There’s no way to get around the fact that I haven’t published a post in a very, very long time. It isn’t because I haven’t been writing. Quite the opposite- I’ve started writing posts more times than I can count, only to find myself at a loss for words, unable to adequately express my thoughts, and frustrated that I keep failing at developing a concise conclusion regarding whatever subject is at hand. I recently tried to thread those posts together in a “summation post”, but it didn’t flow well. Trying to cram 7 months of patient encounters and stories into one post just didn’t work.
June was my last month as an intern and I worked in the peds ER. It was amazing. I loved the fast pace of the ER. I loved thinking on my feet and having to jump from patient to patient. It reminded me of the rush my anesthesiology rotations gave me, and why I was so torn between peds and Anesthesia once upon a time. June also held the most difficult patient encounter I’ve had to date, involving doing chest compressions on a newborn baby who ultimately didn’t make it. Despite that experience, or perhaps partly because of it, I’m now considering specializing in peds ER. That would mean 3 additional years of training & likely a move to another state. So I’m unsure. Luckily I have time on my side and don’t have to decide in the immediate future.
After June, I became a ‘senior resident’. This entails a lot of things, but mainly that I now supervise intern residents. (Read: June 30, I was a 1st year resident being supervised by 2nd and 3rd year residents, July 1 I was a 2nd year resident supervising the new 1st years…). It was/is terrifying. I constantly worry I am failing them. I fear I miss learning opportunities & teaching moments. I worry I’m not as good as the senior residents who taught me the things I know, or worse- that I’m as bad as the ones who didn’t teach me. It is stressful in ways I hadn’t anticipated and rewarding in other ways. I have more autonomy now. I get to direct medical care in a way I didn’t get to as an intern. I am more confident in my medical decision making & treatment plans. But it is tough… what if I make the wrong choice? What if I miss something my intern does and a patient is harmed? What if I become the senior resident who isn’t quite at the level I’m expected to be? There are tons of fears and insecurities, but ultimately I’m taking it one day at a time. I try to be intentional in the teaching I do for our awesome & receptive intern class. I try to acknowledge my weaknesses and admit when I don’t know something. I look more things up now than I ever have to double check my work- and in doing so, I’ve learned way more! With the support of my Attendings & my fellow residents, & my family and friends, I like to think I’m getting the hang of this “senior” business. Hopefully my co-residents would agree!
(Edited to add: there is more going on in my personal/family life than I can fit in this post… more on that in the posts to follow!)