Welcome New Residents, The Best That Money Can’t Buy

I was pulling duty today on the general hospital consultation service and one of the inpatient units so I was running a little late to the welcome lunch for the new psychiatry residents. They’re a great-looking bunch and they come from all over. They’re eager to get started and I’m as excited for them as they are excited to begin their careers as our newest doctors.

I remember my first night on call. I began my residency on our Medical-Psychiatry Unit. I was scared spitless–and I never got called. I also never got a wink of sleep. There were a lot of sleepless call nights after that as well as a lot of work. That was back in the day when residents worked for over 32 hours straight starting with the call night. Some mornings my face was nearly in my breakfast. At least that’s what my wife tells me. I don’t remember much about it.

Thank goodness those days are long gone and we treat our residents more humanely now.

As I shake hands with them and look into their shining, hopeful eyes I see a little of myself. And I’m reminded of what they’ll need, which is, in fact, posted on the construction site for our new Children’s Hospital.

You’ll notice that the signs are a bit difficult to read because I can’t get very close. I had to take the shots from the elevated, enclosed walkway because the site is still a mighty deep hole. I’ve never seen signs like these on  a construction site. I’ve also seen construction workers doing special exercises as a group, as I walk in on my way to my office. I’ve never seen construction workers do that. They stretched and twisted in unison.

I like to think that the signs are emblematic of what doctors, young and old, as well as children and their families will strive to be and to have. These ensigns of the qualities that matter most to humans who may be struggling with the crises of disease and even death are, amazingly, scattered about the innards of the building.

Our new residents will need to be brave, they will cling to hope, they will doubtlessly be determined, they are and will continue to be creative, and blessings may show up in very strange places at strange times. All of these will come from the inside out.

A great deal of money goes into the building of a new Children’s Hospital. But money can’t buy what our new physicians already have within them and what they and we will find on the path ahead.

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