This year is difficult mostly because you are trying to make one of the toughest transitions: from ordinary me to someone who is automatically given higher expectations and higher standards, all while you're trying to figure out where the bathrooms are, and "how things work" beyond what is taught or told. You're being thrown into a process and journey that will change you forever. It's exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.
- Read, read, and read some more
- I know auditions during fourth year are insanity - and it doesn't feel like you have one free second - but you have more time now than you will intern year, and the foundation you build now will truly help. Once intern year starts, expectations are high and schedules are busy
- Best advice: follow the SCORE curriculum and read on the topics that your patients' pathology bring up - read a textbook + do topic specific questions
- Organize a study plan for level/step 3s as well as ABSITE
- Figure out how you learn: questions? reading then testing yourself right afterward? etc
- Pack yummy meals and snacks to look forward to - it makes a difference
- Residency is all about efficiency but don't feel guilty for taking time to stop multi-tasking. There is no balance in 90-100 hour weeks, but there is such thing as self care in small ways: at home facials, scheduling a massage, phone calls with family once a week, having a friend/church/etc community outside of the hospital
- Familiarize yourself with the EMR, and how to write a note
- Learn how to place simple orders (including how to replace electrolytes)
- Learn how to return a page/call
- Write EVERYTHING down - even the simplest things - because 30 patients and 100 tasks later, you will forget.
- Be nice to nurses and don't gossip
- Always go see and assess your patient in person if you get a call about him/her
- The right way to handle any situation: I'm sorry, it won't happen again (even if it wasn't exactly your fault - don't dig yourself into a hole)
- Embrace your place: growth is a process. In the words of Christine Caine: "Destiny is not an instant click and upload. You may be anointed with a purpose, but it does not mean it's your appointed time. Your character may still need to developed before you can take it on."
- As long as you are learning one thing a day, don't be too hard on yourself. There will be days where you feel defeated. There will be many days you feel inadequate. This is normal.
- Call your mom/friend/sibling/etc. Talk to someone outside of your mini world to remind yourself what an amazing thing you're a part of, and that you are doing the thing you've wanted for so long.
- Remember that you're hired for your attitude and trained for skill. Work hard, remember the main goals, and don't let yourself think too much about what "normal" should be