I don't have the answer for this, but I'd do what you're most comfortable with, even if the learning experience is slightly lessHi all,
First, thanks for your time in fielding these questions. I'm a second year medical student and am about to set up my schedule for MS3. We have two options, in general, for psychiatry: 1) inpatient, and 2) a consult service where you exclusively work with the psych residents who are consulting on other patients in the hospital.
I'm definitely not interested in psychiatry as a career, but I am interested in getting as much as possible out of this rotation. With respect to choosing an option, the consensus among the MS3s and 4s seems to be that the inpatient experience is better. A minority argues that students who don't see them themselves in psychiatry will have a more relevant experience on the consult service.
The reason I'm posting is that I have a family history of depression. Specifically, an immediate family member attempted to commit suicide a few years ago. Thankfully, that family member is doing significantly better with treatment. I've been doing fine and am not at all concerned about myself, but I can't help but wonder whether spending 4 weeks in an inpatient setting wouldn't lead me to start ruminating on the past, thinking of my patients somehow differently, etc.. Those thoughts make me want to prefer the consult service, but it would be a shame to knowingly pick the weaker (going by upperclassman reviews) experience because of a problem that might not even come up.
So what do you all think I should do? Is there an obvious answer?