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Meet Noah Rodriguez, CUNY Medical Student and SHARE Learner

Silver Hill Hospital

As the holidays approach, Silver Hill Hospital says farewell to our final CUNY medical student of the season, Noah Rodriguez. A thoughtful and introspective type, Noah has spent time on campus, primarily with the Neuropsychiatric group, absorbing and observing our work in group psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic modalities, with the goal and intent to apply it in future.

“Noah has been an enthusiastic student and has taken advantage of opportunities to experience a range of services in addition to the Neuropsychiatric Program,” says Donna Anthony, MD, PhD, Director of the Neuropsychiatric Program. “He has made good contributions to patient care and demonstrated an interest in group therapy. Noah will be an excellent psychiatrist.” 

Meet Noah Rodriguez

When did you decide to go to medical school?

When I was 8, my parents bought me this children’s anatomy atlas. It was full of
these 3D, beefy-red, touch-and-feel diagrams of organs, and I thought it was the
coolest thing. But what made it meaningful to me was when my parents told me
this kind of exploration could be used to help people, which I always loved doing.
So, I had the idea in my head back then. But while moving along the path, I have
found so many other reasons to be passionate about medicine, like
understanding and assisting people with the most intimate problems of their lives,
and joining a community responsible for educating others. (I think it’s deeply
appropriate that the etymology of “doctor” is “teacher.”)

When/how did you decide that you wanted to be a psychiatrist?

The CUNY School of Medicine has a holistic approach to patient care in its
philosophy, focusing on the social determinants of health and the biopsychosocial
model. I agree with these concepts, and I think you can drastically increase the
odds of wellness by working at individual and community levels, while attending
to the many facets of understanding at each level. Of all the specialties, I feel that
psychiatry is the most advanced in the terms of holistic practice and
understanding the big picture when it comes to healing at the individual and
community levels, but it also appeals to my interest in others’ subjective
experiences and stories. By committing to this specialty, I hope that I can form
strong professional alliances with people who share these values and passions,
and that we can make some ambitious changes together.

How have you been spending your time at Silver Hill Hospital? Do you have any
particular insights or initial reactions to the work you are doing?

When I first came to Silver Hill Hospital, I was overwhelmed by the sheer range
of care that is available to patients here. This is a truly comprehensive institution
that provides patients some of the most specific and thoughtful care for their
varying ailments. However, when wondering what would be most valuable and
least accessible elsewhere, based on my past psychiatric rotations, I elected to observe and
study as much as I could about group psychotherapy and various
psychotherapeutic modalities. I feel that these interventions are essential not just
for meeting therapeutic goals or having cost-effective practice (group
psychotherapy vs. individual psychotherapy), but also for fully
understanding what people give and take just from interacting with each other. In
other words, I feel this type of thoughtfulness and application of theory is
essential for being an interpersonally adept physician, and I anticipate that all I
have learned and all the guidance I have received for further learning after I
depart, will allow me to better reach people and speak their language.

What are your plans after you finish up at Silver Hill Hospital?

Currently I am in the middle of the residency application season, so I will likely
take some time to recenter to who I am currently and who I want to be in the
future when it comes to my goals and past experiences. I think doing that work is
important for how I’ll present myself during interviews, but also is important work
to do regardless. I am about to go through a huge transition just by graduating
from medical school in the next year, and making sure I keep sight of my goals
and values is really important. Beyond that, I will continue to read from the many
resources I was referred to while here, and I will also simply be spending time
with my family and loved ones while waiting to see what my future will hold.

What do you do in you free time – such as it is?

Even if it’s a simple meal, practicing and studying how to feed myself and others
by cooking is useful, fun, and meaningful. Beyond that, I enjoy singing, especially
if it has been a good day. I’ve also kept a journal since starting college, and try to
write in it at least every other day (it is strange reading back on where I was a
year ago, let alone 7). I also enjoy watching video essays analyzing shows that I
watch, especially when they are produced by clinical therapists, because it
deepens my experience of those stories and gives me more clinical insight at the same time.