Psychiatry Rotation

Filed Under (Rotations) by Dave on 07-03-2010

So for the past month I have been on my Psychiatry rotation at the Medical College of Georgia.

One of the first things I can say about this rotation is that you are always working with Residents.  I get more into that in a moment.

I was actually on this rotation with another of my fellow PA students.  The every first day of the rotation we were split up and put onto different teams.  There were actually 3 teams on the Psych ward.  There was a team dealing mainly with schizophrenic patients, a team dealing with personality disorders, detox and the such and a team that dealt only with geriatrics.

I was placed on the team that dealt with schizophrenic patients first.  On this team I was working with two residents and a medical student.  The man role that we, the students played was collateral gatherers.  On this team we were to arrive at 7am and starting seeing our patients, type up a note and start calling people to get collateral information.  The residents would arrive around 8am and then we would round with the Attending physician at 9am.  All and all I really only saw the Attending physician for 30 minutes a day on this team.  Pretty much the Attending did all the interviews during rounds.

This team also required us to read journal articles each week and to present them to the attending and other medical student.  Actually this wasn’t a bad thing as it did help in the learning process.

After two weeks on that team I was moved over to the team dealing with personality disorders, detox and the such.

I think I actually liked this team better.  Again, I worked with one resident and a medical student on this team.  The hours were a little easier was we didn’t have to arrive until 8am and we didn’t round until noon.  The intersting thing about this team was that the attending physician was really cool and laid back.  During rounds he had us interview our own patients in front of him.  If he had questions that he thought we forgot to ask he would chime in, but most the time he just sat back and would give feedback to us after the patient had left the room.

I think this was a great learning experience.  I really learned what to ask and how to respond to patients when they put you on the spot or some type of conflict arises.  Again, a large part of this team was getting collateral and sitting in on family meetings.  So lots of calling family members and talking to patients outpatient doctors.

All and all this was a fun rotation.  I think the residents are some of the easiest people to work with, at least where I was.  They were more than willing to help in anyway and were really willing to help teach things.

The only problem I ran into was with one of the attendings.  It seems that he forgot I was a PA student and kept comparing me to a medical student.  Which is fine, don’t get me wrong, but he has a little bit of a grading problem.

I was told early on that this attending did not give medical students high grades.  I was told me thought a “C” was good or average for a medical student and unless the student did something really really great then they would get a C.  I was also told that he usually took it easier on PA student and gave them a higher grade, usually a mid to high B.  He did this because he said he expected the medical students to know more then PA students.

Well, my grade reflected the fact that he thought I was a Medical students as I was given an AVERAGE grade.

Lucky for me, I talked to the other attending and he gave me a much higher grade.  So the two averaged out to be an OK grade.

Now, you may ask why I didn’t go and talk to the first attending who gave me the AVERAGE grade.

Well, he got a new job in Texas and filled out my grade on the afternoon that the left.  So when I actually saw the grade, he was already on a flight to Texas.
Fair?  I don’t think so, but it all worked out.

Now for books that were good…

1) Psychiatry Blueprints- this ended up being the only real book that I used and it was a good one!

Have you done a Psych rotation?  When Where?

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