A Day in the Life of a PGY-1 Resident – Dr. Husain


Jawad Husain, MD
Class of 2021

Hi, my name is Jawad Husain. I’m a PGY-1 resident who stayed on board after completing medical school at BU. In our first year we rotate through four months of medicine, two months of neurology, six months of inpatient psychiatry, and one month of Emergency Psychiatry. Our time is split between Boston Medical Center, the VA, and Bournewood Hospital.

I am currently on the Emergency Psychiatry rotation at Boston Medical Center (BMC). My work hours are typically 8am-6pm. I wake up at 6:15am, get dressed, eat breakfast, and head out the door by 7am. Driving up to the hospital I pass by the clients hanging outside of the nearby homeless shelter, methadone clinic, and needle exchange—a stark reminder of the high-need patients that we serve. BMC is the largest safety-net hospital in New England, and its emergency department is the busiest provider of emergency and trauma services in the region.

I arrive to the psych ED by 8am for sign-out from the overnight resident. They tell us about any patients who have been “boarding” in our ED (awaiting placement) and any overnight events, and then the day shift takes over. During the day my role is to evaluate a patient’s acute needs for those who present to the ED (either voluntarily or involuntarily), gather critical information from the available sources, and make real-time psychopharmacological decisions to treat patients who may be facing a severe crisis. The attending provides us a fair amount of autonomy in these encounters. I’ll admit, the first time I saw an acutely agitated patient requiring 4-point restraints and intramuscular medications I was a little freaked out, but with repeated exposures and the support of the excellent nursing and security staff I learned how to manage these situations in a safe and appropriate manner. An important part of our work is to determine the optimal level of care for a given patient, whether it be outpatient, partial day program, detox, or inpatient psychiatric. Once that is decided we help secure placement for our patients; in this process we learn about systemic barriers to care many underserved patients face due to insurance and lack of resources. The pace of the day is quite reasonable, occasionally there is down time where I can get some reading done or provide some off the cuff teaching to the medical students. Sign-out to the overnight resident is at 6pm and then I am headed back home to relax for the rest of the evening.

In my free time I like to work-out (fortunately there’s a gym in my building) and go to yoga classes. I’ve lived here for five years now and still haven’t run out of good restaurant options. The winters are long, but during the warmer months my favorite thing to do is go to the Esplanade (the park along the Charles River).