Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Favorite Things To Do In Pittsburgh

The class of 2016 share some of their favorite activities in Pittsburgh that they like to engage in while taking a break from their studies.

“My favorite thing to do is train for Pittsburgh races (The Great Race, Half marathon) by running through our eclectic neighborhoods and Moraine State Park…And grabbing a craft beer at Church Brew Works. I also get a season pass to musicals that come through town which is $150-200 for 7 shows throughout the year!” –Amy B.

“I love going to movies and shows in the area. Local festivals are always a good time, and there are a ton of them, like Little Italy and Picklesburgh! There’s plenty of pretty unique things to choose from in the city” –Laura

“I enjoy biking Pittsburgh! There are 4 large parks within a 15 minute ride of my house, bike lanes on most roads, and trails along the river that take you to the stadiums. Grad students also get discounts to sporting events, so I have season tickets to Pitt football!” –Kerrianne

“I love hanging out in the Strip District on the weekends. Lots of ethnic markets, street food, outdoor vegetable stands and a great place to grab brunch while people watching.” –Bess

“I love kayaking along the Pittsburgh rivers! It is the best blend of the great outdoors and the city life Pittsburgh has to offer! I also love all the charming, quirky things Pittsburgh has to offer, such as Cinema in the Park, where every Saturday and Wednesday night during the summer there is a movie playing in parks across the city!” –Kelly

“Pittsburgh is all about its sports teams! The city is filled with super fans and it’s fun to go and be a part of one of the city's passions. Not to mention the awesome fireworks at the Pirate's games.” –Erin

“I like that there is always some sort of festival or activity going on in the city, especially during the summer. There is really something for everyone from free concert series like Jam on Walnut in support of the CF Foundation to more unique things like Picklesburgh and the Three Rivers Arts Festival. I also enjoy keeping track of how the Pens are doing and I hope to make it to a game or two in the next year.” –Kristin

“My favorite place to visit is definitely Randyland!! Closely followed by going up the incline and watching the sun go down on the skyline. That's followed closely by getting lost in the trails of Frick Park. I also went to Book of Mormon last fall, and the theater was beautiful and the show was amazing, so that's definitely on the list.” –Becca

“My favorite non-food related thing to do is probably the museums. Especially the Andy Warhol museum. It always has a featured exhibit from an outside artist that’s usually pretty cool.” –Tricia

“My favorite thing to do to take a break from the program is to get out of the city. There are national and state parks close enough to Pittsburgh to take a day trip: you can hike, bike, kayak, raft, etc. Ohiopyle is a favorite of mine, its trails are part of the Great Allegheny Passage which can take you all the way to Washington D.C.! The towns along the way are so charming and often have roadside farm stands, local treats and really great antiquing.” 

“I enjoy going to the cultural district in downtown Pittsburgh, and attending musicals, operas, the ballet, or the symphony. Downtown is very accessible by bus, and grad students get really good rates on theatre tickets.” –Amy D.

-Some of our second year students at Mad Mex, voted as one of the top restaurants in “The Best of the ‘Burgh 2015”.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

CABS Clinic Optional Rotation

For my optional rotation, I spent three weeks in the Children and Adolescent Bipolar Spectrum Services (CABS) clinic. This clinic is staffed by psychiatrists, social workers, and nurses who help to diagnose children and adolescents with Bipolar Disorder in order to provide them with appropriate care and early intervention. The CABs clinic offers both inpatient and outpatient treatments, and is involved with a number of different research studies. The BIOS Family Study is one such research study that is investigating the recurrence risk of Bipolar Disorder in children of individuals with Bipolar Disorder.

Throughout my rotation, I was able to acquire a greater understanding about psychiatry and observe different family dynamics. It was often difficult to appreciate everything that was going on with a family during a short appointment visit, and information gained overtime from multiple sessions was very helpful to best understand patients’ mood patterns. Assessing how the parent was doing during a follow-up session was a good indicator of how a child had been doing at home.

In many instances, it was beneficial to speak separately with different family members to learn more about how the child was doing based on different perspectives. I had the opportunity to observe the varying strategies that clinic staff used to facilitate conversations between family members and to engage everyone in a counseling session.

Like any medical condition, patients with supportive parents or family members seemed to do better with managing stressors, and learning different problem solving and coping strategies. When multiple family members, such as a parent and child, were affected with Bipolar Disorder or another mental health condition, it was often more difficult for the child to manage their symptoms. The importance of assessing the health and well-being of a care giver is essential in all areas of health-care, including genetic counseling.

This rotation gave me the opportunity to observe different assessment and counseling techniques that are transferable to genetic counseling. At the end of my rotation, I gave a presentation to the clinic staff where we discussed psychiatric genetic counseling as well as risk communication with patients. This rotation was a great experience, and I would like to say a big thank you to all of the wonderful staff at the CABS Clinic!

To learn more about the CABS Clinic in Pittsburgh, which is one of the first clinics of its kind in North America, visit http://www.pediatricbipolar.pitt.edu/

-Amy Davis, class of 2016