Every medical student is a bit apprehensive when he/she knows they’ll be assigned a new resident. Exactly the same questions always appear…will the resident be nice? Will they understand my busy schedule? Will they make me do a ton of scutwork? Will they make me write all of his/her progress notes? And maybe most importantly, will they i want to leave early to study for boards or benefit from the occasional night out? Following a year and a half of clinical rotations in various hospitals throughout NYC, I have learned that every resident can fit in to 1 of three general categories.

The Amazing Resident
The first kind of resident is my favorite. He/she is the one which still remembers what it’s like to have freedom and no responsibility as a 3rd and 4th year medical student. They recognize that the medical student is strictly there to understand some cool things and see some interesting procedures, then get out of the hospital to review. This resident is nearly always cognizant of the fact that the medical student will not want to sort out lunch to complete a progress note that ought to be done by the resident in the first place.

I have also noticed that this kind of resident is usually better and smarter than his/her colleagues. He/she can get their work done with out a medical student, therefore does not have to depend on him for help. Since this resident is normally smarter than the average bear, they often times times impart unique clinical knowledge to the student. The funny thing about this resident is that I am MUCH more willing to do the lowest of scutwork to greatly help him/her out because of the teaching and knowledge of the medical student’s role.

The Horrible Resident
On the other extreme of the spectrum may be the resident which makes the student think that unless you work longer and harder compared to the resident, you then will ultimately be considered a horrible doctor and unworthy of the ‘MD’ degree. The darkest of these types of residents will taunt the medical student’s worst fears by threatening the idea of giving you a bad evaluation if you’re not breaking your back to make their life easier. Because of this in the event that you eat lunch before finishing scutwork for him/her even though you’re about to distribute from hypoglycemia, you’re unworthy. This type of resident will berate you if anything goes wrong throughout their shift. This can include yelling at you for misplacing the central line in the carotid rather than the external jugular, even though you’re only an observer during the procedure. And for the information, it will continually be your fault, thus it really is easier not to argue and merely accept the blame and state that you will never do it again.

This sort of resident can either be smart or not bright, but one thing is always true, their idea of ‘teaching’ is quite misconstrued. They think that making the medical student call another hospital to obtain medical records, or calling the principal care doctor regarding an individual that they know nothing about, falls beneath the category of teaching, Therefore, this fulfills their role as a ‘teacher,’ resolving them of having to waste their time explaining the reasoning for ordering potassium levels Q4H on the DKA patient.

On the other hand, I have to admit that this kind of resident isn’t entirely bad. I once had a resident that often left the building before me leaving some of his work for me to complete. He would ask me to obtain an ABG on his patient with respiratory distress, and then go back home while I was in the patient’s room. Although this is incredibly annoying, I did become extraordinarily competent on many procedures. I can now do an ABG blindfolded and I don’t need any assistance other than a nurse to place an NG tube. Thus, I have to thank that resident for being a bad teacher and leaving me to learn things on my own.

The Okay Resident
The last kind of resident is markedly different than others, but sometimes has traits of both extremes. I believe the primary problem that undermines this resident is they aren’t aware of the truth that the student has needs such as going to the toilet and eating. They have a tendency to forget that the student actually exists and is a lot more than just a fly following them around. This resident is not directly vicious (like the ‘horrible resident’), it’s they are usually too overwhelmed during the day and just don’t know how exactly to utilize the student effectively. This results in a medical student that’s bored and zones out because he/she is not engaged and is left to stare at the paint drying on the wall.

I don’t desire to generalize this group of residents to be not smart, but they do not get it like many of their colleagues. Ki Residences Singapore The point that they’re overwhelmed by work is basically because they don’t understand how to manage their time appropriately and when needed, require help from the medical student. I’ve met quite a few of these residents that are very smart, it’s just that they are usually thorough with their patients, which doesn’t allow any moment for them to consider how to have the student interact. From my experience, it appears that their strict focus on details is due to their paranoia of making a blunder and somehow killing an individual. This leads me to believe they need to read Samuel Shem’s books and grasp the theory that less is usually better in the healthcare world and their meticulousness is hindering rather than helping.

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