Monday, September 26, 2011

The Supervisor

This afternoon, I found myself sitting in at my friend and co-resident’s supervision session.

She asked me to accompany her to my supervisor, because she felt that she needed additional input and help for her grand rounds. I had been through the grand rounds preparation mill two weeks ago, and I have to admit that it wasn’t a very pleasant experience. You just wanted to prepare as best as you can, have it all out of the way, and then hope for the best.

 I’d already done mine two weeks ago, and I said to Chamie that my supervisor, who we fondly call as “J Lo” (yes, as in the Jennifer Lopez J Lo, because her name is somewhat similar.) was really cool, and very helpful (and yes, I was lucky to have her as my supervisor.).

But first, let us define what “supervision” is. :-)   Supervision, in Psychiatry is when a training resident presents a case along with management and progress notes to  a consultant, who corrects it, and offers his/her input, critiquing the management… 

Where I am training at, we are given 2 supervisors every semester, and this supervisor I have, Dr. J Lo just happens to be one of my favorites. She is really good with what she does. She’s written articles, organized groups and done a lot of advocacies on women’s rights. She’s a Trauma specialist, one of the best in the country.

(Why, on the morning of my grand rounds, another one of the consultants approached her and said, “Hey, did you know, you were on the front page of the paper today…”. (And she just smiled, seemingly treating it as if it were a commonplace occurrence.)

I remembered supervision with her as a really good learning experience. It would usually take like, an hour up to three to four. The longest I had was 4 hours…! Still, I have to say, that she really gave me good handles on my case, discussing the possible things I might be asked on, and recommending this and that, but of course, she never really badgered me on anything. Not even close.
It was my issue, and first episode psychosis was what I was really passionate about, so she helped me with that.

The input and expertise that a young resident like me can get from these sessions (and not just from her, but from other experts in their field as well,  is priceless… ) Sometimes, I can’t believe how lucky I am.  All my life, I’ve always wanted to learn from people who were experts in their field, and I always loved to listen to people who were passionate about their life’s work.  Now, I’m finally in Psychiatry, and I feel like every moment, every situation is an avenue for learning. I almost feel sponge-like, soaking up everything I need to learn…
I’m very thankful for everything, everyday, actually. Every new situation is an opportunity to learn.
For this afternoon’s session, however, I was a mere spectator, occasionally asking a few questions during Chamie’s case presentation (I couldn’t help myself! :-)) to my supervisor, and thoroughly enjoying myself (even if I wasn’t the one who was directly involved). And then I turn my head and see this engraved plate with her name on it, put on a stand, which read…
“Nobel Peace Prize Nominee for the Philippines”.

And my mouth dropped open…


  1. I hope she blogs too! G

  2. I love J Lo. She's so cool! thanks for letting me "borrow" your supervisr ling! :)



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