Communicate with loved ones. Expectations are everything, so it’s important for a first-year resident to communicate with family members from the start about what an 80-hour workweek is going to look like. “Constant communication is paramount,” said Michael Yim, MD, a fifth-year resident at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, “especially during the first few months, as everyone has to adjust to the change in daily lifestyle and overall routines. It is easy for loved ones to feel neglected during residency, so it is important to be cognizant of this fact and to be proactive about showing your commitment to them.”
Explore this issue:September 2017
Stay positive. Exhausted, swamped by paperwork, or overwhelmed by very sick patients, residents can find it difficult to remember that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. “It’s easy to lose yourself in the daily grind of residency,” said Dr. Yim. “When that happens, just take a step back and remind yourself that you are now part of the best medical specialty around, and all the hard work is truly worth it in the end.”
Renee Bacher is a freelance medical writer based in Louisiana.