There is no doubt that medical residents are an integral part of our health care system. They are our doctors of tomorrow, and I believe they will both shape and change the manner in which health care is delivered in the future. This week, February 6-10, marks the 16th annual Resident Awareness Week – a national campaign aimed at raising awareness about the pivotal role of resident physicians in health care.
Resident doctors play a crucial role in providing care, often serving as first-responders in hospitals and often on the front lines at the most difficult moments in a patient’s life.
I remember my residency in South Africa. Back then it was a one year rotating internship. Professional life was very busy – the days were long, the nights were short and the on-call commitment was, to be frank, pretty brutal at times. But it was a rite of passage, one that was intimidating yet invigorating. And it fostered great camaraderie with my fellow residents as we pulled together to get through the volumes of work and the burden of call we all faced. It was about teamwork.
I learned many of my early medicine survival skills and pearls of wisdom during my residency. And if I could offer any words of wisdom to today’s residents, it would be this: get to know your peers, your colleagues and all medical professionals you interact with for medicine is a team activity, and they are your medical family – there to help you and support you. And remember that we need our patients as much as they need us. Our doctor-patient interactions are just one of the many reasons we are all drawn to the profession of medicine. So remember to stay humble, to show respect to each and every patient who allows you a glimpse into their personal life for herein lies the immense privilege we are afforded as doctors.
We have over 1,300 resident doctors training in BC this year, a number that continues to grow as programs expand and new training sites are established. During Resident Awareness Week, and throughout the year, let’s take a moment to say ‘thank you’ for their dedication and commitment; their passion, energy and innovation.
On behalf of Doctors of BC and the profession, I’d like to thank our resident doctors for the valuable contributions they make to patients, the community and the profession.