Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health


Tuua Ruutiainen

Tuua Ruutiainen

On a typical day, I wake up around 6 AM to eat breakfast and drink coffee in my Fitler Square apartment. My commute to Pennsylvania Hospital, where I am rotating on the 6 Spruce inpatient mood disorder unit, is about 15 minutes by bus or 20 minutes on foot. I arrive on the unit around 7:30 AM and check in with my team which includes a 4th year sub-intern, psychology intern, and medical student. I review Epic (our EMR), looking over new admissions, as well as overnight events, vitals, and results for old patients.

Around 8 AM, I start rounding on the patients with the medical students and other trainees.  After discussing the patients with my attending Dr. Wesley, we meet in one of the conference rooms to interview new admissions and take turns presenting informal “chalk talks.” Dr. Wesley has been teaching us about psychodynamic formulations and defense mechanisms.. At 11 AM, we meet with the full treatment team, including psychology, nursing, social work, occupational therapy, and internal medicine, to review plans for each of our patients. As the resident, I lead the meeting and make treatment decisions. This is one of my favorite parts of the day because I hear insight into how the patients are doing from multiple perspectives and collaborate with the full team in coming up with a treatment plan.

At noon, I eat lunch with my co-resident in the beautiful courtyard outside of the cafeteria. We then return to the unit to finish notes, place orders, and circle back to see patients. I enjoy spending my afternoons supervising the sub-I and medical student on my team. I review their notes, teach them how to place orders, call consults, and think through formulations. I also started an informal series of talks for the medical students on antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics.

Finally, I meet with a patient I have been engaging in supportive psychodynamic therapy for a twenty minute session. Dr. Wesley has been supervising me, providing feedback on my technique and teaching me how to write my first psychodynamic formulation. I leave the unit anywhere from 4 pm to 6 pm.

After work, I spend time with my co-residents, explore restaurants, cook, spend time outside, or go to events at the art museum. 

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