A Day in the Life of a Resident

A Day in the Life of a PGY-1 Resident

Adetayo Abdulrazak

Hello! My name is Tayo and I am one of the PGY-1 residents. I am currently on my first rotation of the year on the inpatient Eating Disorders Unit. This unit admits patients for treatment of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa with the goal of weight restoration and maintenance. Most days, I am up around 7 AM. I have plenty of time to get ready and take out my dog. I then catch the bus around 8 AM for my 30-minute commute. At 9:30 AM, we have our interdisciplinary team meeting with residents, attendings, psychologists, nursing, dietitians, and therapy aides. As a PGY-1 on this rotation, I help monitor and treat medical complications of the patients’ eating disorders and the weight restoration process. I provide supportive psychotherapy to my patients, designed to help them navigate the emotions and conflicts they are tackling. Psychotherapy is very new to me, but the attendings on the unit provide a lot of direct supervision and guidance. When I'm not on the unit seeing patients, I attend our daily didactics at noon and get individual supervision from various faculty members on interviewing, CBT, and substance use disorders. Most days, I finish work around 4:30 PM and either take the train or walk back to my apartment in Harlem. In the evenings, I take my dog for a walk, eat dinner, and catch up on the new season of Love Island. I’m new to NY, so on the weekends, I love to explore the city. I  go for long walks with my dog or friends (I recently walked the length of Manhattan!), attend a Pilates class, or try a new restaurant for brunch.

A Day in the Life of a PGY-2 Resident

Pablo Romano

Hello friends! My name is Pablo and I’m one of the PGY-2 residents. I’m currently rotating on the Washington Heights Community Service inpatient unit at the New York Psychiatric Institute. All PGY1s rotate through this service, so coming back as a second year is a particularly great experience because I’m already familiar with the unit. My day typically starts with a patient interview at 8:00 AM before morning report and ends with supervision with my attending around 4:30PM. During the rest of the day, there are opportunities to interview all of my patients, sometimes with medical students and sometimes with my attending. There are also interdisciplinary team meetings, community meetings, family meetings, and daily didactics. Aside from patient care, the highlight of second year is the didactics which really delve into the pathophysiology and clinical management of psychiatric illness. Almost as importantly, it’s a chance to spend time with my co-residents and build community around shared interests. When I’m not at the hospital, I divide my time among attending concerts and plays, spending time with friends looking for good places to eat, and trying to convince myself to go to the gym. I’m also working on several creative endeavors, including a live storytelling show and my own writing projects. Even though residency can be challenging, my experience so far has been really lovely, and I’m looking forward to the rest of PGY-2.

A Day in the Life of a PGY-3 Resident

Andrew Murphy

Hi everyone! My name is Andrew Murphy and I’m a PGY-3 resident in the research track. At Columbia, the third year is dedicated largely to working with outpatients at the Psychiatric Institute Resident Clinic (PIRC). As a research-track resident, I also have weekly protected time set aside for my scholarly work. I typically wake up early so I can have a chunk of time to spend with my 4-month-old before heading into work. I start seeing patients at 9 AM and I arrive at my office at PIRC in advance to prepare for the day. My day is filled with patient appointments, individual supervision, and didactics with co-residents. My last appointments usually begin around 4 or 5, after which I’ll finish up notes and head home. When I’m not at work I’m spending time with my wife and baby, going on walks in Central Park, meeting up with friends, visiting a museum, or enjoying some free live music. New York City is a wonderful place to have a family, there are kid friendly activities everywhere – many of which are free – so we always have something fun to do. We had our daughter during my PGY-2 year, and the program was very supportive during the entire process. Program leadership (along with my lovely co-residents!) made the process of shuffling my clinical schedule and making sure my leave was properly arranged super seamless.

Breanna Keepers

Hi! I’m Breanna Keepers, another one of the PGY3s. My day generally begins when my beloved chihuahua, Bernie, wakes me up around 6 AM. After his walk, mornings are a “choose my own adventure”: a run through Fort Tryon Park, a swim at Riverbank State Park, a peloton bike ride, or my favorite- hitting the snooze button. Next, I make my way to the hospital Starbucks around 9 AM (a 3-minute walk from my apartment in hospital housing) where they know my name and order by heart (grande cold brew for Bree), and head to PIRC, the Psychiatric Institute Resident's Clinic. I spend the day seeing a variety of outpatients in my office and being taught by supervisors who specialize in supportive psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT, psychopharmacology, and addiction. I’ve chosen to focus on public psychiatry this year, so I also work with the OnTrack Program, which is comprised of a multidisciplinary team focused on recovery-oriented care for young adults with first episode psychosis, and at the Audubon Clinic, which provides treatment for members of the community with severe and persistent mental illness. Mid-day didactics are always a fun time to catch up with my third year co-residents. Everyone is up to something exciting, whether it is starting a new research project, spearheading an initiative for the program, or training for a marathon. I spend some time each week working with the curriculum committee, meeting with the program directors about new ideas for didactics, and practicing teaching with residents and medical students. I head home for the day right around the time my husband, Ben, calls. We spend our evenings on Facetime, walking Bernie to the dog park and cooking dinner together (virtually). Long-distance marriage during residency has been hard, but surprisingly doable. On weekends, you can find me in North Carolina with Ben, in Jersey with my in-laws and niece, running in Central Park, exploring the city with co-residents, or moonlighting in the CPEP. I'm just starting outpatient life...but I think I could get used to this!

A Day in the Life of a PGY-4 Resident

Kavin Fatehchand 

Hello all! My name is Kavin and I am one of the PGY-4 residents. My day generally starts around 8:00 AM when I jump out of bed, grab a cup of coffee, and take Gerber and Daisy (my two dogs) out for a walk around Central Park. I hop on the train around 9:00 AM and try to get to the office around 9:30 AM to start seeing patients. As PGY-4, I picked electives based on my own unique interests and professional goals. The majority of my year will be dedicated to continuing to provide longitudinal care to my patients in the Psychiatric Institute Resident Clinic, our outpatient resident clinic and in OnTrack, Columbia’s first break psychosis treatment program. As a queer trainee, I am also very interested in working with the queer population and will also be devoting time this year to co-leading a therapy group with non-binary/trans folks. My days are also filled with supervision, lectures, and down-time with my wonderful co-residents. I generally head home around 5:30 PM to  spend time with my husband Joey and our two pups. Residency can be challenging, so finding time to discover myself in a new city has been very fulfilling. I spend a lot of my time outside of work discovering what queer NYC has to offer including dancing, shows, exploring different queer sports leagues, and spending time outdoors!