Every medical student is a bit apprehensive when he/she knows they will be assigned a new resident. Exactly the same questions always appear…will the resident be nice? Will they understand my busy schedule? Will they make me execute a ton of scutwork? Will they make me write all of his/her progress notes? And perhaps most importantly, will they i want to leave early to review for boards or benefit from the occasional night out? After a year and a half of clinical rotations in a variety of hospitals throughout NYC, I’ve learned that every resident can fit in to 1 of three general categories.

The Amazing Resident
The first type of resident is my favorite. He/she is the one which still remembers what it’s like to have freedom and no responsibility as a 3rd and 4th year medical student. They understand that the medical student is strictly there to learn some cool things and see some interesting procedures, then get out of the hospital to study. This resident is nearly always cognizant of the fact that the medical student will not want to work through lunch to complete a progress note that ought to be done by the resident in the first place.

I have also noticed that this sort of resident is usually better and smarter than his/her colleagues. He/she will be able to get their work done without a medical student, therefore does not have to rely on him for help. Since this resident is normally smarter compared to the average bear, they often times times impart unique clinical knowledge to the student. The funny thing relating to this resident is that I’m MUCH more willing to do the cheapest of scutwork to help him/her out because of the teaching and knowledge of the medical student’s role.

The Horrible Resident
On the other extreme of the spectrum is the resident that makes the student think that unless you work longer and harder than the resident, then you will ultimately be considered a horrible doctor and unworthy of the ‘MD’ degree. Ki Residences Singapore The darkest of the types of residents will even taunt the medical student’s worst fears by threatening the idea of giving you a negative evaluation if you’re not breaking your back again to make their life easier. Because of this in the event that you eat lunch before finishing scutwork for him/her despite the fact that you’re about to distribute from hypoglycemia, you are unworthy. This type of resident will berate you if anything goes wrong during their shift. This may include yelling at you for misplacing the central line in the carotid as opposed to the external jugular, even though you’re only an observer during the procedure. And for the information, it will always be your fault, thus it really is easier not to argue and merely accept the blame and state that you will never repeat.

This kind of resident can either be smart or not bright, but one thing is always true, their idea of ‘teaching’ is very misconstrued. They believe that making the medical student call another hospital to get medical records, or calling the primary care doctor regarding a patient they know nothing about, falls under the category of teaching, Therefore, this fulfills their role as a ‘teacher,’ resolving them of having to waste their time explaining the reasoning for ordering potassium levels Q4H on the DKA patient.

On the other hand, I must admit that this kind of resident isn’t entirely bad. I once had a resident that often left the building before me leaving a few of his work for me to complete. He would ask me to get an ABG on his patient with respiratory distress, and then go home while I was in the patient’s room. Although this was incredibly annoying, I did become extraordinarily competent on many procedures. I can now do an ABG blindfolded and I don’t need any assistance apart from a nurse to put an NG tube. Thus, I must thank that resident to be a negative teacher and leaving me to learn things on my own.

The Okay Resident
The last type of resident is markedly different than others, but sometimes has traits of both extremes. I really believe the principal problem that undermines this resident is they aren’t aware of the truth that the student has needs such as going to the bathroom and eating. They tend to forget that the student actually exists and is more than just a fly following them around. This resident is not directly vicious (like the ‘horrible resident’), it’s they are usually too overwhelmed during the day and just don’t know how exactly to make use of the student effectively. This leads to a medical student that’s bored and zones out because he/she is not engaged and is left to stare at the paint drying on the wall.

I don’t want to generalize this category of residents to be not smart, but they do not get it like many of their colleagues. The fact that they’re overwhelmed by work is basically because they don’t understand how to manage their time appropriately and when needed, require help from the medical student. I’ve met quite a few of these residents which are very smart, it’s just that they tend to be thorough with their patients, which doesn’t allow any moment for them to consider how exactly to have the student interact. From my experience, it seems that their strict focus on details stems from their paranoia of making a mistake and somehow killing a patient. This leads me to trust they have to read Samuel Shem’s books and grasp the theory that less is usually better in the healthcare world and their meticulousness is hindering instead of helping.