Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Advice to the third year med student doing psychiatry

I finished 6 weeks of my psychiatry core rotation last week. It is Sunday as I write this and tomorrow I shall begin a rotation in ob/gyn. I wanted to sum up the rotation.

It was interesting that in this hospital, I was told not to wear my white coat and that I would probably not need my stethoscope, although I was to keep both items close by (in the car) in case I needed to a physical exam. Throughout the rotation, the procedures I learned were: the complete psychiatric interview, writing a progress note on inpatients, writing a consult note for hospital patients on whom we were called in for a psych consult, the Mental Status Exam, the Mini-Mental Status exam, contributing an evaluation to furnish materiel for a psychiatric evalulation of competency.

I got to spend time in: outpatient group and individual sessions with both the psychiatrist and therapists, medicine management meetings, inpatient adult, adolescent, childrens' and mentally retarded children with emotional problems facilities. I also got to visit geriatric psychiatric facilities and a special facility for juvenile sex offenders. I got to see take-downs, face-to-face evalulations, ECTs and pts. in various stages of mania, psychosis, depression.

I thoroughly enjoyed the rotation. My only peeve was that things were pretty slow and some days, there was precious little to do. I like to be busy and some days I wasn't very.

Recommendations for books and things: I highly recommend the Blueprints for Psychiatry 3rd edition. It has additional materiel and questions not found in the previous editions. For the PDA, I highly recommend the Washington Manual Psychiatry Survival Guide. This is a new program from Skyscape. It is EXCELLENT. It has discussion articles on each of the major disorders, an abbreviated DSM-IV, a drug formulary and full examples of every kind of note I needed. Buy it. It will not be a waste and you will not have to carry any other book or PDA program in your pocket.

I am looking forward to the next rotation...