A Day in the Life

Click below to learn more about a typical day in the life of a psychiatry resident at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Day in the Life Video: PGY-2, Max Cabrera, M.D.

PGY2 Psychiatry Resident Day in the Life | Weill Cornell Medicine

Day in the Life Video: PGY-1, Bobby Wozniak, M.D.

PGY1 Psychiatry Resident Day in the Life | Weill Cornell Medicine

PGY- 4: Rebecca (Reba) E. Watsky, M.D.

Rebecca Watsky MD PsychiatryI get up around 6:30am so I can spend a pleasant hour playing with my baby daughter before heading to work. I live on Roosevelt Island, and I take the tram every day, enjoying the incredible views of Manhattan as part of my daily commute. In previous years, PGY4 residents did not all have their own offices, but this year, for the first time, we do! My office is in a building on 61st Street, just a few blocks from the hospital. I love having my own space, and having some separation from the hospital makes me feel like a real grown-up psychiatrist with my own little practice. 

I spend the day seeing a mix of psychotherapy and med management patients. This year, I am doing electives including transference-focused psychotherapy, couples’ therapy, and palliative care, and I get to have regular supervision with leading experts in these fields. I also make room in my week to attend my own therapy sessions, which provides a crucial source of real-world learning about how to do this job! 

On Thursdays, I gather together with my co-residents for didactics and process group. This year, we are all pulled in different directions with our electives, so it is great to have a dedicated time each week to be together. 

I wrap up my day by 5pm and get home in plenty of time for play, dinner, bath time, and bedtime with my daughter—and then a nice couple of hours of relaxed adult time once she is asleep! 

PGY-3: Michael S. Woods, M.D.

As a PGY-3, I don’t have to be at the hospital until 9AM. This gives me time to sleep in, play with my dog and 7-month-old baby and have my first cup of coffee of the day. Thankfully, I live in hospital housing and only have to commute about 5 feet before I’m at my office. Each day in the outpatient department is different, which I really love. Some days start out with me seeing patients, others start out with didactics, others with supervision. All of our offices are located next to each other so in between patients and meetings I stop by my co-residents’ offices to socialize a bit before continuing on to the next appointment. 

PGY-3 is different than our first two years of residency. You’re given a panel of 50 or so patients that are yours to take care of. It’s an exciting time but can also be nerve-wracking. Thankfully, you’re not alone. There is TONS of supervision with world-class attendings, which really makes the learning experience of PGY-3 invaluable. We get psychopharmacology supervision as well as supervision in multiple modalities of psychotherapy including psychodynamic, CBT, supportive and group. In addition to all of this, we have weekly meetings with the legendary Dr. Otto Kernberg (truly legendary). 

At around 5pm, I head on home. It’s so nice having the evening to cook, exercise, go out for dinner, hang out with friends and explore this amazing city with my family. We truly have a great work-life balance which is one of my favorite aspects of the residency. I couldn’t be happier training here, and am happy to talk to anyone applying who wants to learn a bit more about a day in the life! 

PGY-2: Elora Basu, M.D.

Elora BasuIn PGY-2 year, residents spend most of their time at NewYork-Presbyterian/ Weill Cornell Medicine rotating between the inpatient unit, consult service, psychiatric emergency room, and a month of elective time. We also spend a couple months of the year at NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester Behavioral Health on the personality disorders unit, and Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx getting addiction experience.

I just moved to the Upper West Side with my partner, so I start my day around 7am with a quick coffee and breakfast at home before catching the crosstown bus. The main hospital is easily accessible by bus, train (Q, 6) and has multiple resident housing options within walking distance as well. 

The workday usually begins between 8-9am (depending on the rotation) with morning rounds with the attendings, social workers, and medical students, followed by seeing all your patients. Other morning tasks include putting in orders, writing notes, and calling family members. (If it’s a Tuesday, we have protected lecture time from 9AM-1:30PM.) Around noon, I go for lunch with my co-residents, usually meeting up in the cafeteria for a quick break and catch-up. On Fridays at noon, we have a residency-wide Lunch and Learn for residents only, usually with a speaker or to discuss a specific topic. In the afternoons, I check back in with patients, touch base with my attending, and wrap up the day’s to dos. This is also when I schedule any meetings with supervisors and faculty mentors. I usually leave the hospital between 4-5pm if I’m not on call that day.

In the evenings, I like to catch up with friends for dinner or stay in to cook, squeeze in a workout, and watch lots of Netflix. On weekends, I love trying new restaurants, walking through Central Park, seeing friends, and catching up on errands before the next week begins! 

PGY-1: Amy Matthews, M.D.

dr. amy matthewsAll of my mornings start off pretty much the same – get out of bed at 7AM, head straight to the bathroom to do my one-million-step skincare routine, finish the other mundane tasks of getting ready, and then head to the hospital at around 7:45AM so I can grab a bagel before sign-out at 8AM in the CPEP.

After sign-out is finished, tgether as a team, an attending, social worker, nurse, and I, round on our assigned patients. Through this integrative and collaborative model, we are able to provide our patients with extremely well-rounded care. Once rounds are done, I will chart and see any new patients that come in. At around noon, I head down to the highly regarded Garden Café (yelp review coming soon) for some much-needed lunch. The rest of the day consists of triaging new incoming patients, evaluating them, and assessing next steps of their treatment plan. A day in the CPEP ends at around 8PM when the overnight team comes in to receive sign-out.

I walk five minutes to my apartment, thanks to NewYork-Presbyterian housing, and get changed for a Barry’s class that is booked through Weill Cornell Medicine Psychiatry-funded ClassPass. Whether I work out or not, I end my day with some dinner, Gilmore Girls (it’s fall, aka the perfect time of year for a rewatch), and a night-time version of my one-million-step skincare routine.

I cannot emphasize how grateful I am to be in Weill Cornell Medicine Psychiatry Residency Program and I cannot wait to see where these next few years take me!  

PGY-1: Nathen Spitz, M.D.

dr. nathen spitz *Cues the Bon Jovi music* "Woah-oh, we're halfway there!" I am now currently three months into my six months of "off-service" or "non-psychiatry" rotations required of us as an intern here at Weill Cornell Medicine! My day in terms of starting and ending times looks a little different depending on which rotation I'm on (internal medicine, emergency medicine, or neurology), but more or less, looks about the same! Living in NewYork-Presbyterian housing on the Upper East Side, I usually can wake up roughly 30 to 40 minutes before I need to be at the hospital with plenty of time to scroll through social media, listen to podcasts, get ready, and head out the door! It honestly takes me seven minutes to lock my door and be logged in to the computers in the resident work rooms -- this includes swinging by our hospital's Panera with the 'Sips Club' unlimited membership where for roughly $10 per month you can get a coffee or tea every 2 hours throughout the day. 


Mornings for most rotations on the off-service side include getting sign-out from the night teams varying from 6:30 to 7:30 in the morning; pre-rounding and/or team-based table rounding; with the rest of the day to complete general intern tasks -- calling consults, putting in orders, writing notes, doing admissions, updating families, and dedicated time for teaching from attendings/senior residents or doing some teaching for medical students as well. I've also really been enjoying the catered breakfasts and lunches on internal medicine and neurology -- knowing you've got food available really does offload so much stress and planning throughout the day. When I'm not on call, and on rotations like neurology or internal medicine, I'm usually done around 2 or 3 pm, with the once or twice-weekly call shifts going until roughly 8:00 pm. Side note, the $180/month for food in the cafeteria really helps on nights like these! 

After leaving the hospital, you can catch me up in the gym just workin' on my fitness; trying one of New York's endless amazing restaurants with cuisines from across the world; walking around Central Park listening to audiobooks or calling friends and family;  planning my next Electronic Dance Music show with friends; and more! The opportunities for you to learn, grow, and explore in New York City and at Weill Cornell Medicine are seemingly endless! 

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