At 4:45pm on Friday afternoon, I left the VA after four works of working in the outpatient psych clinic. I was privileged to have an extremely insightful and approachable attending who motivated me to grasp the basics of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment and empowered me to ask questions.
Even though I still have four weeks of psychiatry at Ben Taub on the consult/liason service, I feel that by having done internal medicine and psychiatry first puts me at a huge advantage in “seeing patients” in the future. Each time I come across a new patient, I’m better able to understand the interplay of his or her symptoms and medications and know how to go about managing most of the common chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, etc.) in the context of psychiatric illnesses.
The outpatient work I did while at the VA hospital was very different than what I’ll be doing while at Ben Taub, but hopefully this refreshed approach to managing patients will continue to serve me well.
Oh, and after reading through First Aid and Case Files for psychiatry, I feel that I have a myriad of mental illnesses myself – but this was already known. 😉