A Day in the Life of a PGY-2 Resident


Nora Proops

My Background

Welcome - My name is Nora and I’m currently a PGY-2. I was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey. My family then moved half-way across the world to Dhaka, Bangladesh, where I finished high school. In ways too numerous and complex for me to figure out how to succinctly articulate here, the experience had a lasting impact on my life’s perspective. From there, I attended Haverford College and enjoyed playing lacrosse, working in an immunology lab on T-cell development, and writing for a HIV/AIDS website. After graduating, I lived in Berlin, Germany studying circadian rhythms and teaching lacrosse in very broken German as well as in NYC (where I consider home now) working with a team of HIV researchers. The next step of this journey took me to Buffalo, NY for medical school, which contrary to popular belief, does not receive the highest amount of snowfall in the country (I love fun facts). Within psychiatry, I am fascinated with conversion disorders and plan to become a psychosomatic psychiatrist.

Why I chose Yale

This was an easy decision for me. My interview season was blurred with brochures and speeches, brief conversations with strangers - until Yale. It is difficult to describe exactly what I felt during my visit, other than I had no doubt about it being the right place for me, cliché yet so very true. I was initially misguided in thinking that Yale, steeped in tradition, would be reluctant to change. I knew I valued an academic environment that fostered original thought, encouraged growth, and involved its residents directly in shaping the evolving nature of training future psychiatrists. And this is precisely what I discovered: a curriculum adapted to adult learning styles that encompasses age-old psychodynamic principles to the most recent neuroscience advances; an administration and faculty responsive to and welcoming of resident input; and formally scheduled time early within the four years to pursue my own interests.

My Schedule

As you will learn, we have a separate orientation to psychiatry at the beginning of PGY2 year. While I enjoyed my months on medicine and neurology services, it was exciting to “finally” begin to see how this year will serve as a foundation for the rest of training. I have already noticed how my co-residents are maturing in terms of developing their own distinct interests in psychiatry. They range considerably, and I love being surrounded by this diversity!

Currently, I am on Case - the 3-month rotation during which we have a chance to really do anything, anything! I chose to create a lecture on interpretation of urine toxicology, which will be incorporated into intern didactics. I am also embarking on research looking at ties between trauma, brain injuries, and the development of PNES (psychogenic non-epileptiform seizures). I spend roughly 3.5 days a week on those activities in addition to lectures (Brain Camp, intro to psychopharmacology, etc. thus far) and a variety of others. My favorites among them are tutoring medical students, attending Master Clinician sessions where we observe a seasoned attending interview a patient, and starting supervision for my own long-term therapy patients.

Outside of work, I have had more free time and have started learning the cello, visiting family, enjoying outdoor summer activities (festivals, the beach, gardening, or sitting in the park to write this) and catching up with the ever-elusive organization of life.

Where I Live

East Rock. I wanted to be close to green space and running trails, to have a backyard and a porch. I am also very close to an amazing bike path - the Farmington Canal trail which continues into Massachusetts. I also enjoy living in a neighborhood and frequenting the local spots - wine bars, Italian groceries, coffee shops, and an extension of the fantastic food scene - Mexican, Thai, Italian, Vietnamese, etc. This year there is also finally an East Rock farmer’s market (aside from the famous Wooster Square one)! I bike to YNHH/YPH/CMHC about 8 months out of the year and drive the rest or if I am rotating at the VA. I have occasionally taken the Yale shuttle, which passes by my front door.

My favorite New Haven Restaurants and Cultural Activities

They should put a limit on the number I am allowed to list. Top 3: day trip to kayak in the salt marshes of Guilford followed by wine tasting at Chamard Vineyards, happy hour at Mecha Noodle Bar followed by a concert at College Street Music Hall, and walking through the gorgeous Sterling Memorial Library and Yale Art Gallery. Also going to the myriad genres of plays and pick-your-own fruit at Bishop’s Orchards.

Final Thoughts

I remember reading these types of stories not too long ago myself, trying to gauge whether or not I wanted to join a specific program. I hope I’ve been able to provide you with a glimpse of what your time here may look like if you choose to come to Yale, and I hope I’m able to meet many of you during your interview day! If not, please, feel free to email me at nora.proops@yale.edu.