Hello, I am Dr. Oscar Sandoval,
I believe, you have to have the determination to perform the specialty of your choosing that you love, not everybody can be a surgeon, or a psychiatrist and vice versa. In my case, I think that I developed the heart for psychiatry since an early age and I like to share my story with you:
As a child, at age seven, I was my mother’s emotional support, she always trusted and confided in me her personal problems; I was the person she would talk to, even though at that age I had no clue about life to give her an opinion. However, my role was only to be open minded, and willing to listen to everything she had to say. She would always tell me “I just want you to listen that’s all, I need someone that I can trust to talk to, and do not go telling anybody my business.” That is how I learned to listen, not judging, and keeping the information given to me confidential. On hindsight, at age seven, my mother was teaching me, the same rules that I would learn in an academic setting twenty years later.
When I became a teenager, most of my friends would tell me their problems, because they found that it was easy to talk to me, and that I would not share their confidences with other friends. I was trained to listen, and most times people do not need me to solve their problems, they just need to verbalize them and my role is to serve as a mirror reflecting their problems, so they can see them from another perspective, obtaining the clarity to solve their own problem.
Since I was a child I always wanted to be a doctor, there was no other option in my mind, so after medical school at the Pontificia Javeriana University in Colombia I migrated to the United States and took the boards to validate my diploma; I started my internship at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio in the General Surgery Department. Then I completed my 4th year of urology at the College of Toledo, in Toledo, Ohio.
In the analysis of my studies, I did the Urology Specialty more to please my father, who was a well-known Urologist in Miami, Florida, and I always looked up to him, as he was a great role model, but my heart, since age seven was imprinted to become a psychiatrist. However, the Urology specialty opened up my eyes to the multiple medical problems in sexual dysfunction and this led me to continue my educational training in the area of sexual dysfunction where I did two years at the Payne Whitney Clinic at Cornell University New York under the direction of Dr. Hellen Kaplan; thereafter, I completed my Psychiatric training at the Robert Wood Johnson South Campus in New Jersey, under the guidance of Dr. Peter Weiss, I develop my interest in Forensic Criminal Psychiatry. After my residency in psychiatry, I became a staff and then Director of the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital for sex offenders in the State of New Jersey. Then I was appointed Director of the Hudson County Correctional Facility and Hudson County Juvenile Detention Center, Psychiatry Department, as well as Consultant for the Hudson County Superior Court. During my private practice, I have held contracts for psychiatric evaluations of police officers of five different districts and Child Study Team Evaluations for five different districts in New Jersey. I have been a consultant for family court evaluations for the Bergen County Superior Court, and Bergen County Juvenile Detention Center; as well as for the Division of Youth and Family Services in New Jersey. I have been Psychiatry Director for the Drug Rehabilitation Program in Paterson, New Jersey. I have been accepted as an expert in the field of Psychiatry by the Supreme Courts in the State of New York, and the Superior Courts in the State of New Jersey.
My goal as a psychiatrist has always been to help the patient maintain their emotional stability, to be able to work, be social, be productive and proud of who they are.
One main factor in generalized terms is education, the community need to be educated in psychiatric illnesses because throughout history it has always been a taboo, where most people tend to walk away, instead of offering sympathy and help, when someone has been diagnosed with cancer, a chronic illness, or any other illness the community has an understanding of the course of the disease.
Psychiatric illnesses are brought about either by genes, and/or the environment. The concept of family is very important in preventing psychiatric disorders, members of a close family obviously has less chances of having psychiatric disorders than members of a dysfunctional family or someone with no family. Family does not necessarily have to be blood related, but the concept of a well-structured family, is a great support system to prevent some psychiatric disorders.
Some psychiatric disorders are genetic, and it does not matter how well a structured family you have, you can still develop a psychiatric disorder, genetic disorders influence more the illnesses such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), Schizophrenia paranoid type, disorganized, and catatonic; mood disorders such as bipolar and major depression to name a few. With Autism although no gene has been defined, studies seem to indicate that there may be a genetic component.
Environmental factors tend to influence more psychiatric illnesses such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, panic attacks, generalized anxiety, depression, insomnia, eating disorder, phobias, alcohol or drug addiction, and of course psychiatric illnesses brought about by medical illnesses such as strokes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s dementia, AIDS Dementia, epilepsy, Lewy Body Dementia.
My team and our staff’s goals at www.healthymindnow.com is to provide up to date educational information on mental health, that you will obtain from a trustworthy source with over 40 years of experience in the field, to educate families, reducing the stress in a household with someone with a psychiatric illness, which could possibly be unknown to the family, and which affects everyone; we want to provide knowledge to help you take action in helping yourself, a family member or a friend in making educated decisions regarding mental health and illness.
Another component of www.healthymindnow.com is to provide psychiatric medications through telepsychiatry by prescribing to those patients that have been diagnosed with a mental illness and are in need of their psychiatric medications because they are out of state, their doctor is not available or they lack medical insurance.