I am finding myself standing in the shoes of my past residents and attendings, reliving moments where I saw them shine in patient care or grit their teeth and get down to the business of accomplishing a difficult task. For example, I recently sat down with one of my disgruntled patients to explain why we needed to subject her to a variety of tests despite her discomfort and desire to shorten her hospital stay. I saw myself following the example of my Surgery chief resident, a charismatic physician who took the time to clearly and deliberately lay out the options for each patient despite the constant time pressures. As the day to day tasks of medical management in the hospital pile up, I find myself resorting to the methods my Medicine residents used to keep track of patients and their many needs; it’s amazing how much information can fit on an index card with the help of a fine point pen and a little micrographia.
Furthermore, as I delve deeper into my responsibilities as an acting first year resident, I find myself staying at the hospital longer, past required hours, to see my patients and make sure they are well. After all, they are my patients.