Congratulations – you’ve matched into residency! This monumental accomplishment is the culmination of your hard work through your collegiate and medical school careers! Take some time to celebrate this incredible rite-of-passage into your career as a physician! Come July, things will be changing… and for the better!
Your intern and residency years are formative to the rest of your career as a physician. You’ll be applying a wealth of medical knowledge to care for patients, coordinate with colleagues, teach trainees, and sculpt your own style of practicing medicine. It’s in these years that you will be CHALLENGED. You’ll have too few hours in a day to complete too many tasks. Your relationships and activities outside of work will be stretched thin. Your patience, your confidence, and your very character will all be tested.
Many days you’ll question why you did this in the first place. Why subject yourself to so much debt for such delayed gratification? How can you escape the feelings of exhaustion and inadequacy in a system riddled with barriers to patient care – the very reason you became a physician in the first place? Why are we surrounded by so many people in healthcare who complain about their hours, patients, administration, etc.?
It’s in these moments where you’ll need to find yourself by remembering your patients. You have earned a training opportunity that many would gladly take, and the majority of your patients and their families/caretakers are even more stressed than you. Find joy in your ability to learn, care for patients, and work with others. Understand that your colleagues come from different backgrounds, so use whatever knowledge and experience they have to further your own understanding!
For the more seasoned physicians who will be working with new residents, remember that we were ALL in that position at some point in our careers. Cultivate the training model you wish to see by showing them warmth, instilling confidence, and providing timely, constructive feedback.
Above all else, have fun! 🙂