Fear Is A Superpower: Don’t Run.

If you look at the posts on this site, you’ll notice a glaring gap between the month of August and the month of October. Maybe you’ve wondered why. Maybe you attributed it to the inconsistencies and waxing, waning enthusiasm of a new blogger.

Fear is, in fact, what happened.

 

I’m currently the last year of my fellowship. That’s 2 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 7 years of on-the-job training: over a decade spent preparing for a profession that I’m about to officially, independently embark on. If anything, I am over-prepared. I should be impatiently chomping at the bit. I should be eager to move on.

 

I was – am – terrified.

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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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Letters to A Young Resident (AKA What I Wish I Had Known During Residency), Part 1

[Here begins another hopefully semi-regular series on life, love, and lack of life and/or love life during residency.

It is a map of the realities of life as a resident, an orange traffic cone pointing out the giant potholes in the seemingly smooth, post-med school, yellow-brick-road of residency.

It is a guide to things I wish I had known or done differently.

No, it’s not a comprehensive guide. And certainly, my experiences as an OBGYN resident may not be universal. But I do think that my experiences:

1) are fairly amusing

2) are applicable to most residents, regardless of the specialty

3) may help you anticipate and prepare for the pitfalls and problems you might encounter during residency,

4) might help you emerge a better, healthier, and more complete person and resident than I, Gunga Din.

So here’s to you! May you have a safe and successful journey to the Emerald City known as attending physician-hood.] Continue reading

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