Day in the life of a PGY-1
Currently, I am rotating in emergency psychiatry in our Crisis Response Center (CRC). My typical day starts at 6:30am to the sound of my alarm. After getting ready, I go about my morning commute from Center City to the hospital, which is convenient by subway. At 8am in the CRC, our attending, an upper year resident, medical students and I receive sign out from the night float team. The rest of the day consists of evaluating a variety of new patients, which range from those presenting with psychiatric to substance use issues. I also re-assess those placed in 23 hour observation status and address any “STAT 13s” (the psychiatric rapid response). The day is filled with engaging discussions with my attending and upper year as we consider important points from each case and decide on the treatment plan and disposition for the patients I see. The environment is fast-paced, but I still find that I am learning from many complex and challenging cases. I especially appreciate the balance between autonomy and supervision. As I make important clinical decisions, I still feel supported during my thought process. The work day finishes after sign out at 5pm. When I get home, I try and go to the yoga studio in my building; otherwise I enjoy my time by eating dinner and relaxing with some Netflix. On Wednesdays, all of the residents have didactics, which vary depending on each year. In the afternoon, the intern class gets together for T-group, which is a time for us to bond and chat about anything we like.
-Written by Becky Wu, MD
Day in the life of a PGY-2
Life as a second year resident is a surprisingly smooth transition. Looking back on the trepidation of starting intern year, the reassurance felt during the start of this year is a delight. No longer do we feel challenged while taking our place as “doctors.” The myriad of experiences through an intense intern year prepared us more than we could expect. Our new challenge is facing and accepting our roles as leaders. During our second year, we take on the role of CRC leader while on call. While on my first call "in charge," I can remember the pressure of ultimately being responsible for patient care. Despite that pressure, I embraced the task because I knew I was well prepared. One of the most important duties of this role is in teaching and guiding the new intern class. A highlight of this program is the support we receive as residents from every residency class. In addition to the challenges of becoming a leader in the program, second year is an exciting to time to explore your personal interests within psychiatry. With electives in various subspecialty electives in psychiatry, as well as, several subspecialty tracks to choose from, this year allows you to delve further into subjects that interest you most. These leadership and educational experiences are rounded out by an incredibly supportive faculty who always promote work-life balance. In our time away from service, call, and academic pursuits, we enjoy spending time together sharing various social and life experiences.
-Written by Datrell Ward, MD
Day in the life of a PGY-3
The third year of your psychiatry residency at Temple is distinct when compared to your first two years. While every year of my training has increased my level of appreciation for this field, this year has genuinely superseded my expectations in terms of professional growth. The year begins with a swift transition from rotations supervised by attendings to a more autonomous level of care on an outpatient basis. This is accomplished through learned psychotherapies and medication management. The outpatient department is made up of wonderful staff and accessible supervisors who will aide you as you continue developing your knowledge and skill. Each resident is given a caseload of patients. The development of tailored treatment plans for your patients is taught through weekly lectures and multiple supervisors. Your Wednesday didactics are still part of weekly training, however, the program provides extra protected time where you discuss cases and learn new therapies. This year also provides the opportunity to regularly work alongside your classmates. There will be days were you need an extra push to get through a caseload, a colleague to sit while writing notes or just a friend to talk to about an amazing day you had. This collegial experience is necessary in our field, and I have personally found the consultation and advice shared in this experience invaluable. Through your work as a third year resident, you’ll find that every patient is unique. Every patient’s experience of their own symptoms can differ significantly, even if the diagnosis is the same. Aside from the immense knowledge that’s available through lectures, psychoanalytic courses, case conferences, collegial support and knowledgeable attendings, the most important lesson that I’ve learned this year has been that every moment in outpatient is a learning experience.
-Written by Sabeen Haque, MD
Day in the life of a PGY-4
Fourth year of psychiatry training is spent honing and refining your skills as a psychiatrist. You have a lot of freedom to create your own schedule. There are nine months of electives and three months of administrative rotations. The latter is a chance to act as a junior attending in numerous settings: outpatient, inpatient, consult-liaison and emergency psychiatry. I am also spending this time becoming more proficient in ECT, as well as, finishing my Suboxone training. The support we as residents have from our program director is immense. We are encouraged to explore what interests us throughout residency, especially during our fourth year.
I live a few miles from most of my rotations and tend to bike to work. Currently, I start work at 8am at a partial hospitalization program for children. These are children who do not warrant an inpatient stay, but do require a more structured environment in order to function. It is challenging to create an individualized treatment plan for each child and also coordinate care with parents and teachers, but I value my experience, and it is ultimately fulfilling to be involved in their care. In addition to rotations, I carry five long-term patients from my third year outpatient time that I see weekly or biweekly for psychodynamic psychotherapy. It is rare to stay past 5pm, so I have time to pick up my daughter from daycare and cook dinner for my family. We also have the option of in-house moonlighting, which pays well and helps financially along with providing a more autonomous experience.
I feel very satisfied with my program. Although the work is challenging, it is definitely rewarding. I have a large amount of autonomy to help prepare me for my future career outside of residency. More importantly, there is also enough time left over for family and extra moonlighting if I desire. I am fortunate to be at Temple!
-Written by Ian Peters, DO