It is striking to think how far we have come in just two short years. As I transition to the world of outpatient psychiatry, I have begun to reflect on my growth thus far and that which is anticipated in my remaining years of training. From agitation recommendations to clozapine titration, suicide risk assessments to post-partum psychosis, the world of psychiatry is as broad and as rich as I ever could have imagined.
Having ended my second year on the inpatient psychiatric unit at MGH (Blake 11), where my role was largely supervisory in nature to psychiatry interns and medical students, I realized the strides I had made in teaching, psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, discharge planning and multi-disciplinary care. I eagerly anticipated graduating from an inpatient and call-heavy second year to a more outpatient, longitudinal care setting. After receiving a list of nearly thirty patients (and growing!), I am now fully immersed in my McLean clinic and loving every moment. In addition to my panel of patients at McLean, I co-lead an older adults interpersonal therapy group and spend two days each week in community settings (MGH Chelsea and East Boston Community Center), all of which have proven to be unique and cherished learning opportunities. I so deeply appreciate having time in the clinic to spend with patients, getting to know them, understanding their histories and stories, and trying to be helpful in any way I can. I am constantly reminded of what a privileged position I am in to learn about peoples’ lives and provide support and care.
In each of the aforementioned clinical settings, I have an abundance of supervision from highly experienced clinicians, all of whom impart great wisdom in all things psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral therapy, complex psychopharmacology, community psychiatry, addictions, career advisement and more. At times it is difficult for me to believe the fact that I am surrounded by such experts in the field, even this far into my training.
Over the next year, I look forward to expanding my knowledge in psychodynamic psychotherapy, prescribing some of the lesser utilized medications and using some of my renewed sense of energy and purpose to volunteer, to spend time delving into my interest in narrative medicine and to work with a colleague on a recital (inspired by a recent MGH recital and fundraiser for the asylum clinic in which I was a privileged singing participant). The beauty of the evolution of psychiatry residency is that as each year passes, there is more time to participate in a range of interests including patient care, education and advocacy as well as those outside of residency.
As I sit and bask in the waning light of one of the remaining long days of summer, I am filled with anxious anticipation for the fall and what promises to be another long winter in Boston. Thanks to a program that values professional as well as personal growth, I can look forward to spending snowy evenings at the Boston Symphony Orchestra with my partner (care of a resident card which we are granted each year), strolling through the Boston Commons with my pup, embarking to the North Shore for a blistery beachy day.