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A Day in the Life

Fei Chen, DO

Fei Chen, DO

Fei Chen, DO
PGY – 1

My Background:

I grew up in Maryland and attended the University of Michigan for undergrad. I then relocated to Sarasota, Florida to attend medical school at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Why I chose UF:

I knew I could never survive another winter in sub-zero temperatures and no sunlight for 6 months, so I decided to stay in the South. UF had the distinction of being a program with a multitude of strong fellowships, specifically in addictions, child, forensics, community, neuromodulation and geriatrics psychiatry. Between that and exposure to a variety of populations (including VA, Vista, BSU, and opportunities offsite at Vero beach and state hospitals just to name a few), I had no doubt I would have a well-rounded training experience. Moreover, I wanted to be at an institution with a well-established child fellowship and a history of successful child matches. Lastly, I enjoyed the cohesiveness between the residents during my interview and now appreciate it more than ever. Not only do we have immense support from our amazing big sibs (the current PGY 2s) but our incredible Chiefs as well. Everyone from our fellow residents to staff and faculty have been tremendously helpful in getting us interns situated in our new role as residents.

Typical daily schedule:

Currently, I’m on the urgent care rotation, which fulfills 1 of the 4 medicine month requirement for psychiatry intern year (we are only required to spend 1 month on inpatient medicine at UF). I start my day seeing patients in the ED 2 at the VA around 8-830am. ED2 takes the less acute cases that come into the VA emergency room. I work with a different physician each day of the week as they have a rotating schedule. I see patients and staff with my attending, and am responsible for the documentation, orders, and prescriptions for each case. I typically end around 5pm, with a little break around noon on days we have lunch time lecture or conference. Additionally, every Tuesday afternoon interns have a block of protected didactics time at our outpatient psychiatry Springhill location, which we leave rotations early to attend.

How I spend my free time:

I am scheduled to take Step 3 soon so most of my free time is unfortunately devoted to studying. However, I make sure to take breaks to go out and explore all that Gainesville has to offer with my fellow residents, especially now that football season is upon us. Given our proximity to Orlando, Tampa, St. Augustine and Jacksonville (all within 1.5-2hrs), we will be planning many trips for the months to come!


Jennifer Davis, MD

Jennifer Davis, MD

Jennifer Davis, DO
PGY – 2

My Background:

I was born in New York, and I grew up in Jacksonville, FL. I went to Florida State University for undergraduate. After that, I went to William Carey University COM for medical school.

Why I Chose UF:

The faculty at UF contains a multitude of experts from various psychiatric subspecialties across the country. I believe the training at UF and the quality of the faculty is truly exceptional.

There is a strong camaraderie between all the residents. Everyone is so supportive of one another. The residents really get along and enjoy doing things outside of work together for fun.

I was impressed by the resources available to the residents including many opportunities for scholarly activity and attending psychiatric conferences across the country .The program encourages you to broaden your education.

Typical daily schedule:

I am currently on the Yellow Team on the inpatient unit at the VA. This team focuses on substance abuse. I split seeing 12 patients with a physician assistant on the team. I will get there in the morning and run the list of patient’s with the nursing staff. We discuss new patients who came in overnight as well as if there were any acute overnight issues. After that, I will round on my patients accompanied by the medical student on the team. Then the whole treatment team consisting of the attending, social workers, nursing staff, a physician assistant, and a medical student discuss the patients and meet with the new admissions together. The attending will give you autonomy to make decisions for your patients while still providing guidance whenever needed. Next, I typically will take a lunch break with some of my colleagues who are also rotating at the VA. Then I will complete my notes in the afternoon and stay on the unit until 5pm.

How I spend my free time:

I enjoy hanging out with my husband and fellow residents in my free time. We will often go out to restaurants, go to the pool, or participate in outdoor activities. My favorite outdoor activity is hiking at Payne’s Prairie where you can see all sorts of wildlife including wild horses, alligators, and bison.


Natasha Clark, MD

Natasha Clark, MD

Natasha Clark, MD
PGY – 2

My background:

I was born and raised in Chicago, and stayed in the Midwest for undergrad at University of Michigan. I went back to Illinois and attended University of Illinois at Chicago for my Masters in Public Health, and later on went to University of Illinois at Peoria for medical school.

Why I chose UF:

The two factors that played into my decision of choosing UF were:  First, I felt I would receive great training with the variety of patients at several different hospital sites and clinic settings. Second, I saw the way the residents got along and seemed like they were happy. I wanted to make sure that I would be at a program where I felt like I would fit in, and I would be able to get along with my fellow colleagues. After interviewing, I felt pretty confident that both of those aspects would be fulfilled at this program. I also have an interest in addiction psychiatry, and this program is well known for its addiction training, so it was a great fit for me.

Typical daily schedule:

Currently, I am on the Shands consult service. My work day usually starts shortly before 8:00am. I go in and round on my patients. Then the team meets around 9:30am to round on the whole teams’ patients which could be anywhere between 1 patient to 10 or so. After rounding, we see any new patients that we get consulted on during the day. We then round again in the afternoon around 1:30 or 2pm, and see the new patients that we have seen during the day. Three days out of the week, I have didactics during the lunch hour. Currently our team consists of 4 residents, with 2 interns who are there all the time, but the senior residents are there when they don’t have to see clinic patients. We also have a lot of medical students on the team who can go around and help see some of the patients. At the end of the day, we write notes on the patients that we saw. I usually end up leaving around 5:00pm. Leaving at 5:00pm, gives me a little free time to run errands or cook dinner, or even head out to Planet Fitness to get some exercise in.

How I spend my free time:

Since we are on a college campus, there are plenty of things to do. I look forward to being able to attend some of the football games, because I am sure that it would be a great experience. Being from Chicago, there were always a variety of restaurants to go to, so it’s good to see that there are some pretty good restaurants to try in the area, so that I don’t miss out on some diverse cuisine.  Also, since Gainesville is in north central Florida, it’s kind of close to a lot of major cities, so you can have a nice weekend drive to places like Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, etc. I have some family and friends who live within a couple of hours of here, so I can always take a weekend trip to visit them. It’s still early in my time here in Gainesville, but I’ll have plenty of time to get around and explore Gainesville and the rest of the surrounding areas.


Camilo Leal, MD

Camilo Leal, MD

Camilo Leal, MD
PGY – 2

My background:

My Name is Camilo Leal. I am originally from Colombia South America. Growing up my parents moved back and forth between the States and Colombia a few times before finally ending up in Atlanta Ga, in 1998. There I would complete my grade school, as well as do undergrad at Georgia State University and went to Medical School at Morehouse School of Medicine.

Why I chose UF:

After submitting my residency application, UF was one of the first programs to offer me an Interview and it was actually the 2nd interview of a total of 13 that I did. Being from Atlanta and having done my undergrad as well as my medical school there, I wanted to experience something different, and wanted a new challenge. At the same time, most of my family is in Atlanta and wanted to be close enough were it would not be too difficult to go visit. After completing my interview day at UF I knew I had found the ideal place for me to complete my residency training. They offered plenty of academic and research opportunities if you are interested, but the program does not force you to do research. The staff that I met during the interview was all very welcoming and friendly. And finally, one of the things I noticed the most, and considered very important was that the residents got along well. This is something that has allowed me to go through my first year is all the great people I have met and made some amazing friends in people in my class but also in classes ahead of me. I most definitely made the right choice coming to UF.

Typical daily schedule:

Well, I hit snooze a few times before I actually get up for the day. Yes, I’m that person that snoozes the alarm for about 1 hour before actually getting up. Currently I’m rotating through the VA mental health intensive case management (MHICM). This rotation is pretty unique because we go to see the patients at their homes as opposed to have the patients come to us, so what this rotation entails is we meet with a treatment team of about 8-10 case managers every morning at 7:30 to discuss any issues or concerns with any patient. There are a total of about 130 patients in the program. Each day after rounds, we go and visit anywhere from 4-8 patients at their homes throughout the “Greater Gainesville Area” (that is a term I just made up by the way). After seeing the patients and discussing the patients with the attending and the case manager, we determine what changes need to be made. We finish the day back at the office completing the notes and placing any orders that need to be placed.


Christopher Ong, MD

Christopher Ong, MD

Christopher Ong, MD
PGY – 3

My background:

While I was born in New Jersey, I was raised in Jacksonville, FL for most of my life. I am a true product of the University of Florida system as I have attended undergrad, medical    school, and residency here in Gainesville.

Why I chose UF:

1)     Academic/research opportunities: the program doesn’t force you to do research, but if you like presenting and going to conferences, this program does more for its residents than any other in the country. Last year, UF had the MOST residents from any program presenting at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual conference (which was all the way in New York) thanks to financial support and rotation coverage that was organized by Dr. Gold, Dr. Hobbs, and our chief residents.

2)     Call schedule: our program has a lot of call at the start, but luckily you’re done with call at the end of your second year (yes, that means no call as a 3rd or 4th year). Because you learn so much on call, it’s no wonder why we often feel more prepared than our counterparts at other programs where call is stretched out over all 4 years.

3)     Personality: the residents just get along! You’ll hear us say it over and over again, but unlike other programs where the residents pretend to know each other on interview day, you’ll see that we are a family who isn’t afraid to have a little fun (or make fun of each other).

Typical daily schedule:

Currently I’m on night float at our stand-alone psychiatric hospital, Shands Vista. My shift starts at 5pm when I start answering calls and dealing with any non-emergent issues from home. Once I get to the hospital at 7pm, I start seeing any new admissions or take care of any issues that I could not deal with over the phone. Admissions are usually steady until midnight, at which point things calm down. From then on, I’ll have an occasional admission or two until my shift ends at 7am. During this quiet time, I will answer an occasional nurse page or tend to any emergencies on the floor. I usually get about 3-4 hours of sleep while in the hospital, even on a busy night.

When I’m not feeling tired, I’ll use this precious quiet time to either study for the PRITE, work on my portfolio, or catch up on the latest season of 24 (don’t tell Dr. Hobbs). While the shifts may seem long, I work from Sunday night until Friday morning, so it feels like I have a 3 day weekend during night float.

How I spend my free time:

I take advantage of these long weekends by going out of town. This month, I went to a wedding in Orlando, attended the chair summit in Tampa, and presented at the Florida Psychiatric Society’s conference in Clearwater. So, it’s pretty easy to see that I really like night float!


Andrew Pierce, MD

Andrew Pierce, MD

Andrew Pierce, MD
PGY – 3

My background:

Hi, I’m Andrew Pierce. Growing up as the son of a teacher and hospital administrator in East Tennessee I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a physician. I was enthralled with the complexity and pragmatism embodied by the science of medicine. I also saw how medicine could impact the lives of patients in powerful ways and the fulfillment that practitioners could subsequently experience. It wasn’t until the second half of my time at the Quillen College of Medicine that I found psychiatry to be a fascinating marriage of the art, science and humanity that drew me to this career. I often relate psychiatry to my first love, basketball. Both endeavors require knowledge and talent but a person cannot reach the pinnacle of performance without the ability to connect to other people on a profound level.

Why I chose UF:

My interview at The University of Florida was the first of 10 interviews that led me to crisscross the nation several times. I had every intention of leaving the southeast for a grand metropolis elsewhere in the country, but I found myself comparing every program I visited to UF and making the same conclusion each time. UF – Psychiatry surpassed my expectations in all three of the categories I felt were critical for a program: ample resources, friendly people and a dedication to improvement. We have new, modern facilities that allow us to serve our patient’s needs effectively (and in style) while providing a variety of clinical settings for residents to work. Many programs across the country are struggling financially while UF is planning to expand the number of residency positions. From the top down it seems every person I interact with is dedicated to making UF one of the top programs in the nation. As residents we are encouraged to actively participate in shaping of our program and our input is truly considered when decisions are made. Defining the standard of education, research and clinical experience is a primary goal for the program. The greatest strength of the program in my opinion lies beyond the brick, mortar and mission statements however. I was most impressed by the people I met at UF during my interview and my experience has only become more enriched upon becoming a part of this remarkable group of psychiatrists. I feel blessed to have found a home with colleagues and mentors who I consider more than just co-workers.

Typical daily schedule:

Oh, the life of a resident! My days start around 6 am with a cup of coffee and a walk with my two dogs, Lola and Rufus. I’m currently rotating on one of the UF Health Adult Inpatient Units. I arrive around 7:30 and huddle with the medical students to plan for the day. We have treatment team rounds before 8 which include nursing, case management, team therapists and administrative personnel. The conclusion of this round table discussion triggers a coffee break. Once we’re sufficiently caffeinated the attending, medical students and myself round on the members of our census. Patient interviews, orders, planning and a free flowing dialog about patient care all take place during this time. Our attendings make time to discuss teaching points as they arise throughout the day and learning is more discussion based than “pimping” based. Once rounds are complete we break to finish the morning’s work and prepare for new admits. The afternoons are spent admitting, interviewing and staffing new patients as they arrive and managing any problems that arise on the unit. When not engaged in these activities we attempt to pass our knowledge on to the medical students rotating with us, catch up on studying or sit back and shoot the breeze. We cover the ward until 5 o’clock and are usually ready to go home between 5 and 6. Unless I’m on call, which happens about once a week, it’s free time until the next day after that.

How I spend my free time:

One of the best surprises I have had since moving to Gainesville is the abundance of things to do in the area and actually having the time to experience them! I assumed I would be pressed squarely against the grindstone; however, I have found our work schedule challenging but totally reasonable. I enjoy hiking in the area with my above mentioned pets and investigating the local eateries. I meet most weeks with many of my fellow residents to grab a bite to eat, have a drink and mingle outside of the hospital and clinic. On lazy weekend days I like to cruise yard sales and thrift shops with my significant other, Emma, and find furniture to refurbish in our makeshift garage workshop. I’m looking forward to enjoying some of Florida’s more famous attractions. Emma already has me on the hook for a trip to Harry Potter World, the program has arranged a canoe trip for faculty, residents and loved ones, and a beach plan is in the works!

Final thought:

Mark Twain once declared, “You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg”. Look for a program that’s more than lofty rhetoric and soaring self-praise. Find a program that’s proud of what has been done but unwilling to rest on its laurels. Find a program that helps you achieve your potential as a physician and a person. Find a program that you can call home.


Deepak Davidson, MD

Deepak Davidson, MD

Deepak M. Davidson, MD
PGY – 4

My background:

I was born and raised in New York. I attended SUNY Binghamton for undergrad then Barry University in Miami,Fl for a masters and finally St. George’s university in Grenada, West Indies for medical school.

Why I chose UF:

I chose UF because it is an outstanding training program, with great facilities and excellent teaching staff. I knew one of the residents from medical school and was able to get first hand knowledge about the program. My interview visit confirmed what I learned from my friend. The one thing that stood out for me was the camaraderie among the residents. I knew I wanted to be at a place where the residents found it enjoyable to be and got along with each other. UF exemplifies those characteristics.

Typical daily schedule:

Currently I am on the Blue Team on the inpatient unit at the VA. This team generally sees patients with mood disorders. There is one resident for the team and I see at most 12 patients per day. Normally I get there in the morning and get the census from the nursing staff. I then log on to CPRS and quickly review my patients’ charts for updates. The attending and I will see new patients admitted overnight and then round on the patients already admitted.  As the resident, I am responsible for the care of the patient and also responsible to manage medical care if appropriate.  I liaise with the attending, case management, pharmacy and the nursing staff to formulate a treatment plan for each patient. This allows for treatment and facilitates discharge planning as well. As the resident I am responsible for the patients until 5pm.  After that all calls will be handled by the ward call resident.

How I spend my free time: 388833_10150431699003215_1954767977_n

I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. My wife gave birth to our first child this past April.  I usually like to relax and just hang out. I enjoy both playing and watching sports. Though I am a New Yorker at heart, I think Gainesville is a great place to live.

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Melinda Hansen, MD

Melinda Hansen, MD

Melinda M. Hansen, MD
PGY – 4

My background:

I was born and raised in Minnesota but was looking to migrate to sunny Florida as my family will be relocating here in the near future. I went to University of Minnesota, Twin Cities for undergraduate and St. George’s University School of Medicine in the West Indies.

Why I chose UF:

When I came to UF I was amazed at the resources available to the residents to include a variety of fellowships as well as clinical and research opportunities in new state of the art facilities. I was particularly impressed by the amount of clinical exposure that I would get to include private and public settins as well as procedure based exposure to electroconvulsive therapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation. I was also very excited to gain early experience in outpatient psychiatry which is integrated into the program starting second year. I was most enthused by the warm welcoming I received from the residents at UF throughout the interview process and I felt that the residency program had a “family” like feel to it which was an important attribute.

Typical daily schedule:

Currently I am rotating at Shands Vista East inpatient unit which has 19 beds designated for patients with psychosis. In the morning we generally start rounding on the patients about 7am with the attending, nursing staff and medical students. During this time, we review the patient’s status, current treatment plan as well as discharge planning. Of the 19 beds, I am responsible for 9-10 of the patients and typically discharge 2-3 daily as well as admit 1-3 patients per day until 5pm. While the attending is ultimately responsible for the final treatment plan, I am generally permitted to make medication changes with his discretion. During lunch time, we generally have a lecture series on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 1 hour which we are currently using for PRITE review as well as Grand Rounds on Fridays. Additionally on Wednesday afternoons I have outpatient clinic from 2-5pm which allows for more diversity in my weekly routine and enables me to maintain continuity of care as I can continue seeing my recently discharged patients from the inpatient unit as well as take on a few psychotherapy cases. We also have psychotherapy group supervisory on Thursday afternoons which is a great venue to further explore some of our unique and challenging cases.

How I spend my free time: residentnami

There are a variety of activities to get involved in throughout the year to include nature preserves for hiking, nearby springs for swimming with the mantees, cave scuba diving, and horseback riding as well as kayaking or sailing on the UF lake which is free to residents. Additionally, there are a variety of restaurants in the down town area with diverse cuisine and it is always a pleasure to take in a play at the Hippodrome theater. And of course if you are a fan of football, the Gator Stadium is always a popular destination to take in a game. As I have most weekends off, I also find it relaxing to take a drive to nearby St. Augustine beach, Tampa Bay area to visit the Florida Aquarium, and Orlando to visit the many theme parks to include my personal favorite Epcot Center with the food & wine festival.