Tips To Be The Best Intern You Can BeDecember 3, 2013
Graduating from medical school and beginning your internship is likely to be one of the most intense periods you will go through in your professional life. This is the time when you will be called upon to put into practice all that you’ve learned over the past 4 to 6 years. All those years you’ve dreamed of having your beeper go off have finally come true till you finally realise that it does go off in the middle of the night too, when you are all comfortably tucked into bed. Some days all you will want to do is crawl back under the sheets but that is a luxury you cannot afford. Life as an intern is one endless circle of graveyard shifts and sleepless nights. Despite all of the insanity, no matter how tired you are, when you are on the job, you are expected to rise to the occasion and do it to the best of your ability. A patient’s wellbeing is first and foremost and there are no shortcuts.
Here are a few tips that will help you be the best intern you can be – no matter what.
Always, Always be on time
In no other profession is punctuality as critical as it is in the medical profession. Even a few minutes can mean the difference between life and death for your patient. Right from the first day, make it a point to always be on time. Don’t make excuses or look for loopholes for being late. Once you start it keeps getting easier and soon you will slip into the habit, which is not good for your professional reputation. If it is absolutely unavoidable and you are running late for your rounds with a senior resident or attending, make sure you text and let them know.
Be a team member
Every opportunity you get, look for ways to help out your fellow interns. Before you sign off for the day, ask if anybody needs any help and if there is anything you can do for them. Helping others you would like to be helped is one of the golden rules of residency. When you do more than is expected of you and you go out of your way to cover their backs when they need it, you know you can expect the same when you need the help.
Take responsibility for your learning
There is a lot you can learn from first-hand interactions with patients that you can never learn from any text book. When treating any patient, don’t just do it mechanically. Use every opportunity to explore and learn something new. Learning never goes to waste. Some time or the other, a situation will arise where you can put your learning to good use.
Care for your patients
When you are short on sleep and beyond tired, it is all too easy to go through the day on auto-mode. But that was not your goal when you made the decision to become a doctor, was it? You became a doctor because you wanted to care for people and this is it – you are finally doing what you’ve always wanted to do so don’t forget it. A caring touch, a warm smile and a few comforting words can mean the whole world to a patient who is scared and in pain. When you make it a point to always be the kind of doctor you want taking care of you, you know you are being the best you can be.