resolution countdown: #4, in the holiday spirit

December 25, 2009

merry christmas!
or, merry chinese-takeout-and-movie-day. sadly, i won’t be partaking in any of the day’s classic warm and fuzzy traditions — even the latter ones — but i actually really don’t mind working christmas. i’m happy to cover it so that people who do really celebrate can have their day. and actually, working this day has become a sort of tradition in itself, since this will be the third year in a row.

plus, santa strolling around the wards makes it way more fun than usual. i wish i had a picture from yesterday!

resolution #4: do unto others . . .
the clinics might be closed, but i can’t just stop my countdown because it’s a HOLIDAY! however, i feel that this goal fits the holiday spirit — at least somewhat.

i’ve been at duke since 2002 when i was a first-year medical student. i remember what it was like to traipse around the wards feeling absolutely clueless, and also being completely dependent on interns and senior residents to help me have a good and productive learning experience. they could choose to leave me out of things, which was boring and unhelpful; they could also choose to be MEAN, which flat-out sucked.

image from grey’s anatomy. cristina yang as your senior? oh helllllll no.
they could alternatively choose to keep me involved whenever possible and spend some of their time teaching me useful and interesting things. i remember that some of the best teaching was NOT esoteric — instead, it was the practical tips, the explanation of management, or even just advice on how to handle various types of pages from nursing or other ancillary staff. working through a simple ‘what if?’ scenario could be done thoroughly in less then half an hour, but would leave me feeling like i at least had some idea of what to do in a tough situation (seizure, neonatal resuscitation, etc).

i really do like teaching. i worked for kaplan for years, teaching MCAT and then doing teacher training (interestingly, one of the most popular google searches to find this site is “kaplan teacher audition”!). [for those of you who are now disappointed because your google search led you to this unhelpful post, the link to my audition experience is here, and i taught ‘how to make a key lime pie.’ you’re welcome.].

ANYWAY — my point is, i like to teach. but over the years, i think my relentless quest for efficiency at work has gotten in the way of being a good mentor and teacher to medical students. and i really don’t tend to spend much time teaching interns, in part because i worry that i might not have much to offer them since i’m only a couple of years ahead.

image from scrubs. they look like they’d like some guidance, don’t they?
but that’s crap, because thinking back to my own intern days, the seniors seemed like they had TONS to offer! and there’s no reason things are any different now. i also remember the little things i really appreciated from certain seniors, like when they did quick dictations on patients that were going home while i was post-call. so, here it is:

resolution #4: be a better teacher and mentor at work
✎ take time to give students/interns a good orientation in the beginning of the rotation. it will give them a chance to know what to expect, and ME a chance to define teaching goals for the weeks we’ll be together.

give and take: spend time going through scenarios and talking about patient management with students. in turn, assign them specific things to look up and read about.

golden rule: generally remember to treat students and interns the way i wanted to be treated back then!

so there it is: a resolution that is definitely in the christmas spirit. hopefully i can give the postcall team a good present today by getting them OUT THE DOOR early!



workout: 4 miles, 3 at tempo (8:19/mi, 0.5% incline on the treadmill). getting this in before work seriously made my day! so worth it.

culinary corner: KERF WEEK continues! last night’s recipe for cranberry-walnut stuffed acorn squash was perfect: i had to finish some dictations, so i popped the squash in the oven, started up the brown rice for the filling, and got to work.

with a beer, which made the task 100 times more enjoyable! too bad i can’t drink at work.

by the time my dictations were done, everything was ready and came together in seconds! i actually made a couple of substitutions, using pecans instead of walnuts (since that’s what i had) and a splash of maple syrup in lieu of brown sugar (because i was feeling cheeky). the goat cheese comes from hillsborough cheese company, which happens to be where kath is from and where she is AS I WRITE THIS! (good thing we’re friends or i would start to seem like a crazy stalker right about now).

josh and i both enjoyed this dinner a lot — great melding of fall flavors. it had a super-easy cleanup, too! recipe on the sidebar as usual . . . enjoy!!


  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    i don&#39t think i&#39d mind working on christmas either. and i totally want to learn everything that&#39s in your brain. wow creepy much?! heh. but i think you&#39d be a really good mentor figure to interns. you&#39re down to earth and patient and nice (at least that&#39s how you appear through the blog haha). and wicked smart 🙂

    happy christmas!!

  • Reply Kath March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    I am so close by!!!

  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    I heart goat cheese.

    And even if you didn&#39t know Kath, I think it&#39s totally normal to know the details of other bloggers lives. At least that&#39s what I tell myself!

    Hope your having a great day.

  • Reply Susan March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Merry (belated) Christmas! I worked on Christmas too, and one of the aides dressed up as Santa, so that was fun. 🙂 No one was too grumpy either, so it made for a pretty good day at work.

    I know I really appreciate when nurses/doctors take the time to teach me instead of just pretending that I&#39m dumb. So much of health care is learned while actually doing something versus sitting in a classroom, so it&#39s very reasonable to not know everything. I&#39d rather be told and taught when I&#39m doing something wrong instead of being yelled at…I&#39m not trying to make mistakes! I feel less like an idiot when a doctor says, "Well, no, we&#39re not doing that because of _______" instead of being super condescending (although that happens all the time as well). So…go Sarah! 🙂

  • Reply Kristan March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Aw, what a great resolution. I love that it looks outwards, since usually resolutions are inward. (I mean, it&#39s an inward that effects others; thus, outward. :P)

    Good luck!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.