Psychiatry was always an interest of mine whilst at medical school. I found it both fascinating and intriguing. In my FY1 year I had a job in General Adult Psychiatry at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Trust. It was at this point that my true understanding and passion developed for the specialty. The combination of looking after patients with both mental health and physical health needs was something that is complex and at times challenging. There is no “one size fits all” treatment in psychiatry. The fact that you have to “think outside the box” ultimately helped me choose a career in psychiatry. I took an FY3 year to gain more experience within the field and worked on 2 inpatient older adult wards (functional and organic illnesses). The experience gave me the push to pursue training and I have not looked back since!
At present, I am a CT3 working for Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) in a forensic setting. This is an interesting time to work on an inpatient ward due to Covid-19 and the impact/restrictions it is having on both patients and staff.
My CT1 and CT2 years were also spent in BSMHFT where I worked on a general adult ward, in AOT as well as in older adults CMHT. I opted to do CAMHs in CT2, which broadened my knowledge of psychiatry further looking at the impact of early life on the development of psychiatric illnesses.
No two days are the same in psychiatry and the variety of presentations seen is unlike any other medical specialty.
I have recently gained full membership to the college following completion of my MRCPsych exams and am hoping to apply for higher training next February.
Dr Sambavi (Sam) Navaratnarajah
Written in October 2020