Chase Anderson

How good it is to be back in the fold of the psychiatry family.

My times on Medicine and Neurology were well spent. There was the chance to meet so many wonderful people and patients, people who were trying to change their lives, who were going through the hardest period of their lives, and the privilege of being there with them during those times was a gift. When you kneel beside the bedside of someone who was recently diagnosed with decompensated liver cirrhosis, hold their hand in that moment, that’s a bond I won’t soon forget.

That you are seen as valuable on the ICU team because you not only have ICU knowledge—gleaned from Uptodate, co-residents, attendings, nursing—but also the added backing of psychiatric knowledge, makes one appreciate the role we can, and do, play on other teams during Intern Year.

It’s also good to be home amongst psychiatry.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget times in the CEC—our admissions unit for McLean—working alongside nursing staff, laughing with them, having the chance to learn from them and various attendings. There’s this sense of absolute joy that causes one to smile when you walk outside in the woods of McLean with a bunch of adolescents and you’re giggling along with them, shooting the breeze.

I cannot state how enamored I am with being a psychiatrist. There are stories that shock, awe, induce empathy, produce a wide array of emotions, and that we are allowed to be there for those stories to be shared, that we can see someone improve and begin to control their own narrative, is an experience I’ll never forget.

I’ll be honest: not all of residency is perfect. Anyone who tells you that would be lying. In any program, difficulties arise. Personally, issues surrounding race in the hospital, in the gay community, in Boston, have occurred. What is important, though, what I have valued most, is how our program has begun to handle such issues. How I have had the continued support of my co-residents and program leadership. I value how people within the program are, how our program itself is, changing because of the conversations that are arising because of people being open to discussing challenging issues and being vulnerable. That potential for change being enacted is just as important as the change itself.

Outside of residency, within residency, I still have the dust from stars in my eyes. There’s this warm glow that burgeons within when I spend time with my fellow residents and we sit upon the Charles River at night, or when I meet up with friends from college and graduate school and we grab churros from Max Brenner, reminiscing about “the good old days,” whilst making new memories.

I still feel magical, having this opportunity to be home again. I suspect I’ll always feel that way.