Today marks a huge milestone for me in my medical career. I’ve completed by intern year, my first 365 days as a physician. Tonight I start my life as a second year. I am officially a “resident”.
I greet this day with mixed feelings.
First there is the pride and awe at looking back on the year and realizing how much I’ve learned. I’ve delivered about 200 babies, both vaginally and surgically. I’ve taken out uteruses (uteri?), ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cysts. I’ve become comfortable looking inside the uterus with a hysteroscope and cleaning it out with a curet. I’ve placed IUDs, implanons, and tied tubes - my contribution in the fight against unplanned pregnancy. In addition to skills and procedures, my knowledge base about obstetrics and gynecology has shot through the roof (I think…).
Next there is excitement and anticipation. Now it will be my regular job to do repeat and crash cesarean sections. I will learn to run the labor floor and become the primary health care provider in the delivery room. I will learn to manage bad fetal heart tracings. I will experience the subspecialties of OB/GYN, like urogynecology, family planning, and infertility. I will start my research and come one step closer to the academic job I hope to have in the future.
Finally, heading into my second year, there is a very real sense of anxiety and nervousness. As an intern, you know two things: 1) no one really expects you to know anything and 2) you’re not really responsible for anything or anyone. There is a sense of security in this. Intern year is all about deferring what’s difficult to the residents above you. Now, however, as I move up the totem pole, I become one of those residents!!! When those new little interns, lost and insecure, start this week, I will be the one they turn to for guidance! God help us...
In all seriousness, I do want to be a good resident to the incoming interns. Being the Type A personality and incessant planner I am, I am already thinking about how to do this. I think about the senior residents I have now, specifically the ones I look up to, whose styles I’d like to emulate. I want to be patient. I want to be approachable. I want to be knowledgeable (hear that Green Journal? We’re gonna get real close this year). Finally, I want to be supportive. Intern year is hard, and without my go-to people at work I would’ve given up a long time ago. (Thank you, work wifeys!)
Starting second year feels like I am on a 10m diving platform. I’m hesitant to jump in, but know I’ll feel proud of myself if I do – even if I belly flop it. One. Two. Three. Here goes nothing...