A Day in the Life of a PGY1 Psychiatry Resident: Robert Bahnsen, MD

My background
I grew up on Long Island, NY, and eventually moved to Scranton, PA for my undergraduate education at The University of Scranton where I studied both neuroscience and philosophy. Following graduation, I spent four years in Philadelphia to begin medical school at Thomas Jefferson University. 


Why I chose Duke
Many reasons!  First, my fiance really wanted to come here, and I felt obliged to follow.  When I actually got here, however, I was impressed by so many things.  I found Dr. Thrall to be very open and honest about strengths and weaknesses of the program, and I trusted that I knew what I was getting into by choosing Duke.  I thought everyone meshed together pretty well, and I was impressed by the educational opportunities.  Duke seemed like a place that would push the limits of what I thought myself capable of, and would instill competence and confidence beyond what other programs offered.  I loved the family therapy suite with the two-way mirrors, and thought that the department was big enough that I could find a mentor for any interest that might arise in the next four years.  I also appreciated that, after four years in Philadelphia, Durham was not a huge city but rather somewhere just above suburb.  Durham is definitely a quiet, relaxed, and beautiful place to live and work.


My schedule
Daily schedules definitely change depending on the rotation you’re on.  Some require me to wake up earlier (medicine), and stay later (medicine), but with the vast majority of my work I’m at the hospital at 8:00AM and home by 5:00PM.  At least once a week my fiance and I go out to eat at one of the many fine restaurants in Durham.

Where I live 
I live in a brand-new apartment complex in Durham very close to the hospital.  Commute time could not be quicker.  The great thing about Durham is that there is always active development, and new places to live are going up all the time.  Rent is so much cheaper than compared to other places I’ve lived, food is cheaper, utilities are cheaper – a very good place to live for people with medical school debt!

My favorite Triangle-area restaurant
Meelos!  We try to go once a week, fabulous.  There is no shortage of good places to eat here in Durham!

Other interesting facts, tidbits, miscellaneous 
The weather is nice, the people are tolerant and very accepting, we all get along really well and look out for each other.  Overall, I’m so happy I’m here and, if I could do the Match again, I would still have ranked Duke first.


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