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Week in the Life

We asked a few residents to provide applicants with a window into their lives, one day or one week at a time.

The following is a brief one day in the life sent by a current PGY4. Click the links below for more detailed "week in the life" examples.

Example day in the life of a current PGY4:

This morning happens to be one of my two days of outpatient continuity clinic, so I am seeing patients in clinic. Given our current pandemic, half of my appointments today are virtual and the other half in person. As a PGY4, we have the flexibility to not step out and staff cases in person, but can message our attendings (who are actively watching the encounter) when we are shifting into assessment/plan. They are able to send us a message that they agree with our plan, or they may ask us to step out and staff the case. This enables us more control and autonomy over patient care and also takes much less time. As I wrap up my four follow-ups for the morning, I drive to the hospital for lunch. We are provided $3,000 food allowance for the year and believe it or not, our hospital food is worth eating!

This afternoon, I have the opportunity to work with the Designated Crisis Responders (DCR). In Washington, the DCR is the sole entity who has the ability to involuntarily detain people secondary to grave disability or risk of harm to self or others. Today, I am assigned a case that is out in the community. We spend the first hour compiling information on the case: police records, jail records, collateral from family and therapists. After having all the necessary information, we call the special mental health police unit to meet us at the patient’s residence. We stage a block away from the house and meet with the police to come up with a plan. Ambulance is called to help with transportation to the hospital if detainment is deemed necessary. In the end, this person needed to be detained for grave disability. It is wonderful to see mental health professional work in concert with police to help treat this population. In this case, motivational interviewing proved effective at getting the patient outside their house to receive further treatment.

We follow the ambulance to the hospital and help in the process of getting the patient settled in. As 5pm nears, I peel off to let the DCR finish their paperwork, retiring home to my solace on the river with my puppy. Time to re-energize the batteries before starting a completely different adventure the next day.