The Journey So Far.
It’s been a couple of months since I started this new phase of my medical career.
After spending about two years in General practice as a medical officer, getting into the residency training program was a welcome transition.
For many years, I’ve had a strong desire to specialize in mental health, and that dream is gradually becoming a reality.
Here are a few things about my training:
1. It’s at a public hospital which has its pros (job flexibility, easy access to resources, experienced trainers and fair remuneration), and cons (administrative bureaucracy, poor/inadequate facilities, overwhelming patient load etc).
2. The department was renamed Behavioral Sciences to reduce the stigma associated with the use of the term Psychiatry.
3. It’s surprisingly busier than I anticipated. Certainly not as hectic as specialities like ObGyn or Internal Medicine, still we have to put in a lot of hours.
Here’s a rough breakdown of my weekly schedule:
- Mondays – General Psychiatry outpatient clinic.
- Tuesdays – Consultant ward round.
- Wednesdays -Departmental Academic Program.
- Thursdays – DATER* clinic.
- Fridays – Senior Registrar’s ward round.
4. Our current call roster puts each new resident on a week-long call (Mondays-Sundays) every five weeks, and the call hours can be very demanding. Thankfully, unless there’s an emergency, we don’t have to sleep in.
5. We see lots of interesting cases, from the low-key hilarious, to the frighteningly intense. It’s sometimes a lot to take in, but I have to do my best to stay calm.
6. When I was adviced to start preparing for my postgraduate exams (Part 1) on the first day I resumed to work, I was like, huh? You gotta be kidding me.
To be fair, there’s so much to learn.
7. The dress code is pretty informal. No wardcoats, no stethoscopes, and no name tags.…but of course, there’s the compulsory use of facemasks!
In summary, the program has been quite enlightening and I have no regrets so far.
*DATER: Drug Addiction Treatment, Education and Research.