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Women in Medicine: Danielle Esses, MS

During September, we proudly feature trainees in our department for Women in Medicine Month!

Why did you pursue a career in medicine?

Since I was young, I was deeply intrigued by human behavior and personality - why individuals do what they do and how they become who they are. Clinical psychology allows me to both study these questions and, very importantly, assist in the relief of human suffering along the way.

What is your work focused on?

I am primarily interested in trauma and trauma-related disorders, such as PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and substance use disorders. My current clinical work is at Mount Sinai's World Trade Center Mental Health Program, where I provide psychotherapy to individuals who participated in rescue and recovery efforts following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I am also interested in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). My dissertation, "Emotional Acceptance and Change in DBT: Does Order Matter?" examines the sequential nature of acceptance- and change-based emotion regulation strategies in DBT treatment, and how they unfold and influence each other.

What is the most fulfilling part of your work?

I gravitate towards treating complex clinical presentations and disorders that tend to carry stigma, such as BPD and substance use disorders. I find fulfillment in embarking on a therapeutic journey with individuals with these disorders, in which I help them discover their own resilience and reclaim their narrative.

What advice would you give others who are considering embarking on a career in medicine?

Be gentle with yourself and take care of yourself too along the way.

Danielle Esses, MS

Women in Medicine

We asked some of the #StanfordWIM in our department to share their stories - why they pursued a career in medicine, what their work focuses on, what the most fulfilling parts of their work are, and what advice they would give others starting in the field. Hear what they have to say!