Rotation: Psychiatry


Psych wasn’t a bad rotation… I got out early a few times, including the day of the daycare Family Fun Night where we were the first to play in the bubbles! 

Name/Location of Clinical Rotation

Child Psych inpatient with Child Psych clinic, Addiction Clinic and Bipolar Clinic, with two Emergency Psych Services shifts

What did I like most about this specialty?

I learned a lot on this specialty about all of the services that we could offer that didn’t necessarily restrict the patient to the inpatient setting. We had a large variety of clinic settings, inpatient, outpatient, and emergency psych services. For child psych, we had an inpatient unit that included school sessions for elementary students and junior high/high school students. There were also group activities and art and music therapies. It was pretty interesting to see those sorts of things in the hospital setting. We even had federal services available for girls who we thought might be trafficked.

What did I like least about this specialty?

I came across a lot of patients that were violent. I knew it was a possibility with this service, but I didn’t expect it to be so frequent. This was the first time I’ve ever been threatened, so that was fun. 

Did this clinical rotation give me a good sense of what practice in this specialty would be like?

I believe so. We got a very broad view of the different types of psychological illnesses and a variety of practice subspecialties and clinic settings.

Did my interests, values, kills and personality fit with this specialty? If yes, how did they fit? If not, why might they not be compatible?

I really like finding community services that benefit patients, and I honestly think this specialty had the most available services out in the community. That being said, I really don’t think this type of practice suits me very much. Psychological issues are usually fraught with social issues as well, and it is so hard to treat not only the illness per se, but also the home environment and lots of other issues. If the home environment is the root cause, and then you send them back to the same environment, what are the odds of them getting better? 

What are the possible practice settings exist for this specialty? Do any of them interest me and do I know enough about them?

Inpatient, outpatient, and a mix of both. It was pretty interesting to see so many different practice types, including the Emergency Psych service at our adult university hospital.

What info do I still need?

None–this was a very enlightening rotation.

Has my perception of this specialty changed? If yes, how?

I learned so much about this specialty that I didn’t know beforehand. I didn’t really think that psych would be a good fit for me, and even with being selected for the pediatric version of psych, it wasn’t a good fit. I really admire the people that go into psych and especially child psych. In the child psych unit, I heard some of the most disturbing, horrifying, unbelievable stories I’ve ever heard in my life. 

Did my clinical rotation experience influence the likelihood of choosing this specialty?

It cemented for me that this is not my future specialty although I do find the resources to be very valuable for pediatric patients that I will definitely use in the future.

Right now, how interested am I in this specialty?

Pretty far down the list.

What information do I still need to evaluate this specialty? Any other comments or reflections?

There are a bunch of patients that I met on this rotation that have shaped how I practice with other patients. That has been very valuable and formative for me.

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