As I complete the transition to PGY3 year, I am gaining a greater sense of independence as a psychiatrist. I have a panel of outpatients who turn to me for therapy and to manage their medications. I am also starting the year with a four-month rotation on the Consult-Liaison Psychiatry service at MGH. As a consultant, I am tasked with learning and understanding the complex intersection between psychiatric and other medical diseases. While doing so, I have also had the opportunity to take stock of how much I have learned about psychiatry through residency thus far, as I am working to support non-psychiatrists in the hospital through the care of patients with psychiatric needs. After grounding myself in the department of psychiatry during my inpatient and emergency room psychiatry rotations in second year, I now have the chance to be the face of psychiatry throughout the larger hospital. This is not a small responsibility, and the prior two years have prepared me well!
Outside of my rotations, I am developing an interest in community psychiatry and forensic psychiatry. I help to coordinate asylum evaluations through the MGH Asylum Clinic, a joint effort between the Department of Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry to provide medical and psychiatric evaluations for people seeking asylum. I am also a member of the Clinician Educator Program (CEP), where I 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.
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 Johns 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 an 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.