No Big Deal.
Talk about motivating factors to study and learn, patients are number one. Being able to sign my name to a patient means I am the one responsible for their care and that is the largest driving factor to all the chaos that comes with the first six months of intern year... at least for me.
TIPS FOR SURVIVING INTERN YEAR:
1. Coffee. this needs no further explanation!
2. Develop a support system and trust in your co-workers
- it's an experience like this forms a strong bond fast. Experiencing the stressors that come with the first month, there's nothing like it and no one that can relate more to you than those who are or have gone through it... just to name a few: getting lost in the hospital trying to find a patient room, learning to navigate the EMR system, signing my first prescription, introducing myself as Dr. __ instead of 'just a medical student' (we have all done it) to knowing when to get help and when to talk about it. In the last 6 months I have made mistakes and learned from them.. and still learning.
- you cannot function without it, and you have to function 110% all the time when you are on the clock. Setting a good routine is key and prioritizing tasks is even more important now.
4. "me" time
- time to unwind whether that is laying on the couch and watching netflix or going to the gym or meeting up with friends for dinner. This is a requirement and has always been one for me to keep a balanced life. Residency has made it difficult to set this time apart sometimes but Im working on it -- unfortunately, as important as blogging has become for me these past few years, it had to be put on hold so I can get proper bearings of my new life.
5. Be realistic
- If you have been reading my blog for a while you may have picked up on the idea that I am the type of person who is interested in too many things and tends to dabble in too much, sometimes. I am trying to pull the reigns back and focus and limit my extracurricular activities (i.e. research projects, committee membership) as much as possible for intern year. My goal for this year is to become comfortable taking care of uncomplicated OB and GYN patients and to have a clear understanding of the standard guidelines of care. This seems like an easy enough task, right? I have been somewhat successful in not getting too involved!
6. Be easy on yourself
- I am my hardest critic. This has always been true. Expectations are set and when I come short of them I am resilient quite quickly. What I have learned, thanks to a couple attending physicians that I work with, is that it is not the time in which we recover from a mistake but how we learn from it and improve. As medical students we teach ourselves how to become "removed" from a patient and their family, how to depersonalize, but it all comes down to how to you deal with mistakes, losses and failures. The questions that were unanswered as medical students now can have serious implications on patient care. So one of the most important things I have learned is that there is a reason you work as a team with senior residents - always ask questions when you are unsure, there is a patient's life behind those decisions and you will not get judged for asking them.