View Full Version : psychiatry anyone?
04-25-2002, 10:12 AM
Hello, I was watching K-PAX last night and was just thinking that I can't recall reading about anyone wanting to go into psychiatry on this forum. Does anyone know what the pro's and con's of psychiatry are and is anyone considering going into it? Thanks, just curious because I want to keep all my options open in the future.
04-25-2002, 12:52 PM
Alas. . . psychiatry, while one of the most interesting specialties (K-PAX was a great example of that!) is also one of the least popular among med students, at least from what I've seen. If you are interested in psychiatry as a specialty, some of the residency programs will practically recruit you to their programs. . . some of them are that in need of residents. I think it's a result of the fact that what psychiatrists do is so different from what many of the other specialties do (that is not meant in a derogatory fashion whatsoever!). . . our "psychiatry" blocks seem to be a world apart from cardiovascular or CNS. I do, however, know a number of med students here who are interested in psychiatry - if you have any questions I'd suggest making a posting at:
www.mni.uwo.ca/discus .... select "MEDS2006 Admissions"
And I'll direct one of the people interested in Psych to your posting!
04-25-2002, 01:38 PM
Moving to the Med Student forum... :)
UBC, Med 3
04-25-2002, 02:02 PM
Thanks for replying, I checked out your link and it is great. Just curious, are you enjoying your 'block' in psychiatry?
04-26-2002, 01:40 PM
To be perfectly blunt. . . it wasn't my favourite block, and that's a sentiment shared by a number of my classmates. . . that's NOT because I don't find psych interesting but because of the way it's taught here. . . I found it quite disorganized and some of the info didn't seem appropriate to giving an introduction to psychiatry. I find the subject (psychiatry) quite interesting, but I'm not sure I agree entirely with current approaches within the field, particularly the move to medicate almost everything. It's amazing how many different disorders are currently being treated with SSRIs. . . but then again, I'm only in 1st year and have had only 2 weeks of psych don't want to pretend to know what I talking about.
I haven't completely ruled it out...ped psych though. It's ashame the med students still think of psych as some strange distant cousin that no one pays attention to. If anything, family docs should be very comfortable with common disorders since they are so prevalent in society (eg depression, anxiety). I'll find out next year in our psych block if it is something I will seriously consider.
04-26-2002, 11:23 PM
I start my Psych rotation next week. Every surgeon's dream rotation. :)
UBC, Med 3
04-28-2002, 12:45 PM
Just wanted to clarify that it was the way the Psych block was conducted at Western and not Psychiatry itself that I wasn't impressed with. Even the people in our class who are already determined to go into psychiatry weren't that happy with it. . . hopefully they'll make some changes for next year. Oz10 - what do you guys at Queen's think of your psych block? Is it well organized? What do you guys cover?
To answer that question for Western. . . Psych wasn't well organized - it seemed to be a hodge-podge of lectures associated with psych, but there was no overall structure suggesting they were trying to give us a foundation or anything. We had everything from a lecture on "Normal Family Development" to "Learning Styles" to lectures about specific conditions such as ADHD.
I have my psych block at the beginning of next year. It used to be the last block of first year so no one would show up. I haven't heard too much about it. Psych is followed by neuro next year so there seems to be some order to things.
04-28-2002, 08:34 PM
Yeah. . . we have a similar order too, though things seem to be switched (our Neuro block directly precedes our Psych block in 1st year, at least.)
So you guys don't cover psych and neuro until 2nd year? I remember when I was interviewing last year, it seemed that Western and Queens's programs seemed almost identical (block based, etc.), though I do remember Queen's having a longer intro period. How many times do you guys cover each block - once or twice? We end up covering each block twice: once in first year in terms of basic sciences (anatomy, biochem, etc.) and then again in 2nd year in terms of medical/clinical sciences (ie pharmacology, medicine.) Rumour is that you guys do each block just once, covering both aspects at the same time. Is this true? And how long do you guys spend on each block?
We cover each block only once. Our first term was spent on basic science stuff (biochem, pharm, genetics,phys,anat). this term we did micro/immuno (3-4 weeks), Infectious diseases (4 weeks, way too many bugs and drugs!), MSK (4 weeks), derm (1 week), Haem (3 weeks) and Oncology (1 week). It's a little scary we only see this stuff once and not again until LMCCs. Unlike alot of other schools who do a review before board exams, our clerkship is still on as it doesn't start until january of third year.
04-28-2002, 09:57 PM
Yeah. . . that was something that was a bit of a concern for me about Queen's last year when I was applying (Queen's and Western were my top two choices. . . I was really torn between them considering how similar they are in many regards!)
Sounds like you guys basically get the amount of stuff we do, just all together rather than split up between years 1 and 2 - we too have 3 weeks of hametology (1 week 1st year, 2 in 2nd year,) and I think it's about the same for MSK, micro, etc. I know what you mean about not being able to believe you'll see stuff again until the LMCCs. . . there's a number of diseases for which we've too have been told we won't see anything again for the LMCCs as well. It is kind of scary. . . but everyone I've heard whose written them has said they (the LMCCs) really aren't that bad. And I guess you've either learned the stuff over the 4 years or you haven't - it's not like you're going to have a few months to study before seeing each of your real patients! (the only exam that really matters. . . )
04-28-2002, 10:17 PM
I think there are quite a number of students interested in psych in our class. Also, it's really a large part of family practice. It's important to know.
Doing psych in class/lectures were alright, and I learned all the drugs and conditions pretty well. That was alright. But after I did a four week block of psych in ASCM 2 on the in-patient wards, I determined that it just wasn't something that I would ever like to do. Personally, I can't stand psych, and it's something I often make fun of (although not seriously). But I admire people who do like psych. I think it's a tough job to do.
04-29-2002, 06:39 AM
At Mac we do a month of PBL Psych and then 6 weeks of psych in clerkship (plus as mentioned above, there is a heck of a lot of psych in family medicine)....
I find the acute emergent psych fascinating. We have a large emergency psychiatric unit as part of one of our emergency departments (of course all of the emerg's have psych) - this is the one where the police, ambulances etc. bring patients... I must admit, when I did my elective there, I routinely came out of there with my eyes feeling WIDE open and my jaw feeling like it was dragging on the floor!! (of course with the old non-judgemental, non-phased look that we all learn to portray)... It was definitely quite interesting.
I don't overly enjoy the family medicine type psych -- you see more depression and anxiety than ear infections! It is really quite amazing how normal it is... too bad there is still such a stigma attached.
I am starting my clerkship psych rotation in two weeks.
I think there are a good number of people interested in psych in my class.
Aside from it being important to know for practice, it makes up 1/5 or 1/6 (I forget how many parts there are) of the Licensing exam at the end of med school!
04-29-2002, 09:25 PM
Psych is absolutely important. The points about the LMCC and family are well taken. . . in addition, I think having a good background in psych is important for ANY specialty where you're dealing with patients. Here at Western we also get four weeks divided over the first two years, in addition to the six weeks of clerkship. . . so it is comparable to Mac.
What I was hoping some of the other med students could comment on was how the psychiatry is ORGANIZED at their schools. . . I've kind of found it disorganized here at Western and I was wondering how it compares to other schools. I'm a big found of getting a "foundation" in a topic in first year. . . and for psych, it didn't seem that's what we got. We had a huge mixmatch of lectures, and some of them went into advanced detail about some topics (ie ADHD and Autism) but then very little/no detail about other topics (ie no coverage of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia at all!) Carolyn and others, how do they organize the preclerkship psych blocks at your schools?
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