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Thinking about switching to psych

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by ThrowawayGeorge, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. ThrowawayGeorge

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    I know these threads are a dime-a-dozen, but I wanted to if anyone had any additional insight. I've looked over some past threads and they've been quite helpful.

    I don't want to list too many details of my current situation so that I can remain anonymous (hence the username--and FYI my name isn't George...).

    What I can say is I'm a PGY-3 in a field slightly more competitive than psych (ie., non-surgical, not derm).

    I was set on psych for almost all of medical school but changed my mind to my current field at the start of 4th year. I was more-or-less equally interested in both fields, and I settled on my current field because I felt I needed to just make a choice and I felt liked I was a little happier on the rotations than my psych rotation. In hindsight, I think a big reason was I was upset by the lower degree of respect many psychiatrists get from the general public and other physicians, and as someone who wants to be liked by everyone I work with (just my personality--I know I shouldn't seek others' approval, but it's just who I am), I think this influenced me more than I was consciously aware of. I was also quite accepted by the residents/attendings in my specialty of choice at my medical school, and I think that had some influence as well. I got along pretty well with the psych residents and attendings as well, but I seemed to fit in better with my current specialty. We all like to belong somewhere right?

    In my internship I had a small nagging feeling I made the wrong choice, which was a little bigger last year (my first year of my advanced program). I pushed the feeling to the side, thinking if I liked both specialties more or less the same that it made no difference and I might as well continue on rather than start over.

    I've genuinely enjoyed working with my patients, and I love my co-residents, attendings, and nurses/staff. So I've been quite happy and not had much reason to really ask myself if I should switch specialties. The problem is I'm now starting to think I don't actually like my field--just the people in it. I know that probably sounds stupid I'm just realizing it now, but I think I've just been in denial. I think I would honestly make the most of any field, but I believe I would enjoy psych much more than my current field.

    I'm not quite ready to talk to my PD about this. I've only just started really seriously thinking about switching, so I want to give it a little more time before I talk to him/her. I am trying to get advice from some trusted mentors from medical school.

    Do any of you have any additional advice? I see that the APA has a website that lists open PGY-2 positions, but currently there's nothing for the coming year. I know at least one program that specifically interviews and accepts residents into a PGY-2 position if they did a pre-lim year (I did). Are any of you aware of any other psych programs that have dedicated open PGY-2 positions? I plan to ask the psych program at my institution if they have any open positions as well.

    It's been a while since I applied for residency. Can anyone help me with exactly what info I need to get together for ERAS? I assume 3 LORs, including from my current PD? Medical school transcript, USMLE scores, etc. Do any of you remember the deadlines for any of these things? I only remember interviews were roughly Nov-January.
     
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  3. peppy

    peppy Senior Member
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    I just started my first job as a psychiatrist at a private hospital. Here at least the prestige thing is a complete non issue. I don't spend a lot of time with docs of other specialties because we are all busy seeing patients and trying to get our work done so we can go home, but we get a ton of psychiatry consults so they must think we have something of value to offer.
    If they don't respect me, well I still feel very fortunate to have a job that pays well and doesn't work me to death.

    There are at least a few programs that are willing to take PGY-2 transfers historically. I believe university of MD and Medical College of WI are two places that have done so in the past. Might want to try calling programs you would be open to attending to ask if they would consider you for a pgy2 spot. I don't think every place advertises this.
     
  4. COUNTER FIT

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    Hello,

    I do not have the answers to your questions. In the third paragraph third sentence, you say psychiatrists get lower respect from other physicians. I've been there buddy.

    In the same sentence you make an incorrect statement in my opinion. You say psychiatrists get lower respect from the general public. That's not correct. What is your evidence of this?

    There is a commonality to psychiatry. Everyone thinks they are an arm chair psychiatrist. You will be the most interesting person every time. No one has anything in common with a dermatologist or a surgeon. They will just be like, 'Wow, you're brilliant that's awesome!' A psychiatrist comes off as somewhat magical. It's like, 'Wow, I'm good at psychiatry/psychology too how is this person a psychiatrist and I'm not?' :)
     
  5. MacDonaldTriad

    5+ Year Member

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    In social settings, when asked what I do, I try and get away with “I’m a physician”, but this always leads to “really, what kind”. They I say psychiatrists and usually this is followed by one of two bad outcomes. Either they become uncomfortable with their complete inability to understand or relate to our work, or they think they know a lot about it and launch into some relative’s mental health condition trying to get you to validate their theory. Doctors are absolutely no better. They have these same two reactions and shamefully just as little clue as to what we do for the most part. We should avoid worrying about the respect we do or do not have among other specialties. The real truth is that unlike our centric sense of self, other doctors don’t spend any time thinking about us.


    Really, they are the same as us; they probably know some very good psychiatrist and some very bad psychiatrists and are open to the concept that generalizations don’t describe the reality very well. I say this with the possible exception of those pediatric parasitologists, what a piece of work those guys are….
    ;)
     
    A Deep Breath and Dharma like this.

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