A Day in the Life of a PGY-3/NRTP Resident


My Background

Hi Everyone! I’m Daniel, one of the third-year psychiatry residents on the research track. I finished medical school a little while back in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and then lived for some time in Italy and France, where I got my Master’s in Neuroscience. I then moved to the U.S. for a postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatric genetics, and finally came to Yale for my psychiatry residency.

Why I Chose Yale

I knew about Yale’s excellent reputation for clinical training in psychiatry, and I was acquainted first hand with the cutting-edge research going on in psychiatric genetics. One of the strongest reasons why I chose Yale, however, was because of the people I met when I interviewed: residents, faculty and staff alike. Warm interactions and support for residents’ diverse career paths were the norm, and it was clear that people were happy and enjoying their time here.

My Schedule

My schedule is somewhat different from the rest of my classmates this year since I am on the research track (NRTP) and I began the Investigative Medicine PhD program this summer. I pushed back the start of my outpatient clinics for two months while I completed the summer courses for the PhD. Besides learning more about biostatistics and clinical research, I had the chance to travel to San Francisco for a much needed bioinformatics crash course, and then to Reykjavik to foster an international collaboration for psychiatric genetics. These experiences, along with the three months I spent in Paris during the CASE rotation as a second year resident, are just a snippet of how personalized training is here!

Starting September, my schedule will be a little more stable. I have research time on Monday morning and PhD coursework on the afternoon, followed by the PGY-3 psychodynamic psychotherapy seminar. Tuesdays are divided between PhD classes and research time, followed by an elective in clinical hypnosis in the evening. On Wednesdays I will spend the whole day seeing patients at the VA. We have psychiatry didactics on Thursday mornings, and then I have another PhD class. In the afternoons, I see my long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy patients, followed conveniently by my long-term psychodynamic supervision. Friday mornings start out with research time followed by grand rounds and the NRTP seminar. On Friday afternoons, I will be going to the autism center, where I hope to focus on people with a possible genetic cause for their psychiatric symptoms. For our third year calls, we decided to go for a night float system – I managed to get all my calls scheduled in the second half of the year, when the coursework lightens up.

Where I Live

Walking and short commutes were our priority when we moved to New Haven, so Silvana, our dog Willow, and I live in downtown, in an area called the Ninth Square. Downtown New Haven has a Walk Score of 95 (for those of you who have heard about this), which, briefly, means it is a walker’s paradise! I love listening to music while walking, and it also helps to get an idea of how close things are: our didactics are two songs away, and you can manage to listen to three songs while walking to the main hospital. There is also a shuttle system that goes to several areas of the University and surrounding neighborhoods, the VA, and the Saint Raphael campus. The train station, which has frequent trains to New York and Boston, is also within walking distance, and we go often to spend the day there. There are a ton of very good restaurants and coffee shops downtown, as well as great theater and music venues, so there is always something fun to do after work. We love going to Libby’s in Wooster Square for cannoli and coffee after a pizza at Pepe’s.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I feel that Yale gives every one of its residents the support they need to excel in what they love from early on. This, coupled with the outstanding academic level and caring group of people, has made my time here a very rewarding experience.