I don’t have many thoughts on being a med student, but I do have a few that I’ve compiled on becoming a physician.
1. Teamwork: Remember that while the doctors decide what needs to be done, the nurses will determine how/when to do those things to best accommodate patient healing: sleep-wake cycle, etc. (Shared by a friend whose partner was an inpatient following abdominal surgery.)
2. Power Differentials: My relationship with my patients will be unequal, and this is entirely appropriate, even if it is a bit disconcerting. I need to remember this power differential when interacting with patients.
3. Confidence: My confidence inspires the confidence of my patients and other team members.
4. Talk Slowly/Don’t Rush: Allow the people around you time to process what you are saying. Give patients and colleagues due consideration. It will do wonders for professional and clinical relationships.
5. Work-Life Balance: Determine the amount of separation I need between the two and to what degree I can integrate them.
6: Fallibility: I will screw up. I will miss things. I will miscommunicate. Remember this.