Our Experience in Psychiatry Core

What was the Psychiatry core like?

Our last core rotation of our third year of medical school, COMPLETE!

And it was an interesting rotation to say the least. Psychiatry was a 6 week rotation. The schedule was the same each week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday we started early and rounded on psych patients from the inpatient psych unit and on patients who psych was consulted for. We then went and observed all of the Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) procedures that were scheduled for the day. ECT is a treatment for certain psych conditions like major depressive disorder and catatonia. After all the ECT’s were completed, we rounded by ourselves on our assigned patients. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we would round on our patients at the hospital and then go to the children’s psychiatric hospital nearby. There, we would see our assigned patients and then a student would give a presentation on a psych topic. Throughout the 6 weeks, I worked with patients with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. I saw patients who were delusional and manic and some who had suicidal ideation.

Although psychiatry is not the specialty I want to go into, I think it was important to be aware of how to identify and treat the common psychiatric illnesses that we will encounter in any specialty.

How we studied for the Psychiatry shelf.

Since the hours for psych allowed for extensive study time, we were able to prepare more for this exam than any of the other shelfs. Overall, it was a pretty simple study plan. We completed all the UWorld psych questions and then redid all of our wrong questions. We read the psych chapter in Master the Boards and watched all of the Online Med Ed videos for psychiatry.  We took all three psychiatry NBME’s and reviewed them together. I took notes on a Word document from all four resources and compiled them into tables on each disorder. The last week before the shelf we reviewed the notes several times and quizzed each other on them. Denzel also re-read the psychiatry chapter in First Aid for Step 1. He also re-watched the Sketchy Pharm neuro videos.

Overall, the shelf was fair and I felt well prepared. There were a few questions that were tricky, of course, but for the most part I knew the answers to most of the questions!

Want a copy of my psychiatry notes?

Psychiatry Notes

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