A Day in the Life of a Resident
A Day in the Life of a PGY-1 Resident
Jordan Wong, MD
Hi everyone! My name is Jordan Wong, and I am a first-year psychiatry resident. During intern year, we divide our time among psychiatry, medicine (including two months of primary care), neurology and emergency medicine. During our psychiatry rotations, we gain exposure to adult inpatient psychiatry, child psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and addiction psychiatry. These psychiatry rotations are valuable because they give us experience in a multitude of healthcare settings: inpatient, partial hospitalization, psychiatric emergency services, and outpatient clinics (with patients throughout the lifespan).
I am currently on the child psychiatry rotation at the Children’s Day Unit (CDU) in the New York State Psychiatric Institute, where I work closely with child psychiatrists, child psychologists, social workers, and school teachers to provide a structured therapeutic program for adolescents.
My day typically starts at 7 am. Because I live in Washington Heights, I’m able to eat breakfast, walk to the hospital (around a 10-minute walk), and grab a hot coffee before arriving at the CDU by 8 am. I typically see patients between 8 and 10 am. After, I follow-up with my to-dos for each patient, which include managing their psychiatric medications, collaborating with psychologists and social workers to provide comprehensive care to each patient, and learning more about the field through journal article discussions with my wonderful attending. Because I am currently on a psychiatry rotation, I also attend didactics every day from 12 – 1 p.m. Didactics are my favorite part of the day because I get to see my brilliant and friendly co-residents while also learning about a variety of topics in psychiatry! My day typically ends by 4:30 p.m.
During our intern year, we have 7 months free from night call or weekend duties. This schedule allows for plenty of time to explore New York City with my friends and family! From exploring the incredible food scene (e.g. I had Peruvian, Chinese, and Italian food all in one day), attending a yoga or spin cycle class after work, or enjoying Central Park and free live music events, there is always something fun to do in this incredible city.
Although I have just started my journey as a psychiatry resident at Columbia, I already feel so fortunate and grateful to be part of this incredible residency program.
A Day in the Life of a PGY-2 Resident
Niesha Voigt, MD
Hello! My name is Niesha Voigt and I am a second-year resident. This is the year when we begin our full-time psychiatry training by rotating through multiple acute care psychiatric settings. These rotations include managing psychiatric pathology on inpatient units, consulting on medical and surgical inpatients, assessing and treating patients in our Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program and pediatric emergency department, developing independence while on call overnight, and learning advanced psychotherapy techniques in twice weekly sessions with our individual, long-term therapy patients.
I'm currently rotating on the inpatient unit in Milstein Hospital, 9 Garden North. This unit manages complex affective, psychotic and personality/character disorders. My day typically begins around 6am when I wake up and head to the gym in my building. After a quick work-out I come home to shower and get ready for work. I live in the Upper East side and I usually take the New York Presbyterian shuttle to get to the unit around 8am. Then I prepare for morning interdisciplinary rounds where we hear about any overnight events and admissions. The rest of the morning is filled with seeing patients either independently or with attendings. At noon, I get to meet with my co-residents to engage in daily didactics that span the breadth of psychiatry. In the afternoon, I return to the unit to see the rest of my patients, lead family meetings, write notes, and discuss each patient's treatment plan with my attendings. I am usually done with my work by 5:30pm.
While not at work, I enjoy cooking and exploring NYC with my family and friends. On the weekend, you can find me at my favorite work-out class, seeing a Broadway show, enjoying the many different weekend brunch restaurants (my favorite meal), or going out to visit my family on Long Island. I appreciate the balance of having a supportive training environment while getting to explore everything that NYC has to offer!
A Day in the Life of a PGY-3 Resident
Simon Dosovitz, MD
Hi! My name is Simon Dosovitz and I am a PGY-3 resident. Our third year is focused on outpatient practice in the Psychiatric Institute Resident’s Clinic, and our curriculum provides in-depth training and supervision in multiple modalities with a broad variety of patients. It is our first clinical exposure to the longitudinal course of psychiatric issues and is structured to help us develop the sense of autonomy and confidence we will need to function as independent physicians. We also have a capstone experience in our high-volume psychiatric emergency department, which we staff at night for 4-5 weeks per year.
A typical day for me begins around 7:30 AM. I live close to the hospital and usually enjoy a cup of coffee and something to eat while reviewing my schedule. Washington Heights is a beautiful neighborhood, and sometimes I take a walk along the Hudson River to stretch my legs before heading to my office. I arrive at clinic around 8:30AM or 9:00AM, and typically see 3 or 4 patients before our didactics start at noon. Our patient panel is composed of a mix of psychopharmacology and psychotherapy patients, and all residents have patients in supportive, psychodynamic, and cognitive-behavioral therapies. I elected to be part of the psychotherapy selective, and as a result also have patients who I treat with interpersonal psychotherapy and dialectical behavioral psychotherapy. We are lucky enough to learn from some of nation's experts in these modalities and we have tons of supervision! I like to grab lunch with my co-residents, who in addition to being both amazing doctors and wonderful people, are probably the best part of my residency experience. The rest of my day is filled with more patient appointments, and sometimes a research meeting.
New York is an amazing city and one of the reasons why I wanted to come to Columbia for residency. For starters, I don't think the food scene can truly be rivaled by anywhere else. The sheer variety and breadth of cultural activities, historical sights, and natural beauty New York City provides is enough to keep anybody busy and seeing new things for well over four years. In my off time I like to head downtown to visit my friends and colleagues in other boroughs, visit a new pop-up restaurant, or check out a new museum exhibit. I'm so happy to have the opportunity to both live and work here. I hope I see you around next year!
A Day in the Life of a PGY-4 Resident
Rachel Fremont, MD, PhD
Hi! My name is Rachel Fremont and I am a fourth-year resident. Being one of the Leon Levy Fellows, my focus is on research. This year I will be continuing my research while honing my clinical skills as I prepare for a career as a physician-scientist. Because our fourth year is tailored to the special interests of each resident, everyone’s schedule looks a bit different. For me, this means some days have more clinical care and others are almost completely focused on my research projects.
I can use this last Tuesday as a sample day. Most days I am in charge of taking my 2-year-old daughter to baby school and I usually wake up around 7 AM (when she does). We have a whirlwind of brushing teeth, eating breakfast, and maybe watching some Peppa Pig. I try to be out the door before 8 AM. I live on the Upper East Side, which I love because of easy access to great museums, restaurants, and Central Park, which I walk across every day to take my daughter to baby school. From there, I take the C train uptown, sometimes with a fellow resident if I get lucky!
In the morning on Tuesdays, I see therapy and medication management patients and meet with one of my supervisors. Then I have classes and Resident Meeting. As PGY4 residents, we have didactics on Tuesdays and Thursdays with interesting and practical classes on advanced psychodynamic psychotherapy, genetics of psychiatric illness, and career planning to name a few topics. In the afternoon, I have a standing meeting with one of my research mentors, Dr. Blair Simpson, who is a leading expert in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have been working on an interdisciplinary project with Dr. Simpson and Dr. Ted Huey exploring whether obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors can be linked to regional brain volume loss in patients with neurodegenerative disorders. This Tuesday, I spent the afternoon after my meeting analyzing some data before heading home in time to have dinner with my family and put my daughter to bed. The PGY4 year has been a great chance to experiment with balancing clinical work, research, and enjoying my family. It has also given me time to reflect on the excellent training I have received and that has prepared me to take the next steps in my career after residency!