House Staff Life

Copy RSS feed URL

PGY 3: A Day in the Life with Hillary Davis

Em Collins • 8/27/18

PGY 3: A Day in the Life with Hillary Davis

By: Hillary Davis, MD

The third year of residency in the Department of Psychiatry is mostly outpatient and our rotations were selected based on our interests and availability of clinics among residents.

On Monday mornings I am with Dr. Chambers at the Eskenazi 38th St. Clinic and, in this unique environment, we see women suffering from postpartum mood disorders and psychosis. It’s a great way to learn which medications are safe for breastfeeding or pregnancy. On Monday afternoons, I am at the outpatient mental health clinic at the VA Hospital with Dr. Niculescu. He is interested in personalized medicine in psychiatry and genomics and phenomics of neuropsychiatric disorders, so we discuss one or two topics after the clinic, updating each other on recent evidence-based data on treating psychiatric illnesses.

On Tuesday mornings I am with Dr. Bottom at the IU Health Neuroscience Center treating a variety of mood disorder patients. In the afternoon, I work with Dr. Francis at PARC (Prevention and Recovery Center for Early Psychosis) which focuses on the treating, educating and research of individuals experiencing the early stages of psychotic illnesses. Patients with various kinds of psychotic illnesses do very well in this recovery model of mental health treatment and interdisciplinary setting.

On Wednesday mornings, I return to the IU Health Neuroscience Center to work with Dr. Nurnberger seeing patients with various mood disorders, primarily bipolar I or bipolar II disorders. Patients are psychiatrically quite complex, with some patients on three to four kinds of psychotropics and requiring great attention to managing their symptoms and improving their functionality. So far, I’ve been learning a lot of new medications being used for FDA-approved as well as off-label purposes, but I am hoping that my clinic experience helps refine my psychopharmacology skills as well as brief/acute psychotherapy skills.

On Wednesday afternoons, I am in the Academic Psychotherapy Clinic. We use a one-way mirror to interview our patients and we get to see colleague’s sessions this way as well. It is quite unnerving knowing that my colleagues and a therapist are watching everything during the session, but it is also tremendously helpful to continue to develop my strengths and work on my weaknesses during therapy.

On Thursday mornings, I work with Dr. Stephane at the IU Health Neuroscience center where I see a variety of mental illnesses. Dr. Stephane is involved with researching the genetic basis behind schizophrenia and has interesting discussion points. Thursday afternoons are dedicated Psychodynamic Psychotherapy lectures by Dr. Butler who is trained in psychoanalysis and still practices psychoanalytically oriented therapy.

On Fridays, we have departmental grand rounds, resident business meetings with lunches, and power hours/journal clubs led by residents and/or faculty members.

As my program values education, devoted leadership, and opportunities for research and career development, I have grown as a professional. I enjoy working with the expert faculty members and administrative staff, who including our program director, Dr. DeMotte, and our wonderful program coordinator Jeanette, who makes the program run smoothly and supports everything we want to accomplish during our residency years. My co-residents are kind-hearted and smart – it helps to work and learn with great people all the time during four years of residency. I hope you check out our program and consider being part of this wonderful residency!

Learn more about a residency in Psychiatry at IU School of Medicine.


Em Collins

Communications Coordinator

Having joined IU School of Medicine in 2016, Em uses a poetry and theatre background to help bridge the academic world with the creative. A graduate of University of Evansville, he works with faculty and academic staff to formulate unique, marketing ideas that engage the public with innovative research at IU School of Medicine. From writing stories on groundbreaking equipment to orchestrating digital marketing strategies, Em collaborates with experts across the school to help departments thrive in their marketing and communication ambitions.Contact Em at