This week marks resident awareness week in Canada.
Why are we talking about a week celebrated by our colleagues to the North?
First, because as I first came across this trending on Twitter (#residentawarenessweek), I was excited and wanted to find a similar week to celebrate our US residents. I do not recall such a week in the past, but I was sure I was wrong and just missed it in my sleep-deprived years of residency. Sadly, I have yet to find such a week on a US calendar. Perhaps I am not looking in the right places. Perhaps I am using the wrong search terms. Or perhaps, we need to follow the lead of our Canadian friends and start a week celebrating all of the hard work our residents do every year.
So, today, in honor of the Canadian Resident Awareness Week, I want to extend a note of deep gratitude from the UNMC ID Division, and as a faculty physician, to our resident colleagues who truly help keep the wheels of medicine turning.
Residents are critical for providing excellent care to our patients, but how often do we truly say ‘thank you’? How often do we express gratitude for the hard work of any of our colleagues? Gratitude has been associated with decreased stress in healthcare practitioners and associated with overall wellbeing. A simple, but heart-felt, thank you may carry a larger impact than any of us realize. So, with that…
To the resident who is exhausted and overwhelmed, thank you for putting the needs of you patients and team first.
To the resident who covered service for a sick colleague, thank you for keeping both our patients and colleagues healthier by your service today.
To the resident who feels like they are not good enough, thank you for showing up everyday and continuing to forge ahead. The road is not easy, it is ok to ask for help. Success is not in knowing everything, it is about developing the competence to know when you need help and to get it.
To the resident who is teaching all of us on rounds, thank you for your initiative and know you are bringing value to the entire team.
To the resident who had to break bad news, thank you for for your support and care for that patient and family.
To the resident toiling on research on nights and weekends, thank you for working to improve medical practices.
To the resident dreaming of leadership roles, keep dreaming! You are the future leaders – thank you for your future innovations.
To the resident who wants to quit, know you are not alone. Thank you for carrying the emotional toll of medicine, but now it is time to ask for help carrying that burden. Please talk to someone, seek mentorship and help. Thank you for your bravery in doing so.
To all of the residents working around the clock in hospitals, emergency rooms and clinics, thank you for being part of this healthcare team. Thank you for your dedication, your blood, sweat and tears. We need you, we appreciate you even if we are not always expressing this as often as we should, and we are grateful for you.
And thank you Canada for your initiative this week.