Menu UF Health Home Menu
 

A Day in the Life

Ashley Bindshedler, DO

Ashley Bindshedler, DO

Ashley Bindshedler, DO
PGY-1

My background:

Hello everyone! I am Ashley Bindshedler. I grew up in West Michigan. For undergrad, I went to Grand Valley State University in Michigan where I played ice hockey. I went to medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Greensburg, PA. I did rotations my 3rd and 4th year mostly in Ohio and Florida. I got married to my wonderful husband, David, at the end of 4th year of medical school.

Why I chose UF:

David and I wanted to stay in Florida but finding a program that was the best fit for us was our ultimate priority. I interviewed in several different states, both MD and DO programs. At my interview with UF, I was overwhelmed by how welcoming and friendly everyone was. I felt like the residents I met were very easy to get along with and I could easily see myself fitting in here. I also liked how UF help their residents excel, many residents are involved in research or a part of different national psychiatric committees. Plus, it seemed like Gainesville would be a great area for a newly married couple to explore.

Typical day’s schedule:

It depends on the rotation. Currently, I’m on urgent care, I arrive around 8:30 am, see a few patients in the morning, take lunch from 12-1pm, see patients in the afternoon and leave around 5 pm. Throughout the day, my attending will assign a patient for me, I do the H&P, present to the attending, order any labs or imagining that are warranted and either admit the patient or send them home. This rotation counts toward the medicine requirements that we need. This is a pretty low stress rotation. There is down time to read or study.

How I spend my free time:

Gainesville has so much to offer! David and I have checked out a lot of the breweries, gone tubing down Ginnie Springs, seen the bats fly out of the UF bat caves and played Frisbee golf at the local courses. Hannah (another awesome psych intern) and I run stairs at the stadium a few times a week. Gainesville is very dog friendly, so Halligan (our puppy) is able to come with us to a lot of places we hang out. We take him to Loblollywood Trail, Devil’s Millhopper State Park and even Swamp Head Brewery. We still have a few places we are interested in checking out like St. Augustine and Devil’s Den Springs.


Jessica Khan, MD

Jessica Khan, MD

Jessica Khan
PGY-1

My Background:

Hello! My name is Jessica Khan and I am originally from the great state of Iowa. I grew up in Des Moines, went to Iowa State University for undergraduate, and did my medical school training at the University of Iowa.  I was very excited to come down to the sunshine state for my psychiatry residency.

Why I Chose UF:

I chose University of Florida because of the supportive learning environment and the wide exposure to lots of areas of psychiatry. You see and do a ton during your training here at University of Florida, and I wanted to feel prepared for anything after residency. You get a lot of responsibility early on while having an incredibly supportive network of residents and attendings to help you navigate, and I thought this would be the ideal setting for me to learn how to be a skilled, independent physician. Also, I loved the residents! I felt like I belonged right away and could see myself being great friends and colleagues with the residents when I came for an interview. And now that I’ve been working with them, I’ve found I wasn’t wrong!

Typical Day’s Schedule:

My schedule this first year has allowed for an easy transition for me from medical school. I started with a month of outpatient pain and dermatology clinics followed by a month of ambulatory urgent care. Pain clinic gave me a great exposure to opioid usage and alternatives for pain management, which is a solid foundation for future substance use exposure. Both of these months provided ample free time in the afternoons and evenings, so I was able to study for Step 3 and take the exam in the middle of my second month of residency. It feels so good to have that exam done so early! My upcoming months will be more challenging on the inpatient units, but I’m excited to dive in!

How I spend my free time:

When I’m not at the hospital, I spend a lot of time with my husband and fellow residents.  We love trying out a new restaurant, hanging at the pool, hosting a game night, or playing a disk golf course. Gainesville is in the perfect location for day trips to St. Augustine, Tampa, and Orlando and we have lots of free weekends to go exploring.


Hannah Morrissey, DO

Hannah Morrissey, DO

Hannah Morrissey, DO
PGY-1

My background:

I grew up in Central Illinois after my dad retired from the Navy and we returned to Illinois to be near family.  I graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, IL (my hometown) and then moved to Missouri for med school at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.  Usually, I am quite the opposite of a procrastinator, but I seem to make huge decisions at what seems like the last minute- like deciding to change my college major just in time to get the pre-reqs to apply to med school OR choosing to pursue psychiatry for residency.  Thankfully, and I obviously say this completely biased, I chose the BEST specialty in the end and am really excited for you to have chosen psychiatry as well!

Why I chose UF:

I was super lucky to have a chance to come to UF for a month rotation in psychiatry as a fourth year student.  Having spent most of my life in Illinois, I wanted to branch out for residency.  I spent 2 weeks with the psychiatry consult team and 2 weeks on the child psychiatry unit.  I enjoyed my time in both settings.  However, ultimately, it was the people I met during my stay that convinced me that UF was for me.  Each resident I worked with took the time to really get to know me and was always willing to help and teach.  The residents seemed very knowledgeable, however were not burdened with so much work as to not have a life outside of residency.  It was the time spent out having fun with the residents on the weekends that made me realize that this residency family would be a great fit for me.

Typical day’s schedule:

I am currently finishing up my month’s rotation on Vista North, which is our mood disorders unit in the psychiatric hospital.  I usually arrive at the hospital around 7am to start looking at each patient’s chart to see what happened overnight.  Around 8am, I start rounding with my attending and usually 1-2 medical students.  After rounding, I put in orders, write discharges, and wait for admissions.  After seeing 1-2 new patients in the afternoon, I leave around 5 or 6pm.  It is a busy rotation, which is probably why I have learned a TON.  I am so appreciative that my attending taught so much in the first half of the rotation, which allowed me to feel comfortable having more autonomy in the second half.

How I spend my free time:

I have this super awesome guy I’m married to and two Boston Terriers, so I am never bored.  We keep finding new things to explore (and eat!) in Gainesville but have also gone on day-trips to St. Pete’s, Jacksonville, and Orlando.  Being from Illinois, I still freak out about all the lizards and frogs that show up on our porch where I have started a garden.  I have suddenly found that I enjoy cooking and continue reading for pleasure.  Another intern and I recently began running the stairs at the Gator stadium (The Swamp), which is open to the public!  I have multiple upcoming races that I have signed up, including the bubble run in Orlando, where most of the race is spent running through soapy foam!


Jerret Watnick, MD

Jerret Watnick, DO

Jerett Watnick, DO
PGY-2

My background:

I am originally from South Florida, specifically the Delray Beach/Boca Raton area. I completed my undergraduate degree with a major in Biology and a minor in Health Science from The University of Florida. I completed medical school in Bradenton, FL at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. I moved back to South Florida during my 3rd and 4th years of medical school and finished a majority of my clinical rotations in Wellington, FL.

Why I chose UF:

After applying to numerous residency programs, I had interviewed at approximately 20 different programs, in 14 different states around the country. I had seen a wide variety of styles, program dynamics, and curriculum. UF offered me the best opportunity to succeed, overall. From the start of the interview I could tell that the program is incredibly organized. The staff behind the scenes do an amazing job keeping residents in the loop and updated on changes, required actions needed on the residents’ end and ease any anxiety a resident may have throughout the year. No other program came close to UF in that regard. The program offers a wide variety of rotation opportunities split between 3 different hospitals in Gainesville: Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center, Shands, and UF Psychiatric Hospital (Vista). The rotations range from Consult Liason Psychiatry, Inpatient Psychiatry divided up between mood disorders, psychosis, substance and geriatric psychiatry, Community, Forensic, Child and Adolescent, Outpatient Clinic. Additionally, we have the opportunity to experience nightfloat, but not in excess throughout the year. Our call schedule is extremely manageable and the call pool is relatively large, so I find myself being on call only 2-3 times per month maximum. For my own personal preference, I preferred to stay in the state of Florida. I have family currently living in the Gainesville area. Weather was a factor as well, considering I could not see myself surviving up north during the winter. I am familiar with the Gainesville area considering I completed my undergraduate degree in this city, so I did not have to learn an entirely new city from scratch.

Typical daily schedule:

Completely depends on which rotation you are working at the time. Most rotations start at approximately 8 am. Some will begin team rounding on patients at 6:30-7:30 am. Some are more rigorous than others but for the most part I have not found duty hours to be a problem. I have rarely felt overworked during the past year. My daily duty hours never exceeded 14-15 hours and those days were few and far between. I did not feel underworked either. I feel that UF has found the perfect balance in resident exposure to patient psychopathology without excessive levels of stress placed on the resident. A couple days a week we will have didactic lectures during the lunch hour where food is provided to residents. Typically, didactics are clustered into one afternoon per week instead of spreading it out throughout the week. Usually those days are Tuesday (PGY-1) and Wednesday (PGY 2-4). For PGY-2’s we have an afternoon of outpatient clinic on Thursday afternoons where we are scheduled patients for psychotherapy, medication management and psychiatric evaluations. Most rotations end at approximately 5 pm, depending on if you have completed all of your daily duties.

How I spend my free time:

I am a huge Gator sports fan so I attempt to go to as many college football or basketball games as I can. I attempt to exercise as much as I can at the local gym. Occasionally, I will attempt to travel to other cities surrounding Gainesville with my girlfriend (Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa) for day trips or weekend trips. I am also an Orlando Magic fan and will try to attend a few games a year in Orlando, FL. I try to take time to go home and visit family in South Florida as much as possible.


Jaison Nainaparampil, MD

Jaison Nainaparampil, MD

Jaison Nainaparampil, MD
PGY-2

My background:

Hey! My name is Jaison Nainaparampil, and I was born in Miami, FL but raised in Dayton, OH. I went to the University of Dayton for undergrad and then the University of Cincinnati for med school. I’m one of those people who knew they wanted to do psychiatry ever since they were a kid. I’m glad I kept persevering through med school because I’m finally where I want to be. To the 4th year med students who are reading this, congratulations on making it this far! You’re almost there!

Why I chose UF:

I have a lot of family in Florida and a couple of cousins who go to school at UF. It only made sense for me to apply to UF for my psychiatry residency. It’s so funny though because now that I look back at everything, applying to UF was one of the best decisions I ever made. First off, the residents. Man, what a team. Our exceptional chiefs and every single one of the upper years have made me feel extremely grateful to be here. They are always willing to help (especially with call), and even though they are technically my seniors, it doesn’t feel that way. I view the upper year residents as my fellow colleagues and good friends. My fellow interns are awesome. They already feel like lifelong friends, and we’ve only known each other for two and a half months. Now that I’m done flattering my fellow residents, there are other reasons why I ranked UF high on the list. The facilities are top notch, the patients are very diverse, and I never have to see snow ever again. When January comes around, I’ll still be wearing shorts 🙂

Typical daily schedule:

I’m on my urgent care rotation this month at the VA. It is one of the four internal medicine months that interns are required to take. I arrive around 8:30 in the morning and leave around 5 pm. When a patient comes into the ED, Dr. Sims, my attending, hands me the chart. I take the history and physical, staff the patient with Dr. Sims, order necessary labs, imaging and consults, prescribe necessary medications and then send the patient on their way. I take a break for lunch around noon, start up again at 1pm, and then I see more patients until my shift ends at 5.

How I spend my free time:

I love going to the gym to work out in my free time. Honestly, I was surprised at how much time I still have in my day to go to the gym. I thought I would have had to give up working out when residency started, but that wasn’t the case at all. I hang out with my friends and my girlfriend Jodie a significant amount. Jodie and I were able to go to the beach during a couple of weekends. We went to the beaches in St. Augustine and St. Petersburg so far, and we enjoyed them a lot. I often go out to eat and grab drinks with my fellow residents; Gainesville has many restaurants and bars to choose from. Lastly, I play fetch and go jogging with my dog Ginger. I’m so thankful that I can still engage in activities outside of work even during residency; it is truly something that not many residents can say.


Fei Chen, DO

Fei Chen, DO

Fei Chen, DO
PGY-2

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 VA ER rotation, which is a second year rotation from 8am-8pm on Saturday/Sunday/Monday as the consult liaison individual at the VA. I start my day with followups of patients admitted to various medicine floors seen previously during the week by the main VA psychiatry C&L team. After addressing any issues which may have arisen with the followups, I start seeing any new consults in the hospital and emergency department. This includes patients admitted to the hospital for various reasons that may have acute co-morbid psychiatric needs, as well as patients who may have come into the ED for safety concerns, substance, mood, anxiety, psychosis and more. I staff these individuals with the attending on call that weekend, and admit patient to psychiatry as necessary. Additionally, I have one afternoon of general psychiatry clinic a week, Monday noon case conference, and one afternoon of block didactics time with fellow PGY2-4s. This is a good month to make any appointments you might need as you are off 2 days out of the normal work week.

How I spend my free time:

Over the last year, I have made sure to take full advantage of our proximity to Orlando, Tampa, St. Augustine and Jacksonville (all within 1.5-2hrs). Day and/or weekend trips are a fun alternative once college football season ends, not to mention the many pro sports team one has easy access to. I don’t know how I lived without a Disney annual pass before this year!


Eric Downes, MD

Eric Downes, MD

Eric Downes, MD
PGY-2

My background:

I have spent most of my life living in various parts of Florida, but was originally born in New York.  I attended undergrad at the University of Florida, then attended medical school at the FAU Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine as a member of the inaugural class.  I spent a year performing clinical research before entering medical school.  I got married in medical school to my wife, and we couples matched to UF.  She is currently a pediatrics PGY-2 resident, and we are both having a great time here in Gainesville!

Why I chose UF:

My wife and I chose UF because we wanted to stay in Florida close to family.  Coming from South Florida, we were ready for a change, and UF provided the best compromise between seeing a unique clinical population and being within driving distance of family.  I personally really valued the ability to rotate at both academic and VA hospitals. Matching as a couple, UF really went out of its way to accommodate us.  It was one of the 2 locations that allowed us to book an interview the same day and stay in the same hotel despite us applying to different departments. The program is very family friendly, and the residents here seemed to have a good work/life balance overall.

Typical daily schedule:

Currently I am rotating at the VA Mental Health Intensive Care Management (MHICM), which is an assertive community treatment team for veteran’s with serious mental illness.  My typical day is from 7:30AM to 5:00PM.  I start the day rounding with the treatment team.  I spend the rest of the day either attending therapy groups or seeing veterans’ in their domestic environments.  I even eat lunch with some of the veterans, and get to know them as people rather than just patients.  I am typically on call 3 to 4 times per month.

How I spend my free time:

My wife and I like to go out to dinner together and watch movies.  I also enjoy hanging out with fellow residents, both in large group social settings and one-on-one.


Jennifer Davis, MD

Jennifer Davis, DO

Jennifer Davis, DO
PGY-3

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 doing my outpatient clinic year at Springhill. I will wake up and eat breakfast then head to the clinic to see my first patient at 8 am. After I see each patient, I will staff with an attending regarding the case. The attendings will give you autonomy to make decisions for your patient while still providing guidance wherever needed and provide teaching points along the way. At 11:30 am, I have admin time where I catch up on notes and patient phone calls. Then I will typically have lunch with some of my fellow residents at one of the local restaurants. I will see more patients over the course of the afternoon, and then I will finish up with everything around 5:00 pm which gives me free time for the rest of the evening.

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-3

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-3

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.


Daniel Pietras, MD

Daniel Pietras, MD

Daniel Pietras, MD
PGY-3

My background:

I was born and raised on Long Island, New York, on the border of New York City, and attended a Catholic high school in Queens. I obtained my undergraduate degree in biochemical sciences at Harvard University. I then spent the better part of a decade in Cincinnati, OH, where I did laboratory research and completed medical school at the University of Cincinnati. After my Internal Medicine preliminary year in Dearborn, Michigan, I moved to Gainesville and began residency at the University of Florida in the summer of 2014.

Why I chose UF:

I could not resist the idea of going snow-free after so many years in the north, and appreciated my decision all the more after the rough Michigan winter of 2013-14. I came to UF for Anesthesiology residency, and discovered soon afterward that a profession in which “every second counts” was not the most compatible with my tendency to hear my patients’ entire story and carefully consider decisions. Considering that psychiatry was one of my favorite rotations in medical school, in which I had met several of my clinical mentors, I began exploratory rotations and, serendipitously, learned soon afterward that several transfer positions were available right here at UF. After confirming through several rotations that psychiatry was indeed a great fit for me, I eagerly applied to remain right here.

Typical daily schedule:

The day starts at 6:30 am on UF psychiatric wards and 7:30 am on consults or VA wards. My current service, as of this posting, is UF consults. I assign and pre-round on patients until 9, then round with my attending for most of the morning until lunch, continuing to triage new ER safety evaluations or medical ward psychiatric issues, often delirium or agitation. The team rounds again in mid-afternoon on the remainder of the new consults for the day. On Wednesday afternoons, I attend group supervision and lectures on various topics in psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. On Friday afternoons, I see several outpatients in clinic.

How I spend my free time:

Music has always been my chief source of relaxation and, at times, extra income. I took piano lessons for over 15 years, filled in as a church organist on Long Island and in Cincinnati, sang in a major college choral group, and even played accompaniment in a volunteer brass band for several years. At home, and rarely outside, I sit down and play some Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, or a familiar tune you may have heard back in the day. You may also catch me in the audience at a local theater or stadium, or hitting a few golf balls at the driving range.


Christopher Ong, MD

Christopher Ong, MD

Christopher Ong, MD
PGY-4

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-4

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.