Week 2 of Whole30 & Psychiatry

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Well here I am. Halfway through another rotation - wahoo! I keep psyching (haha) myself out, knowing that I have SO many more rotations ahead of me...

So far Psychiatry has been pretty chill. Definitely a "lighter" rotation, although I find myself getting to the hospital earlier and earlier in order to avoid traffic and to read up on/visit my patients.  Like I said last week, the morning is spent rounding with our attending (we're a group of three students...10 total at this location which isn't usual for most of our rotations) and seeing patients in the various Inpatient wards. Then we split off in the afternoon - this week I was at an Outpatient therapy location just down the street from the hospital. I was able to sit in on Group Therapy, spent a day in the Adolescent Day Therapy, and worked with an amazing outpatient physician as well! I started to learn a little bit about all the different types of therapy - CBT, DBT, psychotherapy, etc. and I definitely want to keep learning. We've talked about everything from shame to self-esteem to finding hope and how to deal with anxiety - topics that are just as important for all of us med students.

I'm just really loving Psych! Sure, I love the lifestyle but I mostly love the patient population and the variety of work. When people come to the hospital, they can be wildly psychotic, manic, or majorly depressed - each one so vastly different from the next. Some are withdrawing from various substances or escaping horrible circumstances (abuse, trauma, homelessness). It's amazing to watch these people get better/stabilize right in front of your eyes over the next few days. Humans are remarkably resilient - especially when their basic needs are being met. For many patients, being in a regulated environment like this is desperately needed - away from all the stressors in their life. They are able to get their required medications, participate in group therapy, interact with others, and start to sort through what brought them to the hospital. It's truly amazing to watch and participate in!

I never realized how much of Psychiatry is done through pure observation and history taking. Unlike other specialties, there aren't a whole lot of tests and procedures one can do. You don't check a lab for depression (although you may look for organic causes like hypothyroidism) and you can't just scan someone's head to diagnose schizophrenia or bipolar (although you can rule out secondary causes of psychosis). A lot of the overall impression of what's going on is based on what the patient says and doesn't say, their body language, their movements/facial expressions, previous history, etc. Collateral information from caregivers, family, friends, nursing staff, etc. is all useful in piecing together the puzzle. I find myself reading a lot of old charts - hence why documentation is so important! 

1.5 more weeks to go but I know this won't be my last psych rotation :)


We're steadily moving along in our Whole30 journey this month to the point where I really don't think about it much anymore. Except weekends...weekends are the worst! I just want to go out with friends and not have to worry about things being compliant :/ 2 weeks to go - we can do this!


I'm still getting used to this whole "having a job thing"...as silly as that sounds. Going to class/studying all day is just a whole different world with a ton more flexibility, more breaks, etc. So my energy levels on top of doing Whole30 have been decently low. I'm starting to get back to a good place though with enough sleep!

Monday - Crossfit 5-6p
Tuesday - Crossfit 6-7p
Wednesday - Crossfit 5-6p
Thursday - OFF, 20 minute walk with hubby
Friday - OFF
Saturday - Gym - lifting/running
Sunday - Spinning 10:15-11am

So there's my week of workouts. I was really excited I made it to all three Crossfit classes for the week and even tried a new spinning studio with some friends on Sunday morning. I loved it so much I decided to sign up for a 2 week unlimited offer just to try a few more of the classes. I may try to make Sunday morning spinning a new thing for me just to shake things up a bit!

One thing that is lacking from my routine in running. I just haven't felt like doing it lately and I'm not sure if I want to sign up for any more races or not. With my schedule being somewhat unpredictable, I would feel bad to pay for a race and then not be able to go due to being at the hospital. With Fall approaching though (my favorite season to run in) maybe I will get my desire to run back.

And sometimes you gotta treat yo self...to a new workout bag!

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