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GUEST POST: Acting Internship Week #4: Not the "new kid" anymore… a little bit of confidence

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Children's National intern and recent/former GW medical student Caitlin Pedati has posted about week #1 and week #2 and week #3 on the Acting Internship, and about week #4 here as follows:

At the end of last week, my senior told me to get some rest and be ready to the lead the team on Monday because we were getting new interns. She mentioned it casually and it sort of made me do a double take because my first instinct was “um, I still don’t know anything!”

But having spent the week with the new interns, I realized that while I am certainly no doctor and still a year away from intern level, I have learned a lot over the course of my Acting Internship. A lot of what I was able to help with was the logistics, such as
  • oh you can find that here
  • we usually ask this person for that
  • so-and-so likes to have this done this way
...that sort of thing. Which I think was probably useful to the interns coming on service and probably to my senior as well and so it was good to feel that I was helping out. It was also nice because as we continued to admit new cases, I began to realize that even in the course of a month I had become a bit more familiar with the management of patients. I recognize that by no means am I an expert but with certain new admissions I noticed I was better at putting in the admit orders and having everything ready for cosign for my senior and she was needing to make fewer and fewer corrections.

Another thing that I think I have noticed improvement in is my presentations. I know that I always have room to improve here but I slowly began to realize that over the course of the month I was a bit better at predicting what my senior, the attending and the rest of team needed to hear about my patient and so I was consequently able to provide more efficient presentations.

I think overall this last week has made me feel a bit more confident in my abilities and more aware of the fact that I have made some improvement over the past month. I think it’s nice to have that kind of confidence and I hope that I can continue on in my training with the right amount of confidence balanced by humility. I can imagine how being over-confident and getting too comfortable could lead to serious mistakes and so I think it’s important to be aware of that regardless of what level I am at in my training.

Overall, I’ve had a really great month on my AI and I think that taking time out for reflection through writing has helped me to appreciate my progress and continue to shape my goals as I move forward in my career.

ABOUT OUR GUEST POST CONTRIBUTOR:  Caitlin Pedati is an intern at our Children's National pediatric residency program as of this month. Caitlin graduated cum laude from Georgetown and earned both a masters in public health and a medical degree in May 2012 from George Washington University. She is well published (see partial list here) and will no doubt go on to make many more contributions to the field. 


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