As my first rotation in psychiatry comes to a close, I thought it would be a good idea to record my reflections on how this month has been.

Psychiatry is… so emotionally draining. You see how mental illnesses that are a lot of times unpredictable and have somewhat vague risk factors that are not modifiable (such as family dynamics, childhood, environment, family history of mental illnesses, psychosocial factors). You see how these mental illnesses make people debilitating, unaware of what is going on, limit insight and judgment. And for those who do have insight, they fear when the next episode of mania or depression will come.

Psychiatric institutes, unfortunately, don’t make a lot of money. They attract the lower class folks who are homeless, don’t have insurance, and can’t return to their previous living conditions so being frugal was on everyone’s minds. What I do like about this field is that the care coordinators and social workers are extremely essential to the system, helping patients where to go after discharge on a non-medical level.

Observing as a student, I loved the fact that psychiatrists (most at least…) spend way more than 15 minutes per patient to truly get to know them and build a rapport. I was amazed at how psychiatrists can help without laying a hand on the patient.

At the same time, when there is a communication barrier, mostly with patients who lack insight, it becomes excruciatingly frustrating and difficult to know what is going on or what to do. There’s no way to get an accurate history and timeline, which are so essential to the diagnosis and determining the next plan.

I did enjoy psychiatry for the most part. I think I am much more attracted to certain parts of psychiatry than others, but I’m not so sure if this field is right for me. I didn’t have a strong desire to learn more about the field; I didn’t wake up in the morning, excited to start the day at the psych ward. Although I felt scared at times and frustrated, I think I would be decent at it; having a calm demeanor, not being so emotionally attached to patients, being good at attentively listening to stories… But I want to do international work, and it would be really hard to effectively treat patients when the language barrier is so high.

This is only my first rotation, so I still have a lot to learn and experience. We shall see where this year takes me!


The air

I couldn’t sleep last night. I lied in bed for 2 hours. Did some yoga poses, drank some water, took a cough drop, and read a bit. Lied in bed for another hour. Then turned on the humidifier and was asleep in 15 minutes.

It amazing and also incredibly frustrating how sensitive we are to how we breathe. Because with my current congestion, I don’t know how I’m going to get a good night’s sleep during this crucial time.

I really just want this cold to go away for good :/

It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon. No… it’s a sprinting marathon

I’m now in the middle of my 2nd week of Step 1 studying… and I caught the freaking cold! Awesome timing, right? On the bright side, I used that excuse to sleep for way too long yesterday (perhaps thanks to Motrin PM), and now I’m paying for it by catching up on all of renal in one day O_O

And because of this cold, I haven’t been able to work out in a while… I saw so many people outside jogging yesterday because spring is finally here. Can’t wait to feel better and start running again.

The Busyness

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I’m back in school from what they tell me is my last actual break. I’ve been running around like crazy today. Things scheduled nonstop from 8AM to 11:30PM…

I’m really tired. Physically and mentally, I’m so so tired, but it’s in this busyness where I find happiness. Because with this busyness comes appreciation for the calm.

The Lottery

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It’s crazy to think that I’ve been in med school for 1.5 years already. And it’s crazier to think that I have to get ready to start rotations in the hospital in a couple of months.

We have to rank our preferred schedules and once the order is submitted, we are given our schedule based on a lottery system. At this point, I’m way too excited to start 3rd year that I don’t care what order I get; I just want to know my schedule and get myself ready for it 😛

The Return

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I’m back to wordpress 🙂

I’ve been having random thoughts that I wanted to record for the future, so I thought coming back to blogging was a good idea to do so. Because I don’t have as much time as I did during my gap year, I’ll most likely post short thoughts, ideas, etc. at random times.

Like this one. “What med students do during winter break: make desktop background photo of lab values I should remember.” Such a nerd.