I never thought intern year would be this hard.

Scratch that– I did. I knew I wouldn’t know as much as I liked and that I wouldn’t have as much time as I used to. I knew I’d miss home and the people I left behind. Still, it doesn’t make the pressure of trying to improve or the disappointment of not knowing something I read a few hours ago any easier to bare.

There’s this saying that’s going around about the first year:

Fake it until you make it

Not exactly inspiring but I admit that many times keeping composure and sticking to what you know (regardless of how you feel)  takes you a certain length of the way. For example regurgitating an order my senior just gave me with some confidence as opposed to meekly whispering it gets things done a lot faster than vice versa. Still it doesn’t feel a whole lot better.

I haven’t written in awhile, mostly because I’ve been frantically reading Up To Date in my spare time or anything else to help me out during my time on the floor. I probably wouldn’t have written this either had I not taken a second to think about a few things:

Firstly, that I began writing in medical school as an outlet. It was a way to free myself from the monotony of the day, step back and take a look at what was going on in my life. Those days weren’t easy either, but having the ability to remove myself from it all, sitting behind a computer screen, helped me sort out what was going on.

Secondly, because writing every now and then connects me with who I am. That sounds real cheesy, but I think it’s easy to lose sight of that when all you’re trying to do is perform better at the hospital.  I’ve started to think that the things I used to do that, in a lot of ways, made me feel connected to who I was were becoming wasteful. Especially when I could replace them with studying or doing other work. A friend had this to say:

You’re not just a doctor…you’re a person.

It’s so easy to forget that.

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4 Comments on "Remember Who You Are"

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Saurabh
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Thanks for sharing. I have a number of friends going through their intern years right now (I’m an MS4), and it’s helpful to their reflections (and yours as well). Keep writing! It’s cathartic for you, but also instructive for those of us who will be in your shoes very soon.

Candice Brem
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I agree that early residency tends to continue the perhaps vicious cycle that we began in medschool. That is to say that we discarded pieces integral to ourselves for the sake of efficiency and excellence. You realize quickly that no matter how hard you had studied before there is some aspect that you didn’t account for, werent prepared for or just plain did not know. In seeking to relieve these deficiencies we once again dive deep into textbooks, online resources and real life experiences. I can say that despite many efforts, it is only this year that I have been… Read more »
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