Sunday, April 7, 2019

Residency and burn out advice

Here's a conversation I had with a friend of mine. She's a resident in a busy government hospital in Mumbai.

I still feel like Jon Snow (I know nothing). I feel like I'm stuck at the basics. And seniors expect a lot. It is somehow unfathomable to me that someday I will be even one tenth as smart as them. Morning rounds as a massacre. It's like beheading my already non existent self confidence. I feel so stupid everyday. I have no energy to study.

I'm trying so hard to not let it get to me but everyday I get to hear criticisms either from professors or immediate seniors. I wasn't born stupid Nakeya but everyday I feel like I've bitten off more than I can chew and chosen a career that's too difficult for me. I feel thoroughly demotivated these days. Like I'm just working because I have to. I feel like I've lost interest only to improve and be better everyday.

Me:
It's OKAY to feel stupid. I think it's everyone of us. It's a part of learning. Indian culture has not developed a way to give constructive feedback... So you got to modify the words they say and take it in a way that motivates and inspires you. It's... I'm pretty sure it's just the culture that makes you feel more stupid than you should feel. The career is not difficult. The training is. You're not stupid. The way they teach is!

We do this thing every week - We share our humanistic experiences with everyone. It could be as simple as holding grocery bags for an old lady.  It really helps. We tend to think about the things we did wrong and belittle ourselves. But we need to think about the good things we did. The things we did right. Made a baby smile when they were sick. Made a correct medical decision. Got the IV in the first go. We need to celebrate the little things.

Take time off from medicine and rest whenever you get a chance.

-IkaN

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