Week in the Life of PGY-4 Resident, Heather Wark, MD, PhD
Now in my fourth year, I enjoy an even more lovely life/work balance than during first three years of residency. Monday through Friday, I see patients in various settings, including the free immigrant clinic, the homes of veterans with serious mental illness, the university’s clinic for adults/children with autism, and our resident continuity clinic (insured adult outpatients). I also have dedicated time for research on Fridays. During the coming winter months, I will start working mornings on the inpatient wards and in the ECT/ketamine clinic to help solidify these skills prior to graduation. In our fourth year, we stop taking any call, so my work hours tend to range from 30-40 hrs, with some special weeks hitting a nice low of 25-27 hrs! Rarely, I will moonlight for extra cash on the weekends for the psychiatry consult-liaison service at the University Hospital.
Outside of work, you will find me either in the garden, wake-surfing on our boat, hiking/running/biking/skiing in the mountains, camping, drinking fine wine or cheap beer, dancing at live music concerts, walking through the botanical garden or zoo (both are very close to our psychiatric hospital), or eating out at one of our many delicious restaurants (tonight I will dine at a 5-star vegan place with the residents to celebrate our chief's birthday). Every day, my partner and I spend time playing with our two dogs, cat, and fish! On the weekends, I am often traveling 1-5 hours away for some amazing adventures in the surrounding wilderness areas of Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, and Wyoming. I have 7 nephews all in different western states, so I travel with a Bouncy Castle for them to play in when I visit. Over the course of residency I have also managed trips abroad to Thailand, Mexico (just a 3-4 hr direct flight!), Canada, and lastly Uganda (as part of a global mental health track trip with two other residents). A week in the life of a fourth year Utah psychiatry resident is only missing that attending salary!