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PGY-3 Spotlight

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​PGY3 Clinical Rotations 

  • Outpatient Psychiatry at the OPS  (12 months)

Average weekly hours 
  • PGY3 on-service: 45-55 hrs/week

 Night and weekend call duty 

  • 4 total weeks of night float at the NBMU (82 hr/wk)"
  • ~14 weekend shifts total in a year, 2-3 holidays worked

Get to know Jason Compton

Background & Education: 

I am home-grown Californian, through and through. I grew up in Nor Cal before studying Art and Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior at UC Davis. While in undergrad I participated in multiple art gallery exhibits and worked as a medical illustrator. I also completed research in numerous areas including stem cells, surgery, ophthalmology, and bioengineering. I then went to medical school at UCSD, where I played a big role in student government while acting as a student-run free clinic manager and doing research in neurosurgery. I've spent a good deal of time working in education as well, as a tutor during undergrad and as an MCAT instructor, and volunteered time teaching underserved high school students biology while in medical school. My wife Staci and I love living in San Diego, and luckily UCSD wanted to keep me around for residency.  

Career Goals:  

Despite being in my third year of residency I remain largely undifferentiated. I have a passion for medical education, and I am currently in UCSD Psychiatry's Clinical Educator Track with hopes of making academic psychiatry a significant part of my future career. I am also getting specific training in psychodynamic therapy through a fellowship offered by the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center. In addition to academics and psychodynamics, my interests include neuromodulation techniques such as ECT and TMS, research in ketamine and suicide, and I am working on a handful forensic cases as well. 

Typical Week:   
AM: Usually my wife, daughter and I start with attending church, followed by lunch with close friends at one of the many awesome joints around San Diego. Recent favorite spots have been in the Coronado area. 
PM: I spend the rest of Sunday mentally preparing for the coming week and completing errands and chores that I am too busy to get around to during the week. This is my chance to go grocery shopping, do laundry, and hydrate. 

Morning: With a new baby that still hasn't figured out the whole "sleep" thing, my wife and I are usually up pretty early. Coffee is a necessity. I then go to the VA where I am either in the PACU administering ECT, or I am in the interventional suite helping with ketamine and TMS.  
Afternoon: Head to the outpatient psychiatry clinic at the Hillcrest site, grabbing lunch on the way. My afternoon is then spent seeing clinic patients for follow up visits.  
Evening: After wrapping up notes and responding to patient messages, I head home for dinner with the family. My wife is usually happy to hand off our baby daughter to me at this point, and I take the lead in baby duties until she is put down for bed. We have been working hard at getting her to sleep before 11PM, with limited success. 

Morning: Tuesday mornings start with either grand rounds or clinic didactics, both of which are always very educational. I probably barely make it in time, after slipping into unconsciousness while rocking the baby back to sleep at 4:30AM. After grand rounds/ clinic didactics I fill out the morning seeing a few clinic patients, and discuss any difficult cases during supervision. 
Afternoon: Tuesdays, we eat. The program provides generous funds for purchasing lunch for third year residents on Tuesdays, and our chief resident has a gift for picking out amazing food. Unfortunately, I am on a strict ketogenic diet, so I usually spend this time watching wistfully while others partake in the carb-laden feast. After lunch, I see patients for complicated grief therapy, which has been a very deep and meaningful elective. 
Evening: After changing out of hospital attire and washing up, I'm all about my baby daughter. She is extremely cute and adorable even despite spitting up approximately every 15 minutes. Once she is put down for bed I fall promptly to sleep in whatever milk and spit up stained clothes I happen to be wearing. 

Morning: I am one of a few residents enrolled in the CARE clinic elective, which focuses on treating first break and early psychosis. It is never a dull time, and we regularly discuss cutting edge research in the field with the program director and head of the clinic, Dr. Cadenhead.  
Afternoon: I grab a piece of cheese, handful of almonds, and a Bubbly and sit down for lunch with my co-residents. I love keto. Then I hold intakes of new patients in clinic, which I enjoy. Afterwards, there is always some salient teaching about the patients seen in clinic that afternoon. 
Evening: As soon as I get home, I relieve my wife of baby duty. The babe has started to roll over and is attempting to crawl, even though at the time of writing this she is just 3 months old! I am glad she is ahead of the curve, but she is lacking in upper body and core strength, and eventually exhausts herself and then silently lays face down, obstructing her mouth and nose. This means I will be up all night keeping vigilant watch over her, making sure she does not roll onto her belly and suffocate herself. It is well worth all the anxiety, though, easily. 

Morning: The coffee flows. Thursday mornings we have professor's rounds, followed by didactics. There is almost always a lively and engaging discussion during these mornings. Free speech and a diversity of ideas and viewpoints is always very highly valued. No one is discriminated against for their political or moral beliefs, and everyone is heard out in a respectful and inclusive manner. 
Afternoon: After lunch and neuromodulation didactics, I spend the remainder of the afternoon seeing follow ups in the outpatient clinic.  
Evening: I take this opportunity to get a work out in while taking care of the baby. I have found that there are a number of exercises you can do while holding a baby including sit ups, squats, and arm curls while using the baby as a weight. She is growing every day, so the exercises naturally progress in difficulty. Although I must admit my wife is less excited about my new exercise equipment.  

Morning: Fridays start off with therapy supervision, a great opportunity to discuss my psychotherapy cases and what direction to take in those sessions. The rest of the morning is spent seeing clinic follow ups. 
Afternoon: On Fridays, there are some amazing food trucks that set up business at the Hillcrest hospital, right outside of the outpatient psychiatry clinic.  The smell of the food is amazing, and nothing is better than watching my co-residents eat delicious food while nibbling on my keto-friendly lunch of pre-packaged salami and cashews. After lunch, I see my psychotherapy patients, and if I have time, work on a forensic case. 
Evening: Fatherhood has greatly changed the landscape of Friday evenings. These days, it is spent enjoying a carbonated beverage, Diet Coke to be exact, while holding and reading to the baby. We are currently working through Martin Heidegger's Being and Time. 

AM: Saturdays are days that I like to set aside for family. When not on call, it is great to get to spend a day with my wife and daughter. I also have a brother in the Marines stationed in Pendleton nearby and often visit him, my sister-in-law, and niece. Having a brother living on base comes with perks, for example, the beach up there is fantastic and usually far less crowded. 
PM: This is my chance to cook dinner, which I love to do. Less excited about it is my wife, who has been subjected to my repeated attempts at cooking keto versions of Southern, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisine (my favorites) with close to no knowledge of what I am doing.  

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