Residents' Corner July

Residency training can be challenging. While a personal statement, I doubt I’m alone in this sentiment. As this is meant for resident consumption, I thought it appropriate to share a bit of encouragement and advice for readers out there experiencing their own difficulties.

First, perspective is powerful. In times of struggle, take yourself back to those premed days when an acceptance letter to medical school dominated your thoughts, or a few years later when the idea of matching into orthopaedic surgery felt like ultimate success. Now think about all of the students that would give anything to be in your very position right now. Maintain the perspective of your formal self and realize this to be ultimately what it is: a small ravine at the top of a big ole mountain.

Second, like any good football coach will tell you: “Trust the system.” Doing so is most difficult, but also most important, when doubts begin to form about the progression of your knowledge, the efficiency of your training, or even about your operative experience compared to others. However, if you choose to make the most of every situation and do what is asked of you to the very best of your ability, the “system” (at whatever program you reside) albeit not perfect, will put you in a position to succeed.

Disclaimer: Alex Johnson has met all requirements for sharing said wisdom including male pattern baldness, possession of a “dad bod,” and having seen Finding Dory 17 times.

Alex “Papa Bear” Johnson, MD
Johns Hopkins Orthopaedic Surgery

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