Letters to A Young Resident, II: Stop Apologizing

Okay, before you immediately start to object: this isn’t meant to be blanket statement.

There are times when you should absolutely apologize in medicine, medical mistakes being the number one reason to apologize, and well.

But for the majority of residents who are not psychopaths, and certainly among majority of first year and female residents, the problem is, in fact, over-apologizing.

Stop.

 

 

As a Canadian, and as an only daughter in an Asian household, I understand your pain. Politeness to the point of discomfort is practically the mortar of my being. I grew up differential and soft-spoken. I lived within the rules set by school, by parents, and by society. When coloring, I drew crisply within the lines. And it worked well for a while: the quiet, nice girl who puts her head down and does her work well may not be well known, but she is certainly well loved (if and when she is recognized).

 

 

I would argue that medicine is no place for this sensibility.

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