My first 3 months with the MGH/McLean psychiatry program have been incredibly enriching. I had the good fortune to begin my residency journey with rotations in psychiatry and neurology, beginning with the Behavioral Neurology Consults rotation at McLean. This service was a fascinating introduction to neurology in the context of illness, encompassing a vast range of pathology from various types of dementia, to medication-induced Parkinsonism, to other rarer neurological diseases comorbid with mental illnesses. We received training from seasoned renowned experts in cognitive neurology in performing detailed neurocognitive assessments, and had the benefit of ample time to explore our patients in unparalleled depth. Most importantly, we are able to explore the variety of inpatient units and vast expanse of the McLean campus. From there, I moved to general Neurology consults at MGH, a new rotation experience for MGH/McLean residents. This service provided a very well rounded experience with neurology in a tertiary hospital setting,with a range of issues from the "bread-and-butter" management of epilepsy to rarer disorders such as autoimmune complications of novel cancer treatments and paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes. Perhaps most importantly, there was very important overlap with psychiatry, but from the neurological perspective, with a large plurality of cases pertaining to exploring the etiologies and management of Altered Mental Status. Finally, I have spent the last month in the McLean CEC learning how to perform comprehensive psychiatric evaluations for new patients admitted to McLean. This rotation has exposed me to the gamut of primary psychiatric disorders, and acute management and stabilization, as well as introducing essential contextual concepts in the practice of psychiatry, such as insurance coverage, legal and policy issues, and the management of acute agitation.
Three months into residency, I could not be more satisfied that I chose psychiatry and matched at MGH/McLean. I have only just begun, but I continue to be amazed by the breadth and depth of available resources and topics to explore within psychiatry here. The community of faculty and residents at both MGH and McLean has proven to be remarkably warm and supportive, providing valuable and constructive feedback, but also showing interest in the lives of me and my co-residents. Our program directorship has shown a commitment to getting to know us interns personally and professionally, and carefully considering our feedback even at this early stage. As far as my intern class, I could not be more excited to work with such an accomplished group of people with fascinatingly diverse sets of life experiences. I look forward to growing as a physician, psychiatrist, and human together with my cohort, and spending more time together in the PGY-2 year and beyond.
I want to say a little bit about Boston and New England, because in my opinion the place where one does residency is nearly as important as the quality of the program itself. Having lived in Boston for 3 years prior to medical school, and now returning for residency, I can say with great confidence that Boston is a fabulous place to live as a young professional. Between Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and other surrounding suburbs, there is abundant variety in terms of neighborhoods, culture, food, and recreation. Drive a few hours in any direction from Boston and you can find all sorts of amazing outdoor experiences, from beaches to hiking to skiing, and quaint New England towns on the coast and further inland. And then there is New England fall - a season of unmatched beauty and pumpkin themed glory you have to experience yourself. To top it all off, for 5 months of intern year (psychiatry + behavioral neurology) you have guaranteed weekends off to allow the enjoyment of all the richness New England has to offer!
You have made an excellent choice to pursue psychiatry. It is with great pride that I thank you for your interest in the MGH/McLean program and look forward to getting to know some of you during recruitment season and perhaps as a colleague in the years beyond!