(See bottom for Cliff notes)- This got out of hand fast, didnt realize i had so much to say. Im currently a sophmore Chemical Engineer but recently I have been strongly considering pre-med mostly due to an interest in pyschiatry. To be honest I don't know much about the field besides learning about some conditions in my cognitive science class but I thought I might lay out some of the reasons im interested and areas I find fascinating and you all can let me know if these are valid reasons to consider psychiatry. 1) Im really interested in the "common" psychiatric disorders- ADHD, depression, anxiety. To me it seems like there are tons of people who could otherwise be leading very happy/productive lives who are held back by these disorders but with proper diagnosis and treatment (im most interested in pharmacological treatments (more on that later)). I feel it would be very fulfilling to me to help people overcome these obstacles. B) Alot of this interest is the result of seeing good friends and family's experiences. i) Freshman year my girlfriend (who Im still dating) went through severe depression/anxiety/insomnia for about six months (i dont know what caused what or what the "official" terms are for this stuff). It was a very draining emotional experience on me (hearing someone you care very much for say they wish they weren't alive isn't an easy thing hear). After that episode I basically forced her to go see a psychiatrist and then she began a 6 month long journey of blood tests, trying like 5 different medicines, etc. She often talked about how she felt "crazy" or "weak for having to take a medicine to deal with my problems" but I eventually convinced her that it was no different than the fact that I have to wear classes to see or take asthma medicine to breath properly- nobody has a perfect body, it just so happens that my lungs were bad and her brain chemistry wasnt great. Now she is stable on medicine and is loving life and making all A's (she wants to go to PA school). She still hates the idea of having to be on medicine and is working with the psychiatrist to try coming off of it gradually over summer. ii) When he was in elementry school my brother was always a very bad student and would constantly get in trouble for disrupting class, etc. He was definately on the path of the type who would drop out of highschool once the law stopped forcing them to go. He then got diagnosed with ADHD and after a ton of trial and error on medicines hit the right one and now he is making straight A's and enjoying highschool. Seeing people go through this experience motivates me to look into psychiatry for a couple reasons. 1) I would love the oppurtonity/challenge to help people in these sort of situations. 2) It seemed like these disorders are not chemically well understood or else they wouldn't have had to go through all the trial and error to get a medicine that their symptoms responded to. To an outside observer this seems to demonstrate there is much progress to be made in understanding how people respond to these medicines. So from an academic or research standpoint it seems like there is so much to understand and that my chemical engineering skillset could be put to use in the development of more effective or more predictable pharmacological treatments. 3) As the brain/mind becomes more understood chemically I feel that psychiatry could be a very exciting field with big breakthroughs in the next 40-50 years. 4) If my girlfriend's psychiatrist could have just reassured her that she wasn't some freak or weak and was just dealing like an illness/disorder just like any of the 1000s of things humans can have wrong with them then she probaly would have gone through much less emotional pain. I feel like seeing her experience would be a very powerful motivator for me.