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A Day in the Life

Andrew Pierce, MD

Andrew Pierce, MD

Marc Ettensohn, MD

Marc Ettensohn, MD

Congratulations to Drs. Marc Ettensohn and Andrew Pierce on their nominations to the Institutional Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) as resident representatives.

Please join us in congratulating Marc and Andrew!

Both were selected by COM peer residents to represent the overall housestaff.

The GMEC oversees 70 ACGME-accredited,  as well as 44 non-ACGME training programs.
The committee is made up of core program training directors, hospital and education leaders, GME administrators, and resident/fellow representatives.

Marc and Andrew will learn a lot about the key leadership structure of the hospital and COM.



Deepak Davidson, MDDeepak M. Davidson, MD
PGY - 3

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 day’s 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.


Melinda Hansen, MDMelinda M. Hansen, MD
PGY – 3


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 day’s 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.


Vikram Vaka, MDVikram Vaka, MD
Outpatient Chief Resident
PGY – 4

My background

I was born in India and grew up in Ohio but I had always wanted to live closer to the ocean.

Why I chose UF:

UF “just felt right” of every program I visited. I was impressed by the diversity of experiences that residents are exposure to, the various fellowships offered, and the excellent facilities. However, I was most impressed by how friendly everyone I met was, how the residents got along well with each other and all had very positive things to say about their experience at UF.  The residents all had great camaraderie and had nothing but good things to say about how friendly and earnest the faculty were. This was most apparent to me when I witnessed the assistant program director, covertly pull a harmless practical joke on one of the residents as payback for a practical joke the resident had played on him earlier that day. The fact that the residents and attendings felt comfortable joking with each other in this manner really resonated with me.

Typical day’s schedule:

Currently I am on the Brain Stimulation Unit (BSU), an inpatient unit specializing in administering ECT. The day to day schedule varies a bit based on the specific rotation but as is true of many rotations here, I begin my workshift at approximately 8AM. At the BSU, a typical day starts with treatment team rounds during which the attending, resident, and nursing staff review all of the patients on the unit, discuss overnight issues, and make tentative treatment decisions. The attending, resident, and case worker then meet with each patient in the conference room. The resident is responsible for any admissions or discharges to the unit until 5pm at which time their shift ends.

One of the things I really appreciate about the program is that many of the attendings trust the residents and give them excellent autonomy regarding making the diagnosis, coming up with the treatment plan, and caring for the patient. The attendings and residents often make decisions about how best to treat the patient as a team. The attendings have the final say regarding treatment decisions, which acts as an important safety net. However, if the resident comes up with a reasonable treatment plan, many of the attendings will trust the resident’s plan and give them the go ahead. This autonomy that residents have, I find is invaluable in easing the transition from supervised training to individual practice.

How I spend my free time:Residents 1

In terms of ways to spend your free time, Gainesville has a lot to offer regardless of where your interests lie. If you like nature there’s some beautiful nature trails, hot springs, lakes, caverns, a bat house and even an artificial rainforest populated with butterflies from all over the world. If you like art, there are several art festivals, various museums, and even a theater. If you’re a sports fan or like the night life, Gainesville is a university town so there’s certainly no shortage of either. The Gator games can be pretty epic and there are residents that like to have fantasy football every year. If you would prefer to get together with friends to play board games, video games or to watch a movie, there’s a few residents in every year that like do precisely that. And if you like traveling, Gainesville is only a 2-3 hr drive away from Orlando, Tampa, St. Augustine and Daytona which puts you within a short drive away from multiple beaches, and amusement parks (Busch Gardens, Seaworld, Disney and Universal all of which offer a surprisingly affordable annual pass for Florida residents). As for me, I spend my free time doing all of the above and every so often save up five vacation days to go on a nine day road-trip through Florida, driving from Gainesville to the Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Key West, and back.