psych at harvard, stanford, columbia

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by anais, Apr 27, 2002.

  1. anais

    anais Junior Member

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    Anyone have any info onthese three psych programs?
    Or any info on strong psych programs in general?
    I've looked at USNews but am not sure
    that those rankings really reflect the strength
    of the residency programs.

    Also, I noticed that in one of the posts someone mentioned that people with mental disorders tend to go into psych. Just out of curiosity, what do you guys think of that? Do you think someone who has been diagnosed with, say, major depression
    should just plain out avoid psych as a specialty due to their natural predisposition to not be able to handle their emotions as well as someone who hasn't? Just curious as to what you guys think.
     
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  3. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Being diagnosed with a clinically significant depression does not correlate with being "unable to handle one's emotions". It is true that being clinically depressed can affect one's ability to work effectively - however, this is true whether the individual is a surgeon, banker, lawyer or psychiatrist. I know of no reason why someone with mental health issues should avoid psychiatry as an entire profession - just like any other job, when problems are acute that individual needs to seek help if it affects his or her job.

    And while it may be a contentious subject I have also always understood (and noted subjectively) that Psychiatry tends to attract a significantly greater number of individuals with DSM diagnoses than other fields of medicine. Does this mean that they are not effective clinicians? Obviously not - people can often function very well in society with a mental illness. Therefore, should you be asking whether or not you should avoid psychiatry as a career because of some personal mental health issues, I would simply suggest that if its being taken care of you have no more reason to avoid psychiatry than any other field.

    Best of luck.
     
  4. choker

    choker Senior Member

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    i've noticed that everyone i know going into or that's already in psychiatry/psychology/social work has some serious mental problems and messed up history. psychiatry is a seriously difficult and not very tangibly rewarding job_ it seems to attract almost exclusively people that have had deep personal experiences with it.

    just an observation.
     
  5. Denise0207

    Denise0207 Junior Member

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    As someone who has just endured -- and thankfully, survived -- interviewing for a psych residency position, I think the best advice I can give is to not always rely on what other people or websites say about the strength of the psych residency programs. Psychiatry is one of the most deeply divided fields with respect to ideology, and this really affects other peoples' opinions of the training programs. The most important question to ask is: what are you looking for in a residency program and how would you like to practice in the future? My experience is that the Northeast -- particularly Boston and New York -- is one of the last havens for psychodynamic therapy/psychoanalysis and they will tend to look down on the more "biologically" oriented programs (i.e. the ones in the south and on the west coast) and vice versa. So, it all comes down to the big question: is one orientation and method of training better than the other? Probably not, but it shows that people's opinions are just as likely to be colored by their training background. I found it really helpful to just attend as many interviews as I could and see what the programs are all about firsthand (I often found that people's criticisms of other programs were completely unfounded). It is also a really interesting learning experience and it really opened my eyes as to how differently the programs approach the practice of psychiatry. Here's another interesting thing: some of the programs with which I was most impressed were not the "big name" schools but some of the smaller programs. However, there is always the tradeoff of excellent program vs. location (most of these schools were in smaller cities, so not always ideal given where you are in life at the moment).
     
  6. anais

    anais Junior Member

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    Thanks for your reply Denise!
    I know you said its more of a personal thing, but what programs were you referring to when you
    said that there were really strong programs but in smaller towns? Also, how did you go about researching programs and deciding where to apply?
     
  7. Denise0207

    Denise0207 Junior Member

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    Two of the programs that really impressed me were the University of Massachusetts and Brown (neither of which made the US News list, but they both have very solid training programs). One of the major reasons why I didn't end up ranking either at the top of my list was because of location (I'm a city girl at heart and I don't think I could survive in a smaller setting no matter how hard I tried to make myself think I could). I want to do a fellowship in child psychiatry after my general residency, so I ended up applying to a lot of the programs that offered either double-boarded or triple boarded programs (both UMass and Brown offer combined child/general psych programs). Some tips on trying to narrow down programs to apply/interview at: 1) do you have any special interests in psych? You could do a medline search to see where the major researchers in your field are based; 2) location -- I wanted to stay in the northeast, so I limited my applications to this area plus a few of the programs further south; 3) social network -- do you have any friends in any particular city you'd love to spend a few years with?
     
  8. anais

    anais Junior Member

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    So far I'm thinking about programs in CA and out East. I have a few friends in CA and no one out East which I hope won't be such a bad thing. I have just also noticed that some of the big name programs tend to be rather uppity. did you notice that? i'd rather be somewhere where the people are a little down to earth. where are you going for your residency? and thanks for all your advice!
     
  9. Treybird

    Treybird Senior Member

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    Greetings. I've been reading the posts here and while I don't have any diagnosed psych conditons, as yet, I am very interested in forensic psych. My interest would be in profiling and serial murder investigations. Does anybody have any thoughts on this field? I'm not in this room often so if you have any thoughts, or experience, in this field, please e-mail me at [email protected]
    Thanks.
     

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