Friday, March 23, 2012

Dealing with Cruel Residents

I’m sure you all think that I was a meek little intern who was constantly terrorized by the cruel senior resident Jessica and never spoke up for myself. But that’s not entirely the case. I'm actually a little more vocal than people think I am.

About halfway through my first month of internship, I decided that I was sick of hating Jessica. It had gotten to the point where I felt like I couldn't even be in the same room with her. I looked forward to her day off like they were my days off.

So basically, I told on her. I had a talk with our program director about my Jessica issues. The program director listened to my gripes and then launched into a crusade to get me to talk to her about my issues with her. He went on and on about it until I promised that I would talk to her. He gave me this example:

A professor teaching a lecture notices that Stacy is 10 minutes late to class. He is slightly irritated by her late entrance and starts thinking to himself that she's been late a lot lately. In fact, he thinks that her work in the class has been sub-par and she hasn't put much thought into her assignments. Stacy obviously doesn't care about the class. The professor decides to fail Stacy.

However, if he had asked Stacy why she was late to class, she would have told him that she was at a national conference down south over the weekend. And her mother who lives down there also happened to be ill and needed help around the house. However, she set her mother up with her sister and caught the redeye back to school just in order to make that class, because it was that important to her.

A little ridiculous, but fine, I could see his point.

Anyway, I did talk to Jessica. I told her that I valued her feedback, but I hoped she would give me a little more POSITIVE feedback in the future. Because I was an intern just starting out and still just learning... plus I'm sensitive.

I thought the talk went well. She was really nice about the whole thing. It was definitely a much better thing to do than go behind her back and report her to the chief residents or something. I felt like I was actually doing something about my problem, rather than just being a sleaze.

And after that, she was much nicer to me. For maybe... 24 hours. Then she immediately went back to being a huge bitch again. And then we later were in the ICU together for a week and I started hating her more than I ever thought it was possible to hate another person.

So the moral is: when someone is being cruel to you, talking to them about it doesn't do jack shit.


  1. The only thing that has ever worked for me in the past has been to say (as sincerely as possible), "Thank you so much for taking the time to give me this feedback. I will try hard to do better in the future. I am sorry I inconvenienced you."

    Then you go home and stick pins in a little voodoo doll you've made of that person, or perhaps run the doll over with your car.

    Seriously though, I tried doing this when I started med school, and it worked so much better than trying to tell them my side of things. You're right, they don't care, and it won't help a thing.

  2. Is there someone in central casting who sends the crazed senior resident to first month interns? Mine was a total freak and by the end I was so frazzled that the chiefs were questioning my sanity. OF course, they were right to question my sanity anyway. After all, I did choose to go into medicine.

  3. I thought Phillip did a great job this week! I thought his voice would start to grate on me, but so far I still like him. Only saw a couple others though (preparing for med school interview tomorrow).

  4. Thank-you a million times...I thought I was alone...although mine is with Med Techs and not Doctors.

  5. OMDG: Talking like that may work as a med student, but I'm not sure it would work as a resident. Also, it's really hard to thank someone for being a bitch to you :)

    Alice: I honestly wonder what would have happened to me if I hadn't run into Jessica that first month. Maybe my whole life would have been different.

    Silverwhale: OMG, I LOVED Phillip this week. Even though I think he's cute, I haven't been wowwed by his performances yet. But I was wowwed by that one. I rewatched it a bunch of times on youtube afterwards. I call Phillip as this year's winner. The cute scruffy guy with the guitar always wins. (or if one doesn't exist, a country singer wins, I guess)

  6. Same for nurses and bosses. Never changes.