Almost a Real Doctor: Starting Residency
Yesterday was my first day of residency: July 4th, Independence Day. I couldn't help but smile given it was my first day as an independent doctor…well, sort of
There are two types of medical programs in Canada:
What happens after medical school? We apply and match (after lots of praying) to a specialty residency program (ranging from 2-5 years of extra training). We spend tons of money flying across the country, interviewing at dozens of school, hoping to fit the bill and be "ranked" by a program. Mine is rural family medicine (2 – 3 years, depending on whether I choose to do an extra year in a specific area like anesthesia). Residency is like an apprenticeship of sorts – we've passed our licensing exam and can write prescriptions and carry the letters "Dr" and "MD" in our pockets – but we continue to be evaluated by our teachers on a regular basis. This is the time when we try to gain as much practical
So here I am in sunny Lethbridge, day two of residency, filled with excitement and fear about the responsibilities ahead. I'm starting with a psychiatry block, which some might consider a slow start to residency, but as a future rural family physician, this is one of the most important blocks for me. After only one day, my brain is full of new thoughts and ideas about mental health and how to better serve patients. I'd like to share one of the first lessons I learned which helps frame every mental health (albeit even human) encounter.
There are 6 primary emotions humans express: joy, sadness, anger, fear,
I challenge you to try this with children. We took a positive parenting course when our first daughter was born and it had some great ideas and some that didn't quite jive. The best tool we did take home, however, is especially emotion driven. Next time a child near you throws a tantrum or gets nonsensically upset, rather than getting upset in return or jumping to disciplinary action, ask for a hug. I assure you it is not the reaction they expect and it melts away the frustration. That