Starting PGY-2 year at MGH/McLean has been an exciting transition! After a year of mostly medicine and neurology, I am thrilled to be fully situated in the department of psychiatry. I am starting off the year on the “potpourri block” at Mclean, which consists of one month of geriatric psychiatry, one month of child psychiatry, two weeks of night-float, and two weeks of addiction psychiatry. This block is a great opportunity to learn about the full range of patients we see in psychiatry. Even this early on in my rotations this year, I am struck by the devotion of the attending psychiatrists to teaching in addition to their clinical work. This is also a block during which there is some flexibility to work on projects of special interest. I have recently joined the Clinician Educator Program (CEP), and am working with a co-resident to develop a curriculum for psychiatry residents focusing on the structural forces in society that influence the mental health of our patients. Also new this year, I have started seeing outpatients for both psychopharmacology and psychotherapy visits. With the support of multiple outpatient supervisors, I am learning the skills to provide psychiatric care longitudinally. At the same time, taking call at McLean has been an opportunity to learn to care for acutely ill psychiatric patients and respond to psychiatric emergencies.
My interest in psychiatry began early. During college, I studied medical anthropology, and my mentor was a psychiatrist and anthropologist. I conducted field work with commercial sex workers in rural Malawi, and became interested in the psychological experience of diseases such as HIV/AIDs. I pursued a master’s degree in International Development, and did field work in Tanzania with orphaned young people to better understand their conceptions of wellbeing. In medical school at Hopkins, I became interested in healthcare access issues across poor communities in inner city Baltimore. Over the past year at MGH/McLean, I have been delighted to become a part of a interdisciplinary community of residents, faculty, researchers, and health professionals with a focus on challenging inequities in mental health care and promoting social justice.
What drew me to MGH/McLean was primarily the people, both faculty and residents whom I met during the interview process. But that was just a first glimpse of the wonderful friendships and sense of community I have developed in residency. I feel tremendously supported by the program leadership, mentors, and co-residents, and I continue to be struck by the depth of clinical experiences and vast available resources to gain a successful foundation in psychiatry and to pursue my specific interests.