Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Degree: B.S. in Forensic Science
Program: Honors, PRISM
Mentor: Dr. Artem V. Domashevskiy, Dr. Nathan Lents, Dr. Edgardo Sanabria-Valentín
Medical School: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency in Psychiatry: Stony Brook University Hospital
What was life like before John Jay?
Growing up, I went to Yeshiva schools where there wasn’t much in the way of diversity. While in high school, I came across John Jay professors who were experts in their field. They talked about their work analyzing forensic evidence, trying to comprehend the minds of system-impacted individuals, and the intricacies of working as a medical examiner. Hearing about their research piqued my interest in forensic pathology and led me to John Jay.
Were there any specific people at John Jay who helped put you on the path to success?
I had great mentors in Dr. Artem V. Domashevskiy, Dr. Nathan Lents, and Dr. Edgardo Sanabria-Valentín, who all played pivotal roles during my time at the College. It was evident that they all cared about their students’ futures. I worked with my mentor, Dr. Domashevskiy, on his pokeweed antiviral protein research. Through my work with him, I gained valuable real-world research experience, critical thinking skills, and confidence in my abilities as a scientist.
Dr. Lents was a fantastic educator. The way he explained biology was fun and clear. As a student, you could see his passion for the subject, which was contagious. Being in the classroom with a professor like that motivated me to study science. Since graduating from John Jay, I have published several clinical psychology papers. My thought process for producing these papers stems from being in the classroom with Dr. Domashevskiy and Dr. Lents.
During my junior year, Dr. Ed really paved the pre-med route for me. He saw my potential and was such an incredible support system—helping me put my application for med school together, and supporting me through my MCATs. It’s because of his encouragement that I am where I am today.
What John Jay programs and experiences helped shape your career?
Coming to John Jay was like a breath of fresh air. The community was diverse and welcoming; everyone had their unique story. When I became a math and science tutor in the SEEK program, I learned about the College’s rich diversity on a personal level. Working one-on-one with students from different backgrounds was eye-opening. It made me more aware and sensitive to the experiences of others, which helps me today as a psychiatrist. I incorporate my patient’s cultural background into my assessment before diagnosis because what may be abnormal in one culture may be completely normal in another. Seeing and understanding the cultural framework of a patient’s upbringing helps me better diagnose and treat them.
What is your mission at PsychiaTreat?
I’m the co-founder, chief medical officer, and psychiatrist at PsychiaTreat. We opened the practice in July 2023, the Monday after I graduated from the residency program at Stony Brook University Hospital, with the goal of creating a comprehensive mental health organization that offers greater accessibility to mental health services for any person who is struggling.
The current state of mental health care services is challenging and inaccessible for many people. It’s tough for patients to get therapy appointments. There are long waiting lists, limited resources, and unaffordable prices and copays that insurance won’t cover. In many cases, a psychiatrist’s hands are tied because there are so many hoops to jump through. At PsychiaTreat, the goal is to improve accessibility by increasing the number of patients we treat, both in person and via telehealth, while also staying at the forefront of cutting-edge treatment options. My dream is to be able to give everyone access to mental health support because we all deserve to feel our best.