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Intern Spotlight

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PGY1 Clinical Rotations:

  • UCSD Hillcrest Inpatient Psychiatry (3 months)

  • VA Inpatient Psychiatry (3 months)

  • Neurology/Child Neurology (2 months)

  • Emergency Medicine (1 month)

  • Inpatient Medicine/Pediatrics (2 months)

  • Outpatient IM/FM clinic with continuity patient panel (half day/wk)

  • Nightfloat/buddy call at UCSD Hillcrest (4 separate weeks)

  • Vacation (4 weeks, 2 or 1 week blocks) 

Average Weekly Hours

On service: ~45-55 hrs/wk

Off service: ~65-75 hs/wk

Night and Weekend Call Duty

  • 4 separate weeks of night float/buddy call with a PGY3 at UCSD Hillcrest (6 nights/wk)

  • 1-2 weekend psychiatry call shifts (12 hr) per month, except no psychiatry call while on medicine or ED rotations (~14 psychiatry weekend shifts total in a year)


Get to know Eric:

Background & Education

I was born and raised in a factory town in Indiana called Marion. As a kid, I mostly cared about sports and sci-fi novels. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to be a football coach or an astronaut (still can’t). I went to Indiana University and studied astrophysics, then to UCSD for 10 years of medical and graduate school. My PhD dissertation used MRI to study chaotic relationships between areas of the lung during stress events - like asthma attacks and high altitude exposure.

Career goals/interests within psychiatry

I am currently undecided in the specialty I would like to pursue a career within Psychaitry. I have a strong interest in forensics and interventional psychiatry.

Typical Week

SUNDAY 

If the waves are good, I’ll go surfing. If not, I’ll go on a bike ride with my wife, Deryn, or take my dog, Barry, on a hike. Sometimes brunch after that. Sunday afternoons are a big time for chores - grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, etc.

MONDAY

Morning 
Wake up at 5:30am, drink coffee, answer emails, walk the dog. Drive to work if I’m on at Hillcrest or bike to work if I’m at the VA. Arrive by 7:15-7:30. Read the charts, talk to the nurses, and check in with the more acute (sick) patients before rounds. Rounds usually are between 9 and 9:30, then it’s orders and notes to round out the morning.
Afternoon
A lot of times, the interns will go get lunch together. Afterwards, I circle back with any of my patients who require more face-to-face time, so that we can talk without feeling rushed. Then the rest of the afternoon is spent admitting patients from the ED or the medical floors.
Evening
Depending on what happens in the hospital, I can get home any time between 4:30-7. If it’s on the earlier side, I’ll often go on a bike ride or go to the park to play basketball with fellow interns. Then I cook and eat dinner with Deryn, maybe watch a movie after dinner if there’s time.

TUESDAY 

Same as Monday, except there’s Tuesday Night Racing at the San Diego velodrome! If I get home from clinic in time, I’ll take my bike down and race. If not, I’ll get takeout and a 4-pack of Mikkeller tall boys and head down to watch with Deryn.

WEDNESDAY

Same as Monday, but with Bar Trivia in the evening!

THURSDAY

Didactics morning! Which means we get a late start. If the waves are good enough to get me out of bed at 5:30, I’ll sneak in a surf session before didactics. If not, I’ll sleep in a bit and have an extra cup of coffee. We have lectures from 8-12. After that, I slam down lunch on the way to the hospital and try to cram a full day’s work into a half day. Typically this means I get out on the later side. If it’s a very special day and I get out in time, I’ll go down to the velodrome for madison practice or ride my bike to Fiesta Island for the Thursday night group ride (affectionately dubbed “Thursday Night World Championships”).

FRIDAY 

Same as Monday.

SATURDAY 

(If no call)
Wake up early to surf or ride bikes (sometimes both if it’s a really good morning!). Deryn and I try to spend the afternoons doing something fun together - going to the zoo, thrift shopping, renting a little Hobie Catamaran and zipping around on Mission Bay. We go out with friends in the evenings or stay in and play board games. Before COVID, Deryn and I went to the theater a couple times per month on Saturday nights. Our favorites are the Cygnet, the Old Globe, San Diego Rep, Lamb’s Players, the Diversionary, and North Coast Rep. We also love the symphony ($5 student tickets to the Jacobs Masterworks Series!).

(if call)
Call days are like regular work days, except they start a bit later and tend to be busier since there’s only two residents and one attending on duty. I work 8am-8pm, eat dinner on the way home, and read for 20 minutes before falling asleep.


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