Ellika Bartlett McGuire ’99

Child Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst, Clinical Instructor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

What advice would you give to a girl graduating from Williston today?   

Pay attention to your passions. What books do you pick up in your free time? What questions do you ask when there is no quiz or test to study for? Which of the world’s problems keep you up at night? If you can combine your passions with a sense of purpose, with a way to impact the lives of others for the better, then your career will be meaningful and exciting.

What do you think is next for women in your professional field?

In October 2021, the country’s leading child health organizations declared a national state of emergency for child mental health. The pandemic accelerated the already worsening mental health of our nation’s children and adolescents and we are taking notice. We have had to shift to seeing patients online, to shift plans and protocols over and over. While this has been challenging it has also provided new tools to reach the most vulnerable patients and more opportunities for innovation and collaboration in our field. Women make up a slight majority in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry, and we have the opportunity to continue to lead the way in this current climate of accelerated innovation and critical advocacy for the prioritization of child and adolescent mental healthcare in our nation.

What motivates you in your work and life?

I am motivated by the knowledge that when we nurture our relationships and listen deeply to one another, individuals and families can heal. I am motivated by my patients, by my family, and by my colleagues, by passionate people who work daily to help those who are suffering regain agency over their lives, going on to improve the lives of others.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

High self-esteem is achieved via tangible building blocks, through the decisions you make, the actions you take. Life is a whole lot more enjoyable when you focus more on what matters to you, and less on proving your worth to others.