Jessica Becker

As I begin my PGY-3 year, I have had the opportunity to reflect on the whirlwind of clinical experiences I undertook during PGY-2 year and the growth I made as a psychiatrist over the course of the year. PGY-2 year is chock-full of learning, with experiences as the primary patient caretaker on various inpatient services, in the emergency room, and in the residential and outpatient setting. By working with different populations of patients – adolescents, geriatric patients, patients with chronic psychotic disorders, and patients in acute psychiatric crisis, to name a few – I built confidence in my clinical skills and had my eyes further opened to the wide range of roles psychiatrists can play. As a PGY-2, we also worked at both campuses, McLean and MGH. This mix of hospital settings–a freestanding psychiatric hospital and a bustling general hospital–is part of what drew me to this residency program. Working between these two settings has been a tremendous opportunity that has allowed me to learn from many great minds and to develop comfort in my psychiatric skills no matter which sort of setting I end up in after training.

Now that I’m a PGY-3, I spend the majority of my week in the MGH adult outpatient clinic. My clinic has grown significantly since PGY-2 year began, and I have the opportunity to work with patients across the spectrum of psychiatric illness and psychosocial functioning. As a PGY-3, I also have the opportunity to work with additional psychotherapy patients and to explore new modalities of psychotherapy, with no shortage of supervisors in psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral therapies. Psychopharmacologic supervision occurs both in real-time and longitudinally with a caseload supervisor biweekly. Later this year, I will spend four months on the inpatient psychiatry consult/liaison service. Given my interest in co-occurring medical and psychiatric illness, I’m looking forward to those months!

As a member of our integrated Child and Adolescent Psychiatry track, I was fortunate to spend the bulk of my intern year in Pediatrics, which was particularly formative, as I am interested in addressing the psychiatric burden in children with chronic medical illness through my clinical work and research. As a PGY-2, I was able to revisit and confirm my love for child and adolescent psychiatry through my month-long rotation at the dual-diagnosis adolescent residential program at McLean and by caring for children and adolescents coming through the emergency room at MGH. Now as a PGY-3, I have continued to delve into my interest in child and adolescent psychiatry by caring for several transitional age youth patients in my general outpatient clinic. As an MGH clinic resident, I also spend one morning every other week seeing child or transitional age youth intakes at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children with child and adolescent psychiatry supervisors.

In addition to these vast clinical experiences, I have also had the opportunity to develop the other aspects of my academic life further during my time in residency thus far. I have been able to teach interns and medical students on the inpatient services, attend didactics and workshops on teaching through the Clinician Educator Program, and spend time building my research through dedicated research blocks as part of the Research Concentration Program (RCP). The latter opportunity has allowed me to further explore my interest in co-morbid medical and psychiatric illness among youth. Over the last year, I have devised and begun data collection on projects examining long-term psychiatric outcomes among youth with infectious illnesses and with head trauma in a 75-year longitudinal study. As a PGY-3 in the RCP, I have a protected research day for the first two-thirds of the year, which already in just a few weeks has allowed me to work more actively on my research.

While I’m originally from Boston, I have been rediscovering my city since making my homecoming after medical school. In my time outside of patient care and research, I have been getting my dancing shoes on, trying out the variety of new restaurants, visiting the museums and historical sites around the area, hiking, and (my favorite!) spending time at the beaches on the Cape, Islands, and North Shore. I am fortunate to be journeying through residency with a dynamic group of colleagues, and I am eager to see where my experiences at MGH/McLean will take me in the upcoming years as both an adult psychiatry resident and child and adolescent psychiatry fellow!


Yale University School of Medicine, M.D., 2015

Harvard University, B.A., 2009