Bernice Yau

Bernice Yau

Why UTSW Psychiatry?

Welcome to UT Southwestern! My name is Bernice, and I am currently one of the PGY3s. UT Southwestern was actually my first interview on the residency interview season, and I left feeling very impressed. I chose UT Southwestern because of the strong clinical training opportunities, the well-rounded vision of the program, and the people.

UT Southwestern provides a diversity of clinical training sites for residents. I was really interested in working at an underserved public hospital with a culturally diverse population, and Parkland was the perfect setting. I also wanted to gain exposure to the VA health system, a system that was new to me, and I also wanted to feel comfortable working in a private system. On top of our three main hospitals, we also have the opportunity to work in community mental health, the local Metrocare system. The opportunity to work at these various sites has provided a rich exposure to a variety of patients and resources.

I also really loved the well-rounded vision of the psychiatry residency program. I remember Dr. Brenner talking about HEAR (Healing, Education, Advocacy, Research) during the interview day, and I really think that the program has lived up to this vision. There is a strong emphasis on learning both psychopharmacology and neuroscience, as well as robust structure and support for psychotherapy training. I think there’s a very strong culture of learning and growth at UT Southwestern. Our didactics program is constantly evolving and includes a variety of teaching modalities, such as traditional lectures, small group sessions, and interactive online modules. The attendings that I’ve worked with have also been very invested in teaching both the residents and medical students. There’s also a strong sense of social responsibility in the program. We have quarterly special seminars that focus on topics like intercultural psychiatry and social determinants of health, and many residents and faculty are involved with organized psychiatry and advocacy. Global mental health is also an area that is growing significantly in our program, with the recent development of new global partnerships and the global mental health track. And finally, there is an emphasis on developing the skills to critically appraise research literature and plenty of opportunities to pursue research. I’ve found our journal clubs particularly valuable in helping me learn how to assess the literature better, even though I did not have a strong research background. I have felt that these four components create a very robust training experience.

Above all, though, I chose UT Southwestern because of the residents I interacted with on my interview day. I still remember one of the former chiefs discussing her triumphs in laser tag at the interview dinner, and speaking with another resident about her experiences in global health and medical education. I remember feeling that the residents here were an enthusiastic and happy group of trainees, and I wanted to be a part of that. My current co-residents are some of the brightest people I have met, and I am constantly inspired by their kindness, passion in various topics, and drive to continue to learn and improve. They inspire me to become a better psychiatrist, and I am very grateful to be able to train alongside them!

Career Goals

I am interested in pursuing consultation-liaison (CL) psychiatry. I really enjoy the overlap between psychiatry, internal medicine, and neurology. I love working with other specialties, and I love the unexpected cases that every day on a CL service brings. The experiences on the Parkland CL and Clements University Hospital CL services are fantastic. The range of pathology is really fascinating, and the medical complexity of these patients challenge us to be really thoughtful and nuanced in our treatment choices. The CL faculty at UT Southwestern are phenomenal, and they really strive to provide great patient care and also create a supportive learning environment for residents and students.

My second career goal is medical education. I have been involved with teaching in some capacity since college, and I really enjoy being able to work with students and watch them grow. I have learned a ton from working with the wonderful students here! I am currently in the Educator area of concentration, and I hope to continue working with medical students and get involved in curriculum development in the future.

Education

 

School

Major

Degree Earned

Undergraduate

University of Texas – Austin

Biochemistry

B.S.A.

M.D./D.O.

McGovern Medical School

 

M.D.


 

Follow Me for a Week

 

Morning

Afternoon

Evening

Monday

See patients at the Parkland Behavioral Health Clinic (POPC) and run group therapy

See patients at POPC

Relax, cook dinner, prepare for didactics tomorrow

Tuesday

See patients at the Parkland Women’s Health Clinic

Didactics

Relax, get dinner with friends, or go for a walk

Wednesday

POPC Case Conference and Psychotherapy Group Supervision

CBT psychotherapy supervision and see psychotherapy patients

Relax, Pilates

Thursday

Catch up on projects and reading

Psychodynamic psychotherapy supervision and see psychotherapy patients

Sometimes pick up a moonlighting shift in the Psychiatric ED

Friday

See patients at the VA Substance Use Disorder Clinic

See patients at the VA Substance Use Disorder Clinic

Movie night

Saturday

Sleep in and make breakfast and coffee

Catch up with friends and family

Attend a get together with classmates

Sunday

Go for a walk at White Rock Lake or run errands

Meal prepping or trying a new recipe! Chart checking for POPC patients on Monday

Relax