It didn't seem that long ago when I graduated from residency, until I actually sit down and think about it. 2005. SIX. F*CKING. YEARS.
And so, when Mike asked me for advise on what's in store, I simply said: "Be prepared for a steep learning curve your first year."
Because it's true- what residency and fellowship does is give you the paper knowledge, and hopefully adequate clinical experience. But it never teaches you much about the real-life practical stuff.
- Like how to bill/code for a certain level of care you provided.
- Or how to run a clinic, or manage employees. Because for the first time, you're not on the bottom rung of the ladder anymore.
- How to manage money. Clinic overhead. Lab or transcription expenses.
- How to think independently. Really independently for the first time. With no 'supervising consultant' watching over you in case you screw up; no one to catch your mistakes and guide you. It was pretty unnerving to me, having the final say in treatment (well, the patient really has the final say, but you know what I mean).
- How to balance work and family.
- Life insurance. Disability insurance. Umbrella coverage.
To all the residents graduating this weekend, congratulations. Be proud of what you have achieved, and take pride in your first few steps as a full-fledged physician.
And to all the fresh incoming interns, Good Luck! (that'll be a different story)(tip to patients: avoid teaching hospitals for the next couple of weeks unless you absolutely need medical help!