My year as a PGY-2

During your second year at Harbor, you stay on the Harbor-UCLA campus the whole year. For 11 out of 12 months, you have inpatient psychiatry in the morning and outpatient psychiatry in the afternoons. During a typical day second year, I would get to the inpatient unit around 8:30 AM, see my 3-4 inpatients, round with the attending, eat lunch with my co-residents in our cafeteria, and then start seeing outpatients around 1:00 PM.

The best part of second year is getting your own outpatient office, decorating it, and being in charge of an outpatient panel that starts off with 25-30 patients and grows to 50-60 patients by the end of the year. In addition, our outpatient clinic is especially well-staffed with psychologists and social workers, so I always feel supported.

Starting formal therapy was also another important part of second year. Weekly therapy classes and supervision with a psychoanalyst and family therapist really helped me interact better with my patients and their families in both the inpatient and outpatient setting.

I spent second year really getting to know my outpatients, investing a lot of time learning about their particular “humanisms,” listening to their various concerns, and how of course they responded to different medication and therapy routes. I feel so fortunate at Harbor that we are able to keep the same outpatients for three years, and to really see them through the course of their illness, which includes following them in the hospital if they end up in our ER or inpatient unit.