A Day in the Life of a Resident

A Day in the Life of a PGY-1 Resident

Joseph Villarin, MD

Joseph Villarin Headshot

My name is Joseph Villarin, and I'm one of the newly-minted doctors or PGY1 residents. In the psychiatry intern year, we rotate through 4 months of medicine, 1 month of emergency medicine, 2 months of neurology, and 5 months of psychiatry. These rotations include experiences on child psychiatry, general medicine wards, neurology consults, addiction psychiatry, and outpatient medicine.

I am currently working on 3 River East, a psychiatry inpatient unit at the Allen Hospital, NYP’s community-based satellite location at the northern tip of Manhattan. My works hours usually run from 8:30 am to 5 pm. My typical day starts with waking up at 7 am, maybe changing my 2-month old son’s diaper (or just basking in the glow of his toothless morning smiles), eating breakfast, and then getting from my apartment to the main hospital campus. There, I hop on a hospital shuttle, and within a few minutes I’m at the unit ready to review what happened to my patients overnight. After some brief preparation, we start with morning rounds, with various practitioners on the behavioral health care team. Throughout the rest of the day, I see each of my patients and use a combination of medication management, supportive psychotherapy, and CBT to help them get better. There are usually medical students on the unit and we talk about topics of interest and learn together. In the afternoon, I write my notes and then get back on the shuttle to head home for the day.

I am a native New Yorker and have never lived anywhere else, so the city is very much my backyard. My wife and I love to take advantage of nearby Riverside Park and Fort Tryon Park to give ourselves and our young son a taste of the outdoors. We also enjoy the variety of restaurants serving every type of food imaginable, from sushi to Ukrainian, in the city’s diverse neighborhoods. I look forward to sharing some of my insider food and entertainment tips with my co-interns so we can all enjoy this phenomenal city as much as possible!

A Day in the Life of a PGY-2 Resident

Bianca Nguyen, MD

Headshot of Bianca Nguyen, MD

My name is Bianca Nguyen, and I’m a PGY2 resident. As second years, we dive deeper into psychiatry in a variety of ways — providing support to our medical colleagues on consult-liaison, utilizing urgent psychiatry skills in our Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) and pediatric ED, learning both basic and complex psychopharmacological approaches on inpatient psychiatric units, balancing independence and supervision on call, and advancing psychotherapy techniques in weekly sessions with our individual, long-term therapy (LTT) patients. 

Currently, I’m on 9 Garden North (9GN), a 24-bed inpatient psychiatric unit in NYP-Columbia. Since I live in hospital housing, my commute is just a few short minutes’ walk from door to door. I wake around 8AM, grab tea from the cafe, and review overnight events in preparation for the daily 8:45 AM morning report attended by nursing, social work, occupational/recreational therapists, and psychiatric attendings and trainees. I spend the remainder of my morning seeing patients one-on-one, adjusting medications, teaching medical students, meeting with families, working on notes, and discussing cases in-depth with my supervising attending. I find my work especially rewarding because of the autonomy offered, the multi-disciplinary collaboration between members of the treatment team, the opportunity to apply equal parts psychotherapy and psychopharmacology in an inpatient setting, and the chance to witness patients’ progressive improvement over time.

At noon, I leave the unit to meet my classmates for lunch and didactic seminars. Every day, for an hour, leaders in psychiatry teach us clinical topics in the area of their expertise, ranging from psychodynamic psychotherapy, to ethics and law, and more. I feel extremely lucky to be part of my particular cohort of PGY2 co-residents — as a group, we are wholly supportive and caring, and each lend a unique perspective to the discussions. Upon returning to the unit, I follow-up on any outstanding issues for the day and typically leave between 5-7PM.

Making the most of my time outside of the hospital is a top priority of mine, and living in NYC makes this easy. In the evenings, my go-tos are runs down the Hudson, yoga in Harlem, or dinner with friends and co-residents. Weekends are for exploring, whether that be ferrying to Rockaway Beach, laying out in Central Park, scoping out the newest museum exhibits, or scouring Infatuation for the best eats. Eternally grateful for the opportunity to be here! 

A Day in the Life of a PGY-3 Resident

Headshot of Terriann Nicholson, MD

Terriann Nicholson, MD

Hi! My name is Terriann Nicholson and I’m a PGY3 resident. My day starts fairly early because I live in Queens and commute by car into Manhattan. This year of residency is quite different from the previous two in that most of our clinical duties are outpatient and we work primarily at the Psychiatric Institute Resident Clinic. We also have increased autonomy in making our schedules, which is both exciting and challenging. Thankfully, there is lots of help by way of supervision from faculty and mentorship from senior residents!

On a typical day, after walking over from the garage I have a quick breakfast at the Starbucks across the street or from the hospital cafeteria and then prepare for the day by reviewing the charts for my morning patients, whom I generally start seeing at 9:00am.  Right before noon, I’ll grab a quick lunch with my co-residents and then head to daily didactics, in the afternoon I’ll see several more patients until about 6:30pm. Two half days out of the week I see patients at a local community clinic as part of an integrated care model.

In our third year of residency we can select between three concentration tracks – psychopharmacology, psychotherapy and research. I’m in the psychotherapy track, so in addition to the already carefully selected cases of cognitive behavioral therapy and supportive psychotherapy, my caseload also includes dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and interpersonal therapy cases. As such, there is additional supervision built into my schedule and there is also an opportunity to learn how to lead a DBT skills training group.

On my off time I enjoy being with my very large family, who reside in New York City. Outside of this I have two passions: good food and traveling. New York is definitely the city to enjoy a wide variety of culinary treats and it’s always a good time finding a new hidden gem. As much as I love this city, I also enjoy spending my time off exploring new destinations; my most recent travels have been to Cartagena and Paris!

A Day in the Life of a PGY-4 Resident

Reilly Kayser Headshot

Reilly Kayser, MD

Hi! I’m Reilly Kayser, one of the PGY4 residents. My classmates and I have up to 80% elective time, which makes for great flexibility. We’ve each found different ways to make the most of this time, including solidifying clinical skills through a junior attending electives, gaining administrative or teaching experience, or delving in to a particular topic in psychotherapy. As a research track resident, I’m expanding on projects that I began as a PGY3, bringing together different clinical concepts that I’ve picked up over the past 3 years, and preparing for the next stage of my career.

I usually start my day around 7AM, when I get up, make some coffee and breakfast, and take some time to relax before heading out the door. I live on the Upper West Side, so getting to work involves an easy 20 minutes on the 1 train, which I use as a time to catch up on news and listen to music. Once I get to my office at NYSPI, I review my schedule for the day.

Much of my elective time is spent working on clinical and translational research through the Center for OCD Research. I’m excited to be involved in discovering new treatments for these debilitating conditions, but also by the way that this work helps me to answer my patients’ questions about their experiences. Working with patients in these studies has also given me the chance to get more experience with both managing complicated medication regimens and cognitive behavioral therapy.

When I’m not working on a research project, I see outpatients through the residents’ clinic. Our clinic works hard to expose us to patients with a variety of different psychiatric problems whom we treat with both medication management and psychotherapy. I also see a few patients through OnTrackNY (a program for patients with early psychotic disorders) and I am exploring a growing interest in education by teaching a medical student interviewing course.

Life as a resident can get hectic, so it’s been amazing to be in a city where there’s always something going on. When I finish up for the day around 6/7PM, I usually go to the gym or for a quick run in Central Park. After that, the options are endless! Whether it’s hunting for the perfect downtown burger spot, catching up with friends at a new music venue, or checking out a comedy show, I’ve yet to run out of interesting things to do!

A Day in the Life of a PGY-4 Chief Resident

Geoffrey Taylor, MD

My name is Geoff Taylor and I am one of the PGY4 chief residents this year. A typical day for me starts around 6AM, because that is when my dog, Duncan, wakes up. After spending the early morning with him, I make my 15 minute walk to work, picking up coffee on my way at the other important Dunkin in my life.

I am spending most of my time this year continuing with outpatient clinical work, teaching and working at the administrative responsibilities associated with being chief. When I get to my office, I catch up on emails and make phone calls. One of my major clinical interests is honing my skills as a therapist, so I spend the morning seeing psychotherapy patients, some of whom I have been treating since my PGY2 year. The experience of treating someone longitudinally is uncommon in residency and has really helped me grow my skill set. I often have an hour or two of supervision in the late morning. We have truly wonderful supervisors here, and I’m lucky to have individual supervision with faculty from the psychoanalytic center and expert psychopharmacologists. Once supervision concludes, I take some time to write a few notes and close up my office for the day.

After lunch, I head over to the Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation Program (CPEP) where I am currently doing a junior attending teaching elective. I spend the afternoon there supervising PGY2 residents. This is a rewarding time as I get to consolidate my own clinical experiences through sharing the thought process behind emergency psychiatry with junior residents.

My day generally ends between 5PM and 6PM. What I value about this program is that I have the time to enrich myself both academically and personally. I love to run, see movies, socialize with friends, and play with my dog. While the prospect of fellowship and my future career is exciting, I am making the most of my last year here with my co-residents, from whom I learn so much.