A Day in the Life of a PGY-1 Resident


My background

Hi, I’m Marilise, one of the new PGY-1 residents. After attending college at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, I moved on to graduate school at the University of Virginia. In my third year of graduate school, I decided that I wanted to take my life in a different direction and decided to go to medical school after completing my PhD in Chemistry. Thankfully my advisors, family and friends were very supportive and I started medical school at George Washington University in Washington, DC. I grew up in New York City, and I am happy to be closer to home once again at Yale.

Why I chose Yale

Beyond the great opportunities to work with excellent researchers and clinicians, it was really the warm and nurturing personalities of many of the faculty, residents, and staff that sold me on Yale. I felt comfortable here on my interview day and had the sense that no matter what career path I chose, the faculty would be supportive of my ideas and interests. This was most evidenced by the three month CASE elective time in the PGY-2 year. THREE MONTHS!! I talked with many attendings at my medical school, and kept hearing about the stellar reputation of Yale Psychiatry. The next big thing was convincing my fiancé, which was pretty easy since he could easily commute to New York City to work.

My schedule

I, along with two other interns, am assigned to 8W, the West Haven VA Hospital’s inpatient psychiatry unit, for the first three months of intern year. I usually arrive between 7:30 and 8:00 am, depending on how busy I expect the day to be and how long the line is at Dunkin Donuts. Each day we have unit rounds where we learn about the new patients, and then the patients are divided up among different teams. Each intern is assigned to one of the three teams—blue, green or red—each with its own attending. I am on the green team with Dr. Lewis. I can spend as much time, within reason, with each patient as I want, which is a very different experience than on other services.

In the afternoons, we typically have lectures on a variety of topics. These lectures are usually given by faculty members other than our inpatient attendings. One night a week, we have a short-call at the Yale-New Haven Hospital Crisis Intervention Unit, the psychiatry ER. It is designed to familiarize the interns with emergency psychiatry before our second year. We see one or two patients and present them to the attending.

Averaging out to two weekend days a month, we also take call from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. We handle any medical complaints that arise during the day and any new admissions. An attending is there to go over the new admissions with us as well as several other attendings who are there to see the patients earlier in the day.

Where I live

Because my fiancé, Peter, commutes to NYC daily via Metro-North Railroad, I live about 35 minutes south of New Haven in a town called Fairfield. We chose Fairfield because it was recommended by several people in Peter's office. It is a small suburban town with friendly people (and about a million children), and two universities—Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University. My commute is in the opposite direction than most other drivers, so the drive on I-95 takes about 25 minutes to get to the VA and about 35 minutes to get to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

My favorite New Haven restaurant

I really like Bar’s mashed potato, cheese, and bacon pizza. My interview day lunch was held at Bar, and I’ve been hooked ever since.