Psychiatry Rotation Reflection

On my rotation, I encountered many patients with various different psychiatric disorders such as Schizophrenia, Major depression, Conduct disorder, and Bipolar disorder to just name a few. I found each case to be challenging, however, as the time in the rotation went on, I understood how to conduct a patient interview better and was able to complete several mental status examinations on my rotation. I really enjoyed connecting the patient to outside care and finding out what was stopping them from receiving the care that they needed. I found this part of the rotation to be rewarding and found that I was able to spend more time focusing on the barriers to treatment as I realized this was a large issue in the mental health care. I found it challenging to know the diagnosis from the start and therefore was finding myself missing pieces of information with each patient that I would have to go back to in a second interview or in a conversation with another provider. I hope to work on it by writing down three psychiatric illnesses and the common questions to ask for them based off the chief complaint before seeing the patient during my next rotations when encountering psychiatric patients. A specific patient that really stuck with me was a patient who was just 9 years old with suicidal ideations who was displaying disobedient behavior in school and at home while also having given a violent portrayal of a tribe in his history class. He had gotten kicked out of school for “placing his hand on a teacher” although he didn’t hit the teacher the father claimed. It was a tough case due to his age, due to the severity of the accusations of the school feeling that he should get evaluated for conduct disorder, and for the reason that the father did not believe the child had any issues. He subsequently was admitted for further evaluation with the child psychiatrist and I did not get to follow the case but it taught me about the importance of accurately diagnosing patients, especially children, as this can have life long impacts on them and their family. I genuinely enjoyed this rotation and hope to encounter more psychiatry in my future as a PA.

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