (M.D.)  at University of Illinois College of Medicine is one of the largest medical schools in the country and one of the highest producers of Hispanic and African American doctors in the United States.

Tell us about struggles and challenges in achieving your goal and how you overcame?

As the first person in my immediate and extended family to pursue medicine, there were a lot of unknowns on how to get into the field and do well in it. Finding mentors was key to help me achieve my goal.

Please share with us about your family and your support group?

My parents are agricultural workers in the Central Valley. While they didn’t have a higher education, they instilled in me and my siblings a strong work ethic, a sense of service and a commitment to family. We’re always there for each other in the good and bad times.

Please share a memorable experience from your training that has stayed with you till today.

While in medical school I had frequent follow-ups with a patient with really bad depression. She ultimately got better, and on my last day of the rotation she gave me a very thoughtful thank you card.

Please share a memorable teaching moment.

Seeing a patient with antipsychotic withdrawal dyskinesia improve after reintroduction of antipsychotics.

Please share a highlight from your practice/current role.

 A memorable highlight is building therapeutic alliances with patients. Seeing Spanish-speaking monolingual patients light up when they realize that their psychiatrist speaks Spanish.

What do you like and dislike the most about working in healthcare?

Likes: building longitudinal relationships with patients, seeing patients get better, applying new learned skills.

Dislikes: Superfluous paperwork.

What are three things that you are grateful for?

My family, health, and good friends

What excites you outside medicine?

I love trying new restaurants, hiking, traveling.

What advice do you have for students interested in healthcare?

Get shadowing experience to make sure healthcare is really what you want to get into. If you decide to pursue healthcare find mentors in your field of interest..

What do you think the student of today needs to be successful in matriculating and graduating from professional school (medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy)?

Mentorship. Prioritizing what’s going to help them achieve their long-term goals.

How would you advise or guide students to develop leadership skills, community outreach experience, research opportunities and clinical shadowing?

Try to involve yourself in those roles in areas of interest or exciting to you.

How can we support and guide students to achieve good grades and be successful in standardized exams?

Find their learning style and cater to that. Provide them with resources to study and do well. Connect them to the enrichment programs. Offer mentorship.