Be organized. One of the most important traits for first-year residents is organizational ability. “If you’re good at time management and [are] well organized, it enables you to be more productive and get out earlier to spend time with your family,” said Dr. Takashima. “Those who are organized clearly shine, partly because they’re on top of things and well prepared for cases.” What’s the clearest path to organization? At Baylor, first-year residents are assigned to mentors, and teachings focus on efficiencies. These may include logistics such as getting scans to the operating room in advance of surgery.
Ask for help. Whether it’s not fully grasping a particular procedure or protocol or struggling with a personal problem, it’s best to get help sooner rather than later. First years can and should talk to a trusted chief resident, program director, or faculty member if difficulties arise. “Don’t feel you have to overcome everything by yourself,” said Dr. Bumpous. “Get advice. Take constructive criticism. When you ask, ‘How do I do this better?’ be a good listener and accept people’s advice. The people who isolate themselves and don’t engage others in trying to stay on the best path are the most vulnerable to getting into a chronic problem or more serious trouble.”
Put the patient first (and do it with compassion). Physicians burn out when they lose touch with their own humanity. “Remember that you’re part of the human condition,” Dr. Bumpous said. “The person on the other end of your otoscope or scalpel is a human being—a mom, a dad, a sister, or a brother. Don’t let yourself become too removed from that.” Dr. Bumpous suggested residents learn at least one little thing about each patient as an important way to let patients know they are cared for. What do they do? Where are they from? What do they like to do? “That goes a long way toward helping people heal,” he added.| ← Previous | | | Next → | Single Page