Day in the Life #1: medical resident documentary


I was freaking out thinking am I going to be the worst resident in the history of residents. My name is Tiffany, I’m a first year family medicine resident at U of T working at Sunnybrook right now in family practice. year family medicine resident at U of T working at Sunnybrook right now in family practice. So I just moved to Toronto a couple of months ago. I always wanted to be a doctor ever since I was really really young and I guess it was because of watching the shows at first on TV. As I got older, matured more, I really found this passion for not only helping people but also just loved the science involved in normal working functions of the human body and disease and helping disease, curing disease. Last year, my mom was diagnosed with stage 1a ovarian cancer and the wonderful doctors and nurses and other healthcare professionals that helped my family and my mom helped me to want to be that for somebody else’s family. So in a lot of the TV shows, we’re often led to think that medicine is always chaotic and always has the most exciting mystery diagnosis like you see on House or parties everyday like you see on Grey’s Anatomy, and the reality is it’s not always chaotic and you usually get to take a breath, but most of the time it’s not a party and it’s a lot of hard work. You’re lucky, I would say, if you get maybe two or three hours of sleep. It’s not as bad as what people think you know you have so much adrenaline going that you don’t really feel like you’re tired until your shift is done and then you feel like you’re exhaused and you go home and sleep the day away. You second guess yourself a lot as a resident. The worst thing in the world is you know thinking oh my god, I did something to hurt somebody or something that I did caused somebody to get sicker or not get better. But I think you never really lose that, you never become 100 percent comfortable and one physician told me you start becoming a very unsafe doctor when you think you know everything because then you stop reading and you start to make mistakes and careless mistakes. She said everybody is going to make a mistake at one point in their life but it’s how you deal with it and how you handle it that’s going to make all the difference. As it got closer to my actual start date I started to get more nervous. I was freaking out thinking am I going to be the worst resident in the history of residents, do I know everything I need to know. The first thing I had to prescribe was a laxative and I was freaking out over if I was giving the laxative for constipation or if I was making a mistake and it was really something else that I wasn’t seeing. So I remember going back to the hospital twice after giving that when my shift was done just to make sure the patient was OK. When I started medical school I think my social life took a huge hit. I was used to be being able to go out when I wanted to, see my family essentially when I wanted to and then medical school is a whole new world in itself and you sort of get thrown into it, much like residency, and it’s like rebalancing your priorities, so your school work with your clinical duties with your personal duties and I was really bad at it at the beginning. I really reglected myself and it was tiring and I was starting to burn out and actually my mom is the one who helped my reorganize. My mom is my rock and saving grace in all of this. Whenever I’m having a bad day I call her and so she told me Tiffany, you really need to take an hour or two a day for yourself because it’s very easy to get lost in it all and be in the hospital and your books all the time, but I quickly found out back in medical school that’s not healthy and you’ll just end up hating it and not liking your life. A lot of time there is a lot of grunt work and long hours and you don’t get to sleep when you’re on call, but it’s fun and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else, I think I have the best job in the world and really going through it hammers down that I love it.

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