Ridicule Among Residents

Having completed nearly two years of residency, it’s clear that residents from different fields who are constantly relying on each other will often find ways to ridicule each other as well. This is just the nature of medicine. We’re all busy. We’re all intelligent. We’re trying to manage patients, orders, exams, teaching, learning, meetings, research, and so many other things! Often times this requires cooperation with our co-residents… and this can often lead to resistance and finger-pointing.

Listening to other anesthesia providers talk about our surgical colleagues’ occasional ineptitude is disheartening. Just overall, I’m so tired of residents thinking that other residents don’t know what they’re doing. We’re training in academic centers along other trainees in various specialties with varying degrees of experience! Of course there’s going to be a disparity in knowledge base and skill. Live with it!

In general, if you’re going to criticize, either offer a suggestion or prove you can do it better. For example, I’m not going to try to challenge a junior surgery trainees’ operating skills, because I can’t do it any better! That being said, my role as the anesthesiologist requires that I express my concerns if things start threatening the patient’s overall safety and would benefit from someone more deft.

I’m sure every surgical resident has criticized anesthesia residents for delaying/cancelling cases, taking too long to place lines, or not turning over rooms fast enough. Seriously? Sometimes I wish every surgical resident had to do two months of anesthesia (an entire month on their own) to understand exactly what it entails.

Overall, we need to be more respectful of each others’ niches within the overall landscape of healthcare and remind to place the patient above our own agendas.

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