Rotation: Psychiatry

  • Katie spent her time at the VA Hospital in St. Petersburg about 45 min from home. Half of my time was spent in an outpatient setting with a psychologist leading smoking cessation courses and weight loss courses – not my idea of fun at all although it did help with my public speaking skills.  The other half of my time was spent on the inpatient ward which I enjoyed much more.  I don’t feel like I had a lot of autonomy during this rotation as there were residents, fellows, med students everywhere.  I really enjoy the specialty, I just wished I had a different location for the rotation.  Highlights: having some time to work out in the evenings.
  • This was Emily’s FIRST rotation. I was placed around 2 hours from Barry and stayed with a friend who lived in the area during the week and came home on the weekends.  I did clinic based outpatient psych, however daily saw consults throughout various hospitals in Orlando.  Psych was one of my favorite rotations and still to this day I swear I will eventually go into psych when I’m sick of being run ragged as an ortho PA 😉 The mind is a fascinating thing.
  • This rotation will be completely unlike your other rotations. From the patient history to physical exam to note writing, it’s all different.
  • Things to brush up on prior to this rotation: Psych history taking, how to write psych progress notes, mental status exam, global assessment of functioning scale, psychiatric medications and side effects/interactions, depression diagnostic scales, various other psych assessments (mini cog, Epworth sleepiness, COWS, BARS, CAGE, etc)
  • The mind is a beautiful thing and the beautiful thing is, not one of us has the same one. Our biggest advice for this rotation is to go into it with an open mind and go into each patient visit with an open mind and heart.  Psychiatric conditions, grandiose or not should not be taken lightly.  Patients who are brave enough to seek care deserve just that, to be taken care of.  Seeing the world through the eyes of a patient with a psychiatric condition can be fascinating if you let it be.  It also made us both thankful for our mental clarity and capability.  It also taught us lessons that we would use in all of our rotations and still to in patient encounters today!  You never know when someone truly needs a friend or someone to listen, that is your job on this rotation.  Take a break from the talking, sit back and take it all in!
  • Book we recommend that have in your white coat – DSM V pocket guide

Did you enjoy your psychiatry rotation?  Did you enjoy your inpatient or outpatient experience better? 

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