Tips and advice for new doctors


It was a little overwhelming. I started on internal medicine as a PGY
one first day as the doctor on call on July 1st. I think it was a new staff and I had a whole
team of patients I needed to see. And I started on a much lighter rotation yet
still felt very afraid! And I was sitting there, and I was on call. It was the second day of residency and I have
about five pagers on my belt and they’re all going off at the same time and I remember
thinking “What the heck am I doing here?” Just know that everyone’s kind of in the same
boat and it does get easier. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. So for example if you don’t know drug doses,
pharmacists are an invaluable resource. Senior residents, co-residents, staff, nurses,
allied health. There’s
always people around that you can ask. Being part of a team I think is integral to
anything that you do in life but especially in healthcare right. I think power comes in numbers and different
people have different expertise and it’s okay to ask us what we think or to run ideas by us. Some people think you know the doctors are
the most important person in the hospital and I disagree with that. Just here in the neonatal intensive care unit
alone on rounds we have dietitians, pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, I think it’s
really good for you to know who each of us are so that we can help you
in whatever specific way. Be really nice to the patients. Be nice to everyone here. So you know buy them coffees. Donuts, bagels, chocolates anything! Just treat each other with respect and dignity. Sleeping! Go home post call. Don’t stay up too late during weekdays and
make sure you get enough sleep because you’re going
to be expected to function as a doctor the next day. Let people know what you want to be called
about and what you don’t want to be called about when you’re trying to get a few winks of shut eye. I chose a lot of protein bars when I was on
call. I think if you just eat
straight sugar it’s a really bad idea and pop is a bad idea. Candy! I love sour candy. I’m pretty sure I put my dentist’s kids
through University. Come prepared with quick snacks that you can
eat at a moment’s notice. I like joking with patients, I like you know,
having a good time at work. I think we’re here so much that you should
enjoy it. So my personality is reflected I think in my Star Wars hats and the way I interact with
people and I think it just makes life a little bit more enjoyable. We’re a large teaching hospital and we get
a lot of students and we don’t necessarily know who you are so please tell us who you
are. We are often exposed to a lot of the challenges
to patient care that more senior staff may not appreciate because we’re the ones who
are ordering the tests, assessing patients on a daily basis, and so you are bound to
come in – sorry – to identify barriers and challenges to patients and safety and I think
it’s an excellent opportunity for residents to get involved in quality improvement. Take time off, enjoy your vacation. Take your vacations. I think that’s number one -people who leave
vacations on the table I feel so bad for them. It’s a tragedy. You will feel overwhelmed at times, and I
think the way to handle that is acknowledge that. And second thing is find someone to talk to
or find help whether it be mentors, colleagues, friends, family. We have tons of resources and support here
at university, within your department itself, the PG wellness office, the PGME office. And it’s something that you should definitely
consider. A lot of people figure it’s a stigma. “If I did that I’ll get labeled as weak”
and that’s not true at all. Just know that it gets easier everyone’s anxious,
everyone’s afraid and you’ll get the hang of it and we’re here to support you. Other people are here to support you. We welcome you to our team and we look forward
to working with you Welcome to Sunnybrook and good luck. Welcome and good luck. Good luck and may the force be with you

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