🏁 5 Essential Tips for Month One of Residency


Happy Sunday!🌞

Last week during rounds, we covered my pre-residency checklist and talked about all the self-care and adulting tasks to check off before starting residency✅.

But what about when residency actually starts...what can we do to put ourselves in the best position to succeed?🤔

I'm so glad you asked!⬇️

This week, I want to share several tips for how we can make sure we're starting residency off with our best foot forward🚶🏼. These tips apply to all interns, regardless of specialty or location.

So let's jump right in🦘:

  1. Maximize orientation time🕒. The vast majority of residency programs use July as orientation for their new interns. This means dedicated time to meet our co-residents, bond as a class, explore the hospital, and learn how to transition into becoming a doctor🩺. Equally as important, however, is learning how to function as a resident. This means creating systems to help us maintain balance. When are we going to find time to exercise🤸‍♀️? How are we going to plan meals🍝? Who can we rely on when things get difficult or hectic😵‍💫? By investing some time in answering these questions, we can truly set ourselves up for success and create good habits for when the going gets tough🧗🏿‍♀️.
  2. Be open and inquisitive💭. As we just mentioned, the start of residency is about learning how to become a doctor. Inherent in that is the fact that it's perfectly normal to not have all of the answers and to get tripped up and confused🤷🏾‍♂️. Rather than being thrown off or frustrated by this, we should be open to it and ask a lot of questions🙋🏻. Not only will this show other residents and faculty that we are excited and willing to learn, but we'll likely find answers to questions that will help us navigate the upcoming months more smoothly🌊.
  3. Get to know the staff🫱🏻‍🫲🏾. As close as we'll get with our co-residents through shared learning and struggle, they are certainly not the only people we'll be working alongside in the hospital🏥. Be kind to everyone and get to know the rest of the staff. This includes nurses, techs, clerks, physical therapy, case management, social work, etc. This can be a huge help when managing patients and can also lead to more connections and friendships🤗.
  4. Stay in touch with classmates🧑‍🎓. Just because medical school is over, doesn't mean all is forgotten! Keep in touch with friends and classmates across the country and consider joining your medical school's alumni or mentorship program if they have one🌐. Remember, you are now in a position that other students are dying to be in, and they would love your advice and guidance. Medical students will be grateful for your insights, and these opportunities may also be a great CV builder📄.
  5. Work hard💪🏻. At the end of the day, residency serves the dual function of being a job but also being training. While we can gain substantial knowledge from lectures and practice, it is also important that we take the initiative towards self-directed learning and expand our horizons as best as we can🌄. Our attendings will love it, our co-residents will be encouraged by it, and we'll become better doctors for it🥼.

For everyone who is about to take the leap into residency, I wish you nothing but joy and success!🎉

🗺️ Something I discovered: My new Owala FreeSip water bottle has been amazing for staying hydrated on shift. I love the fact that you can either take a swig of water or a quick sip with the built-in straw!

💚 Something I love: These Sharpie S-Gel pens are the perfect pen to buy before starting residency. I feel like everyone in the hospital is using them now!

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