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Carly Carlin, M.D. ‘22, Prepares to Help Those Suffering from Addiction and Other Mental Health Issues

Dr. Carlin Plans to Become an Addiction Psychiatrist to Fight Back Against Increasing Opioid Addictions

June 06, 2022
Carly Carlin, M.D. ’22
  1. What inspired you to pursue your degree?

I never really thought I would end up in medicine. I was more interested in public health and policy and international development in college. As I began talking to a lot of people with my interests, I found that they were all going to medical school since they felt like that would allow them to have the biggest impact and control over their lives. I was really attracted to the face-to-face interaction aspect of medicine since I felt too removed from people when I worked in policy or research. Over my third and fourth year, I narrowed that focus and love of people to eventually pursue a career in psychiatry.

  1. What has helped motivate you along your educational journey? Have you encountered any challenges along the way? 

I think all my peers at NYMC motivated me the most in times of stress. We were unique because we all went through the struggles of COVID-19 together and are still going through that as early trainees/residents. It’s nice to be on the upside of things and be able to gather in groups again, but I think we are all changed from this. There is a collective shared experience of being in this field during a pandemic, and a shared obligation we have to the patients we will serve in the future whose lives have been affected by the pandemic. I think learning how to see myself as a patient sometimes and be kinder to myself was a valuable lesson during my medical school experience. 

  1. Where do you draw inspiration from for your artwork? When did you first become involved with art? 

My mom had a big influence on my interest in art from a young age. We spent most Sundays of my childhood at various art museums or working on fun arts and crafts projects at home. Anytime we saw something we liked, my mom’s mentality was, “you could make that!” So that led to a lot of experimentation with different art supplies in my spare time, and even throughout medical school. I also was fortunate to spend time in the ceramic studio in college, which helped solidify my love of sculpture and getting my hands messy. 

I would say most inspiration for my art comes from looking at other art that I see on Pinterest or just in cute shops or restaurants. I also am influenced a lot by natural settings and love anything to do with mountains right now, probably because it reminds me of snowboarding. 

  1. What are your plans after residency? 

As of right now, I’d really like to work in addiction psychiatry in some way, especially with the long-term effects of the opioid crisis taking a toll all over the country. I really loved my addiction medicine elective at MidHudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical Center during my final year in the SOM and could totally see myself working in a detox/rehabilitation setting for marginalized patients. I’d also love to keep up with my global health interests by doing some work with asylum clinics for refugees. 

  1. What made you choose NYMC? 

The people for sure. I have a very close family friend, Jessica Sitko, M.D. ’21. She had such a good experience with her classmates here that she convinced me to come and live with her and her friends in Grasslands during my first year. This group became some of my best friends to this day, along with so many other amazing people I’ve met at NYMC.

  1. What was your favorite aspect of being an NYMC student? 

I just think NYMC attracts really passionate and compassionate people to our student body. Everyone I worked with has been so collaborative, supportive, and celebratory of our many talents and interests. Not once did I feel like I was part of the stereotypical cutthroat environment you hear about at other medical schools. I think NYMC really prioritizes wellness, work-life balance and just having fun at the end of the day.

  1. What advice would you give applicants or incoming students?

Be yourself. NYMC loves authenticity and people who care about things. I’d also say work hard, but don't take yourself too seriously either. It all works out.

  1. Outside of medicine, what are your hobbies or interests? 

I love to dance, snowboard, and take naps outside—or anywhere really—and travel.

  1. What is a fun fact about you? 

During my undergraduate studies, I was part of an incredible study abroad experience where I got to study global health systems in India, China, and South Africa. Seeing so many cultures, healthcare models and populations struggling in today's world definitely planted the seed for me to pursue medicine.