I’ll start this post by quoting an email from one of our former chief residents…
“Happy July. The birds are singing, the bees are buzzing, the interns are crying. It’s all and all a wonderful time of year…” — Rob Huang*
As you might guess, July is a special time in every resident’s life; full of new experiences, new responsibilities, and an emergency department at its busiest. New second-year residents are asked to now run traumas and medical codes. New third-years are tasked with essentially “running the ED”, keeping tabs on the general flow, answering EMS calls, and making sure sick patients get seen as quickly as possible. New second-years find themselves learning to manage multiple patients at one time while assuming more significant roles in trauma and airway management. Interns (first-year residents) are getting to know each other, know Omaha, and get a feel for where they’ll be working most of their next three years. All in all, a hugely exciting time for both the department and our program. We’ve been blessed with an energetic new class, new program directors (who really have been with the residency since its inception), and a handful of new core faculty bringing fresh ideas and experiences to our education. Erica, Chris, and I have already hit the ground running as new chiefs, and are surely in for our own roller coaster of highs and lows as the year goes by.
And so it goes. More often than not, each patient we see is our first and only encounter with that particular person. We are asked to interview and examine our patients to evaluate for the presence of an emergency condition, stabilize them, and ultimately get them the help they need, all within minutes, and whilst, at the same time, engaging the exact same process with multiple other patients. So, change is indeed not a new concept to the ED physician. For many of us, it is this aspect that drew us to the field of EM in the first place. So with that, happy July, as we welcome the class of 2016, our new staff and PDs, and the new year, with all the exciting changes it hopes to bring.
*Disclaimer: I’ve yet to see a first year resident actually bust out into tears over their new clinical responsibilities. Is it different than medical school? Yes. A huge step up in responsibility? Absolutely. An amazing, formative year that you’ll never forget? You bet.