On Monday June 24th, my residency training will officially begin.
Lemme say it again for the people in the back. (Mostly for myself though 😅)
I AM OFFICIALLY STARTING MY RESIDENCY TRAINING THIS MONDAY!!!
I'm really excited to finally start being a doctor and to practice honing my medical skills! My two-week orientation period was absolutely instrumental in pumping my excitement up. It was also instrumental in quelling some of the nervousness and anxiety that I was starting to feel soon after coming back from Mexico. While I was riding off of the high of having an MD behind my name, I was also beginning to feel the weight of the reality that I am literally going to be someone's physician and that I will be working incredibly hard these next few years as a pediatric resident. Obviously I had already known this, but it's one thing to talk about residency training when it's still in the distant future and a whole ‘nother thing when it's finally staring at you right in your face after you've had months of relative relaxation and heavy chillin'. Thankfully, all the activities, discussions and lectures that we participated in during Orientation were helpful in preparing us for this next stage in our lives. 🙏🏿
It's also helpful to remember that my co-interns (and interns across the nation) are most likely feeling the same way I've been feeling and that our upper-levels, as well as the many pediatricians who've since graduated from this program, all went through this intern year and successfully completed it. Plus, the leadership team (chief residents + the residency program faculty members) have all made it crystal clear that they don't expect us to know as much as we expect ourselves to know, and that they will always be there to support us whenever we need it, no matter what. Of course I already knew this, but it was comforting to hear them verbally commit to supporting us and to hear them guarantee that we are in a very safe learning environment. It is expected that we will make mistakes (that's why we have upper-levels and attendings; they are there to ensure that any of our potential mishaps don't harm our patients) and that we will learn from them. Having those extra layers of security is very reassuring, to say the least. The absolute LAST thing that I would ever want to do is to potentially cause any harm to any of my patients. Nobody wants to hurt a kid or to elicit a family's distrust. All I want is to be an excellent physician. Is that too much to ask?
Orientation consisted of a huge variety of things, but I'm not about to sit here and go into detail about each activity. That would take forever. If you really want to hear about what I did each day of this two-week period, you can just hit me up. I'm only giving a bird's-eye view here. So with that said, here's a list of the things that we participated in these past couple of weeks:
- A procedures workshop, where we reviewed how to splint, how to suture effectively (definitely need some additional practice with this 😅), administer immunizations, perform a lumbar puncture, place an IV using ultrasound, and place a Nexplanon device into a patient
- A tour of the WakeMed hospital in Raleigh (not to be confused with Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem and no they are not related to one another), one of the locations we will be completing a few of our rotations at
- Working with Occupational Health to ensure all our vaccinations were up to date
- A fantastic book discussion with our residency director and the assistant directors; the book we discussed was What Doctors Feel, by Dr. Danielle Ofri (I definitely recommend reading this book, especially if you're going into the medical field)
- A “Residents as Teachers” workshop, where we learned effective ways to teach medical students
- A lovely dinner at the house of our Program Director
- A day at an Outdoor Challenge Course, where we engaged in a good amount of activities meant to challenge us while promoting teamwork, collaboration and camaraderie between the members of our intern class
- A tour and overview of our continuity clinic
- Safe Zone training to educate ourselves about adequately treating members of the LGBTQ+ population
- Lectures on optimizing teamwork skills in the delivery of healthcare, scholarship opportunities, advocacy opportunities, giving & receiving handoffs effectively using the IPASS method, safely discharging patients, and an overview of the residency program
Yes, we went over A TON of material during these past two weeks. But throughout all of this time, our class had countlesss opportunities to get to know one another, which we made sure to take advantage of!
I also had time to get acclimated to The Triangle (Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham, for those of you who aren't familiar with the term), read some of my books for leisure, catch up on some shows and even attend a couple of Durham Bulls games with my fiancée. These past few weeks have been nothing but fun and relaxing. It's a shame that it is all about to end….but it's necessary if I want to continue to experience personal and professional growth. Plus, I 👏🏿 NEED 👏🏿 A 👏🏿PAY 👏🏿 CHECK👏🏿!!!
Silly me, I haven't even told you what my first rotation is about to be. I'm actually starting on a Peds Cardiology elective, which shouldn't be that crazy of a rotation. As a matter of fact, I think that it's going to serve as a nice and smooth transition into my residency lifestyle. In addition, my first week of this rotation is going to be at another summer camp called Camp Carefree! It's incredible how I was able to receive this opportunity to work at another summer camp for children with chronic illnesses, especially since it has absolutely nothing to do with my Cardiology elective. (If you didn't already know, I worked at Victory Junction Summer Camp last summer, which was another camp with a similar mission.) With this experience being my first exposure to residency, it's hard not to get excited about starting.
In addition, I was granted a vacation period during this first rotation, which is WAYYY earlier than I would have liked to have a week of vacation. But it's all good because I got all of my other preferences for vacation. I'll just be sure to make the most of this time off and continue to adjust to my new life in Chapel Hill. After this first rotation, I'll be doing two weeks of night shifts before doing another two weeks of continuity clinic. Then I'll move on to a month of inpatient medicine on a team that includes patients that fall into one of the following categories: General Pediatrics, Neurology & Neurosurgery. This summer is surely going to be an interesting one.
With that, I'm going to go ahead and end this post. Make sure to have a great weekend and to have a phenomenal week! And best of luck to all of the interns across the nation who are about to start their respective residency programs! WE GOT THIS!!! ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿
“Feeling confident – or pretending that you feel confident – is necessary to reach for opportunities. It’s a cliché, but opportunities are rarely offered; they’re seized.” – Sheryl Sandberg
– Black Man, M.D.