A day in the life of a resident – PGY1
Dr. Paula Tabares (PGY 1)
The first year in psychiatry residency at Harlem Hospital is an adventure. It includes four months rotation in internal medicine and two months in neurology. We are also introduced to the Psychiatry Inpatient unit for 2 months, the Chemical Dependency Unit (Detox) for 1 month and the Comprehensive Psychiatry Emergency Program (CPEP) for 2 months.
The internal medicine rotation is intense, takes place in the inpatient service. It is an amazingly learning experience that gives you confidence for encountering patients on many types of clinical settings. The Neurology rotation has a less demanding schedule. As neurology interns, we also belong to the Stroke Team of the hospital.
The rotation in CPEP is very unique, as we encounter the acutely ill psychiatric patient. The patients can be intimidating since they are decompensated; however attendings and staff are always around, imparting you with their knowledge and experience. After being a part of the CPEP team you gain self confidence to participate in the stabilization of an acute ill psychiatric patient.
Inpatient Unit in Psychiatry is a very demanding rotation but is rewarding. The patients seen are usually chronic and very sick. It is satisfactory to see a good improvement in the acutely ill CPEP patients who get treated in inpatient unit. The attendings are very experienced and thoughtful. They guide us through the process of interacting and managing the patients. The same is true about the staff. During the day, we have several meetings of administrative and clinical nature in which we get a comprehensive knowledge of the social, legal and medical issues of the patients in the unit.
The Detox rotation is very interesting. It is a rapid turnover facility. Patients are in and out constantly. Personally, I found addiction disorders very interesting. Outwardly, they appear to be easy to treat but treatment – implementation is immensely difficult. For this reason, I found very appealing the multi-factorial aetiology of addiction which includes genetic and environmental factors.
Apart from clinical duties we also have didactics during all our rotations. During medicine and neurology we have lectures everyday and we have presentations prepared by us or by our colleagues throughout the rotations.
In psychiatry rotations we have DSM review, Grand Rounds, Journal Club and a full day of didactics in which we have visiting speakers or colleagues presenting specific subjects and lectures at New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University Medical Center.
We always feel the presence and have the support of our chairman, program director and other faculties. They are always guiding us, giving us a good deal of practical knowledge which cannot be found in books.
I already had gone through 4 months of PGY1 and I feel it has been much more time because I had been immersed in an intense program of flourishing learning experience.
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A day in the life of a resident – PGY1
Dr.Paroma Mithra (PGY – 1)
Hi, this is Paroma Mitra and I’m in my 5th month of residency, a newbie in the world of Psychiatry.
Residency is probably amongst the most challenging times in one’s career .It is also one of the most anticipated times, everyone who comes has faced many hurdles and many adversities to be where they are today. I’m in my first year and have enjoyed every moment of it so far and can’t wait to explore more aspects of residency as time goes by.
The entire 1st year team of residents started in Psychiatry in the month of July, spending two weeks in CPEP (Psychiatry Emergency) and two weeks in the Inpatient unit. This was fantastic as we started in our home department, and were started off on residency with basic tools required to carry us through. This was unique as we were made to feel as comfortable as possible to start off on roles that we are expected to carry through for the next few years. We concentrated on integrating ourselves into the family of Psychiatry and learning the nuts and bolts of what is to come further. We also had an opportunity to get to know one another better, as colleagues and friends and family.
First year also comprises of 4 months of Internal Medicine floors and 2 months of Neurology. Medicine floors are very different, starting as early as 6 am and the rounding with a second year medical resident and then the attending. The work is exciting and one learns about what an impact physical health has on mental health and vice versa. The importance of the need of a Psychiatrist on a medical floor and manage medical as well as Psychiatric conditions is seen when one rotates in Medicine. Nonetheless, the floors are a challenging but wonderful experience where one gets to work and interact with medical residents, some of whom become future colleagues and friends for life.
My current rotation is in the night CPEP. This is the rotation where I was coming on my own as a budding Psychiatrist. Right from a classic textbook description of Schizophrenia to acute mania one sees, learns and manages it all. It is a busy rotation but one that teaches you to manage acute Psychiatric Disorders.
The Psychiatric Inpatient rotation is vital, one actually learns about continuity of care and importantly how one can get one’s patient to function in the community as a whole. One gets to interact with a multi-disciplinary team of social workers, psychologists, activity therapists and one learns how an overall approach from all perspectives is vital for a patient’s full recovery. It is quite a humbling experience. With all psychiatry rotations come a day of compulsory didactics in all aspects of Psychiatry, vital to our growth and understanding of Psychiatry both from a biological and a therapeutic point of view.
Vacation (1 month) is a part of every year and all the residents do look forward to a much deserved break as it comes. Last but not the least, New York City!! We never miss an opportunity to make joyful memories at the city that never sleeps. Resident’s dinner and parties knit us together socially.
I’ve been excited, motivated and challenged during different parts of the year so far and I look forward to more as time comes by. The department feels like family at this point of time and my colleagues are my comrades for life.
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A day in the life of a resident – PGY2
Dr.Rizvi (PGY -2)
Hi there! This is Rizvi. PGY-2 Resident.
The second year has three blocks of different rotations. I have six months rotation in the Inpatient unit, three months rotation in Comprehensive Psychiatry Emergency Program and two months rotation in Consultation Liaison Service.
Speciality of our program is a diverse and multicultural patient population, a lifetime chance to gain clinical experience at Comprehensive Psychiatry Emergency Program (CPEP), a unique concept of Psychiatric ER to triage, treat and stabilize plethora of acute psychiatric illness
A typical day in the inpatient units starts at around 0800 am and ends at around 1700, I usually start my day by log on to my work stations, browse through emails to get a sense about any significant occurrences overnight and then patient interview. By 0830 all inpatient residents gather for morning report with chief resident. At 0900 am we have Morning Huddle (multidisciplinary report). Then we meet our patients and carry out the clinical duties with multidisciplinary team.
In CPEP and Inpatient I supervise Interns, Medical Students and Physician Assistant students. It gives me a valuable opportunity to teach and stabilize my theoretical and clinical concepts.
Another great aspect of second year is research. Our program encourages and greatly supports innovative ideas and research. We have protected funding for conferences and to manage various educational expenses. With the available outstanding mentorship, this is the right place if you plan for a career in clinical research.
We, the residents, never miss a chance to celebrate. Be it Christmas, Ramadan or Diwali , we share our joy and fun together. Cultural mix is our pride.
I spend the off duty days with my wife and two yrs old daughter. I enjoy exploring various cuisines of vibrant New York City.
My time here at Harlem Hospital Centre thus far was pleasant and I am convinced that I made the right decision. I feel honoured and fortunate to be amongst such a special group which is the reflection of the vision and commitment of our renowned faculty and program leaders.
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A day in the life of a resident – PGY3
Sonia Raheja (PGY – 3)
Hello, I am Sonia, I am third year psychiatry resident. As one from cosmopolitan New Delhi, I feel at home in New York. My day starts at 6 AM, waking up to a gorgeous view of Hudson River and leisurely enjoying my coffee meanwhile I go through my emails. I live in Jersey City, and it takes me about 45 minutes to get to work.
Third year at Harlem is structured as full year of outpatient clinic with few number of overnight weekend calls and on an average once in a week inpatient short call. I am off duty most weekends, which leaves enough time for me to have a life outside residency!
Now in third year, I have my own office and also have my own patients. I see my patients on a weekly, biweekly or monthly schedule. We have weekly team meetings, meetings with the attending, brief psychotherapy supervision and patient groups. I enjoy tremendously working in the clinic. Working in OPD is very rewarding experience in itself. I enjoy listening to my patients, discussing their issues and watching them get better, get a job, or simply get their life together. Our attending are always happy to help, teach and supervise.
We are assigned two long term and two short term therapy cases. This is one of the most interesting and challenging part of my day. During psychotherapy supervision session I not only understand my patients, but also get to understand myself better through discussion about transference and counter transference.
Thursday is our didactic day. We all meet for psychotherapy class, journal club and various presentations by our attending, and residents and eventually go for a lecture at New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University Medical Centre. New didactic structure ensures residents get enough exposure of not only psycho pharmacological management but also psychotherapy.
Friday we meet for Chief Residents Round, where we discuss all the issues on various units. There is an open and friendly atmosphere that everybody enjoys. Our Chiefs are easily accessible, welcoming suggestions and very concerned that everything runs smoothly in our program.
I get to see a good volume of patients with various pathologies, and it can get very busy but I definitely love the excitement, and I realize how much I learn each day. I make decisions, learn to gather good history and trust my judgment.
It has been quite an exciting period thus far in my training and I look forward to each new day.
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A day in the life of a resident – PGY4
Dr. Agarin (PGY – 4)
My day depends on what rotation I am on. On the inpatient unit, my day starts at 8 am and ends at 5pm. I get to talk with interns and PGY2 residents about overnight issues and oversee the assignment of new patients for the day. We conduct morning report at 8.30 AM prompt, I teach PGY1 and PGY2 residents, and participate in morning rounds. We get to spend most of the day in direct patient care and family conferences.
The fourth year is interesting year. It offers great opportunity for independent skill development in administrative psychiatry. I have done a few months of CPEP rotations where I served as a junior attending and made independent decisions. Fourth year residents at Harlem have ample time for elective rotations. My elective rotations are in Pain Medicine. The attendings, program director and chairman are of a great support and resource in providing the tools I need to succeed in the subspecialty of my choice.
I get home before my wife; cook her dinner on occasion. My evenings are spent working on my research . This residency has prepared me for what lies ahead and I am grateful to my colleagues and attendings for all their support and team work.
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