A Day in the Life of a Resident


My name is Amit Jagtiani and I am the first year psychiatry resident. In the initial few months of residency I have rotated in psychiatry inpatient, medicine, and CPEP (Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program). My experience so far at Harlem Hospital Center has been amazing. The clinical diversity of patients in Harlem Hospital is the best aspect of residency training here.
A typical day in inpatient psychiatry unit begins at 8 am but I like to come half an hour early. I quickly evaluate my patients for any events overnight and enter brief progress notes in the EMR. At 8.30 am we usually have a short class under the supervision of the chief resident where the residents are expected to present a topic of their interest. At 9 am we go for a huddle where the entire staff of inpatient unit gathers to discuss the high risk patients in the unit. At 10 am the multidisciplinary rounds begin where each resident and nurse practitioner discuss their patients with the multidisciplinary team and a management plan for the day is formulated. After the rounds we work on the scheduled discharges, complete the round orders, assess the newly admitted patients, attend family meetings, and address any issues arising in patient care. We are also expected to attend group therapy sessions that are held thrice a week and case conference that is scheduled every Wednesday. The day usually ends at 5 pm except for one day a week when I would be on short call and will stay in the inpatient unit till 6 pm. On Thursdays we have protected time for didactics from 10 am to 5 pm and we go to Columbia University for interesting lectures. The Internal medicine rotation has similar schedule except that a typical day starts at 7 am and ends at 5 pm except on one or two days a week when we would be on long call which ends at 8 pm. For one week every month of the medicine rotation we rotate in the outpatient clinics.
The CPEP is a fast paced unit where we start the day at 8 am with a sign-out from the night team. From 8.30 am onwards we start re-evaluating the patients in the CPEP to decide whether we need to observe them further in the CPEP or to admit them in the inpatient unit or discharge them. By 1 pm we are usually done with the re-evaluations and dispositions. Then we start evaluating the new patients. The CPEP day shift is from 8 am to 8pm and the night shift is from 8 pm to 8 am the next day. The weekends are off in the CPEP rotation.
Some of the positives of residency program at Harlem Hospital Center are excellent clinical exposure, adequate supervision and excellent didactics. There is three tiered clinical supervision in all the units comprising of the second year resident, the senior resident and the attending. The residents are very helping and the attendings are easily approachable. Overall, I believe that Harlem Hospital Center is an excellent place to be trained as a psychiatrist.