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10 Things they don't tell you about being a resident

10 Things they don't tell you about being a resident

  1. Your pockets will hold all of the things (and your pants are expected to stay up)
    • Tip: keep your must have's in your white coat, so you can throw it on quickly and run out the door - and on the way to the trauma/rapid response/patient issue, you can redistribute as needed. This also makes a quick nap, if possible, much more comfortable 
    • Some things you should have: a few pens, your patient list and extra paper, stethoscope, trauma shears, pager, on call phone(s), and snacks. Always snacks. Cause you never know when you'll need one
       
  2. Your brain is supposed to have all of the things
    • That one small thing about 1 out of 25 of your patients? You'll need to know it
    • Tip: write everything down. It seems overwhelming but once you get into the groove, the big picture will emerge (or so they tell me)
       
  3. Even when you're exhausted beyond belief and broken down, you're not allowed to be a normal human
    • Doctors are expected to be better people in any and all circumstances, almost to a fault. We are expected to sacrifice everything, including our own well being, for the sake of patients. Now, there are times where the patient is too sick for a doctor to eat - absolutely. But the culture of medicine has made every single thing an urgent "must do right away" or else you're awful. It has made deprivation = good doctor
       
  4. You do as you're told... kinda.
    • You learn how to discern the most efficient / best way to do things is, how to deliver the same information in a different way, how to come up with your own approaches and organizational style - all despite what you're told. It's not only a learning experience, but it's also adapting to different preferences (real world struggles)
    • Residency is a job because you signed a contract and are paid salary, but then it isn't - you abide by hour restrictions and yet you still need to get the work done, restrictions or not
       
  5. Dance parties can solve a lot.
    • No, really. Sometimes you just have to dance it out.
       
  6. Pause when you're asked a question -- it's ok to answer later
    • Check the chart, including the medications and previous notes on the topic in question. Everyone is super helpful but trust no one but your own eyes and ears when it comes to information and how best to handle it. It may mean doing some research or asking a chief/attending, but not every answer has to be yes. It often feels like everyone knows more than you, but it's just because everything is new. You have the foundation to figure it out.
    • On that note, even though residency is all about your training and learning, and people are there for support, you have to watch out for yourself. It's tough because you don't know what you don't know
       
  7. You're unsure if you're doing it right. 
    • And most likely, nobody will tell you unless you're doing something really, really wrong. You got the degree, you have your common sense, so do your best to figure it out
    • This, despite being a training program, is still expecting you to operate on a certain level
       
  8. You get better at storytelling.
    • Not only because your documentation requires it for organization and signing out to your co-residents (and attendings), but also because you are desperately trying to be the most efficient so you can get to the other million things on your to do list
    • You start to remember patients, their presentation and mechanism of injury, their lab trend, etc - which is so helpful when you have a large census
       
  9. You're an automatic teacher.
    • To your patients, your medical students (! I have my very own medical students), and to yourself. Always remember to be kind and give grace, especially to yourself as you are learning
       
  10. You can't turn it off.
    • Maybe this is for life, because I have heard many physicians speak to this - that you can't stop thinking about what you did or didn't do, that one case, and if you did the best for your patients. That you'll wake up at 2am all of a sudden and realize you didn't do something. I guess this is what happens when you're in a profession where you care for human life

       
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