So I have the stupid flu. I don't know whether I have the stupid *swine* flu, but death doesn't seem too imminent, so I'm not all that worried, though it did mean missing a day of my psych rotation because I woke up feeling like I'd been beaten and the perpetrator had stuffed all my head holes with dead jellyfish.
Weirdly, due to the surprisingly interesting nature of this rotation, I'm less worried about my grade and more irritated that the new admit to our ward had promised some really interesting fireworks today, and I had to miss them because I was lying in bed or in front of our new (LCD!) tv playing the "drastically varying temperature" game with my fever.
Psych is... hmm... I can't say I want to go into it as a specialty because there's too many hopeless cases, and for criminal psych, I don't like people with antisocial personality disorder (who does?), but I can say the rotation is proving way more elucidating and fun that I ever expected. Nearly every day that I'm there gives me some new "holy crap, this patient..." story, and our attending is really good. He's a really good instructor and likes to give us sort of mini assignments rather than just pimping us, and then focuses a specific lecture around it the next day, largely geared toward the boards, but illustrating examples with memorable patients we've seen during rounds.
So never forgetting what schizoaffective, bipolar type looks like. It's uh... memorable.
The deal is that there are eight of us assigned to the hospital (up off Harlem, so kind of a gnarly commute from Brooklyn), and then we're split off into twos and assigned to different wards. My cohort and I had the good luck of being assigned to the acute psych ward, which gives up the weirdest cases and the best excuses for being late to lecture "sorry we're late, there was a woman blocking the door that was trying to grab us while calling one of the doctors many varieties of MF, and it took a minute to get her out of the way because everyone else on the ward was getting an extremely noncompliant patient down the hall so she wouldn't kick the social worker halfway across the room again."
It's a good program though, but the patient population frequently is from a criminal background and extremely difficult cases, so the rehab can be hard, but they have a whole series of classrooms in the upper part of the building called the "Mall" where patients are expected to report for classes that can teach them anything from art to activities of daily living, the latter of which has a kitchen to learn how to cook, a room they have to clean, lessons on how to apply for an apartment lease and how to open a bank account, so the ones that can eventually be discharged are able to function in society through a variety of community outreach programs, which is cool.
It also helps stimulate their minds, even for the patients that do need extensive inpatient care, and most of them really seem to look forward to it, so you don't get that "screaming in a tiny room at the walls all day every day" thing we saw in Grenada.
It's weird; because the hospital is such a "last resort" place, people keep asking us if we're surprised by it. I say considering what we saw at Mount Gay, it was surprising in a good way.
I think we are getting the chill rotation though, and our attending is particularly chill, so the hours are good, thus last Wednesday, after getting off at 3, we all met for the pre-Happy Hour in Manhattan, which was quite cool.
Oh, I'm going to have to turn in my first patient write up, which makes for interesting reading, since the patient goes extreme flight-of-ideas mode, so my write up included looking up what on earth ma'afa meant, as well as the word "bullshit", just like that, in quotes.
So, so far (except for the flu), I'm really enjoying NY and I'm really enjoying the rotation.