Intern survival advice

A student on placement recently asked us what the best things to do during intern year are and I thought I’d share the summary of the round table discussion we had with them:

  1. Know your role. Know what’s expected of you. Get in the habit of having conversations every time you work with someone new so you know what you should and shouldn’t be doing around them: make sure they know where you’re at so neither of you are confused or disappointed when things aren’t working out.
  2. Nail the basics. The fancy interventions are great, but how often do we really intubate? Focus on getting the brain perfused. Sort out mastery of boring things like early positioning, putting O2 on and getting a good history first. There are lots of solid operators out there who have a great reputation…. yet couldn’t name half the C/I’s for GTN.
  3. Be the grey man. Don’t stand out by being too keen, cocky, loud, arrogant or a butt kisser. Don’t be the bottom of the barrel. Be the guy that is dependable, and reliable. People will respect you if your reputation is one of being a hard worker who humbly does their thing…. they won’t if you’re reknowned for sleeping with other staff and not doing house chores.
  4. Expect to get burned. Someone, somewhere, somehow will hurt you. It’ll be someone that means a lot to you and it will most likely not be on purpose. It happens to everyone.It’ll happen more than once Be prepared to deal with it assertively and lovingly and move on.
  5. Take care of yourself. You spent years at uni and forming relationships with people to get you to this point. Don’t throw it away in less than 6 months for a patient or because you were too proud to talk stuff through with the people who love you.

What’s your advice?


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