It seems almost a fitting juxtaposition that I attended the ISMS last week and I am now starting my psychiatry clerkship this week. At the conference there was a lot of discussion about how we as a society and especially as a medical community talk about mental illness and how the pervasive stigma towards mental illness impacts the care patients receive (I’ll post about this over the weekend). On my first day in the hospital I got just a small glimpse into the manifestation of that stigma and the inadequacies of our current systems as it exists in higher level psychiatric care.
Beyond that it was a good first experience in inpatient psychiatry. I think psychiatry is interesting in that the manifestations of mental illness are primarily behavioral, so I don’t expect them to present as concretely in real life as I do in a textbook. That said the patient I saw today had pretty textbook mania. It kinda makes you wonder sometimes if patients have done their research and are just intentionally saying the “right” things, but that’s maybe my implicit stigma and bias seeping out (’cause also why would someone fake mania). I’m looking forward to how the rest of this rotation is going to go.