Much is made of the date July 1st in the medical profession. Freshly graduated physicians begin their training career in medicine as interns. Although technically physicians, these interns are new to the clinical practice of medicine and all that comes with that. Much has been made of the experience of the new intern. Samuel Shem’s House of God is a renowned novel about medical training. Countless television series, chronicle the experience of newly minted physicians. It is common knowledge that July first is a huge date in one’s medical career.
However, there is a date in one’s career that is overlooked but may be more important than July 1st. June 30th never gets close to the same level of attention as the date preceding it. However, on June 30th, a resident physician crosses over from training doctor to the real thing. No longer is there an attending to ask questions. You could possibly be that attending. As I approach the end of my residency training, I realize June 30th has never seemed so important before.
The years in residency are nothing short of transformative. I see that as I train new interns currently and see how far my colleagues and I have come. I remember beginning intern year, thinking I was driven by fear. I felt I had too much power for someone so inexperienced. I remember thinking every day those first weeks, “please, don’t let me hurt anyone.”
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