I'm currently in my third year in the RCP program, and I'm excited to have a more substantial amount of dedicated research time this year. My current time allocation is approximately 65% clinical responsibilities (primarily outpatient clinic) and 35% research time, which consists of one full day and 1-2 half days per week for research time. I'm very grateful to the RCP for providing this time during residency, as it's rare to find a residency program that will allow residents to spend up to a third of their time doing research in the PGY-3 year.
My Ph.D. is in genetics and my research background is in developmental genetics and embryonic development. I guess you could say I'm a sucker for the babies! To me, the beauty of studying how embryos develop, how life evolves from one single cell into a complete and sophisticated organism with billions of highly specialized cell types, and the genetic processes that occur at every stage along the way are among the most beautiful and fascinating processes in the world, particularly as we are all completely and profoundly indebted to these processes without even realizing it (as someone once said, gastrulation is probably the most important thing that will ever happen to you in your life!). As a psychiatry resident, I'm interested in neurodevelopment and how early developmental and genetic process affect later onset of psychopathology. Prior to coming to residency, my training was entirely at the bench and very molecularly based, and one of the things I've appreciated about the RCP Is that it has given me the chance to transition to more clinical and computational projects and to learn a new skill set. Having protected (funded) time during residency really gives us the freedom to take risks and learn new skills which is a unique opportunity. Additionally, on a more personal note, during my first two years of residency I became interested in a project that did not work out, and now at the start of my PGY-3 year I am in the process of transitioning to a new project and have found the RCP administration to be extremely supportive and helpful. The program strikes a rare balance of pushing us to be successful while also giving us a cushion of support without unnecessary pressure. The RCP's monthly dinner seminars are also a great way to stay in touch with other residents who are also pursuing research, as well as to learn about research opportunities, funding opportunities, and to hear from high powered researchers in the Boston area (of which there is no lack -Boston is one of the most high powered research centers in the world). I have been really appreciative to be part of the RCP and all that it's offered me.
On a more personal note, I hail from Hanover, New Hampshire and Binghamton, New York for most of my childhood, though I have been living in Boston for the past 10 years prior to starting residency. I'm pretty much a Boston girl at this point, and as a long distance runner I especially love the running/athletic spirit in Boston and the Boston Marathon. In addition to running, I spend my spare time cooking, hanging out outdoors, and hanging out with my husband and four kids.