A Day in the Life of a PGY-4 Resident

Nikhil Gupta

My Background

Hi, I’m Nikhil, a 4th year psychiatry resident at a training program I love, working with people I truly respect, and living in a city I’ve grown quite attached to. I grew up in New Delhi, India, and trained at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. To broaden my professional exposure, I worked with the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and did research in global mental health in London and New York before pursuing specialty training in psychiatry in the U.S.

Why I Chose Yale

Of many reasons, the first was diversity: of residents, faculty, patients, and clinical sites. The program leadership and faculty were genuinely curious about my experiences, and their ethos of creating leaders in psychiatry was visible in every aspect of the curriculum. An example is provision of four months of “self-driven, Yale-supported” non-clinical time in the first two years of residency – a concept unheard of! Additionally, every resident I met at Yale seemed interesting, happy, passionate about their work, and driven to make a difference in the world. Having spent over three exciting years here, I know why!

My Schedule

Even for me, after a four-year clinical gap and with no significant previous experience with the US healthcare system or even an Electronic Health Record system, internship did not feel overwhelming: mainly because I was very well supported both by my program and the medicine and neurology teams. In second year, I spent 6 weeks in Goa, India supported by a Yale scholarship and my program director. The schedule gets better each year, and there is a lot of independence in carving out your own path. There is no call (but plenty of moonlighting opportunities) in fourth year, and one can choose to serve as a chief resident at one of many sites/units. I could honestly see myself working in any of the VA, YPH, or CMHC units I’ve worked on; but with my interest in systems, I chose to split my year between the YNHH psychiatric ER as the Quality Improvement/ Administrative Chief Resident and Acute Services, a walk-in clinic at CMHC. I greatly enjoy seeing my long term (2-3 years) psychotherapy patients and psychodynamic supervision. I’m also able to audit some classes at the Yale School of Management, and serve as the resident Global Mental Health leader.

Where I Live

I moved three times in my first three years in New Haven, living for the first two years in downtown New Haven- with a convenient walk/bike ride to the hospital and a lively weekend scene, and now in Westville (a nice locale near the Yale Bowl about a ten-minute drive from the hospital) paying sub-1200$ for a big 2-bedroom/backyard unit. I’m fortunate to not have to spend hours in traffic or on subway, or half my paycheck on rent!

My Favorite Things to do In/Around New Haven

I and my partner take full advantage of the many fabulous restaurants (our favorites are the lesser-known: Rawa, Hasna’s Afghan Grill, and Anastasio’s Boat House), free concerts, art shows, theater (Yale Rep), and sports opportunities this fabulous city provides. Just this workweek, I walked to see tennis at the CT Open on Monday and Tuesday, moonlighted on Wednesday evening, enjoyed racquetball and yoga at the local gym on Thursday/ could’ve played pickle-ball with co-residents, and am going to the CT hot air balloon festival on Friday. When you have time and bountiful opportunities (a plug for Daily Nutmeg- the hyperlocal newspaper), you don’t have to wait for the weekend for fun!

Final Thoughts

I wouldn’t change a thing regarding my residency training or my socio-cultural environment. I thank my program and my co-residents to help me feel totally in place, and for being who they are. They’ve made a significant contribution in my development as a competent and compassionate clinician, an early-career leader, and a generally-content human. I’d be happy to help in any way I can – reach me at nikhil.gupta@yale.edu.