- Posted by AMA (NSW) / ASMOF (NSW) Alliance
- On 14/02/2018
If I knew as an intern what I knew now, life would have been much easier!
I was pretty nervous as an intern. I wanted to do the best, know everything and never make a mistake. Sound familiar? Well, medicine selects for the overachieving perfectionist.
While these are great goals to have, they can also hinder your development.
Being a doctor will make great demands on your time but sometimes you will be presented with the choice to stay at work and do that one last thing and going home. Sometimes, the wisest approach is the latter. Staying back late regularly to finish jobs that can wait means less time for yourself, less time to catch up with friends, and poorer work-life balance.
What happens if you know everything or pretend to know everything? You don’t ask questions and you don’t learn. So, don’t be afraid to not know and ask questions.
Similarly, if you don’t make mistakes, you either haven’t worked enough or you’re in denial. Valuable lessons are learnt from mistakes and they are often more easily remembered than someone rattling off some facts for you. So, don’t be afraid to make mistakes but make sure you learn from them.
Don’t put up with bullying. Remember that there is something wrong with the bully, not you. And seek help and support.
On the positive side, though, internship was a great year: finally a break in formal studies and no more pressure to learn for the sake of exams, earning some real money and gaining financial independence, and most importantly looking after patients and seeing them get better because of what you have done.
Welcome to internship and enjoy!