To Be or Not to Be…A Future Neurosurgery Chief Resident
As I go through my training, I find academic pearls and surgical nuances I will use in my future practice. Colleagues of mine from medical school often ask why neurosurgery residency requires five years. The answer lies within the goals I hope to accomplish over the next few months. A chief resident can not demand respect or expect trust. They can not assume responsibility or fall into the role. It is a privileged position that must be earned and valued. My goal as a senior resident is threefold. I must guide the junior residents through the next year and a half. I must identify their educational weaknesses and fill the academic void. I must self-evaluate to identify my own deficits and work towards maximizing both educational and professional growth. My success will be dependent in fulfilling these goals.
Anyone who has proven themselves to the point of acceptance into such a rigorous and well respected program is already halfway to success. The remaining fifty percent comes from careful programming and professional growth. The attending trainers and residency experience is of course the driving force to achieve these goals However, having someone to relate to can ease the experience and facilitate access to answers, both academically and professionally. It is my goal to assist to the junior residents, as well as myself, in achieving academic excellence, and I hope, as time goes by, I deserve their respect and trust. I am anticipating a slow course and an uphill battle. Perseverance will prevail and this goal will be accomplished.
Educationally, residency training is challenging and rigorous but yields tremendous rewards. As a senior resident, I intend to be available, day and night, as a sounding board to the residents behind me for personal situations, particularly as they pertain to the program. Also, when leading the educational sessions, the topics will be carefully discussed to allow the stepwise, level specific learning of each resident and will allow a circumferential learning process to prevent narrow minded diagnosis and treatment determinations. This will ultimately enhance our knowledge basis and provide a stable foundation for future learning. Perseverance will prevail and this goal will be accomplished.
As a transfer resident, I have both advantages and disadvantages. For better or for worse, I have learned an entire different set of rules, academic pearls, and surgical opinions. The more exposure one can gain access to and the more opinions one can learn to appreciate can only lead to an enhanced overall information basis which can be accessed in the future to develop personal style and professional trends. As I accomplish the current transition between programs, directors, and trainers, I intend to prove myself as a capable resident and valued trainee, not to mention senior resident. Given that the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” applies to not only the law but also life in general, I am confident I can overcome any presumed, anticipated, or perceived obstacles I encounter.
And, any valid deficiencies can, and will, be altered. I will read the extra chapter, pull the extra journal article, and spend the extra time to reassure everyone involved that I am not only capable of succeeding but willing and able to excel within this field. I am aware of my limitations and believe in change. Perseverance will prevail and this goal will be accomplished.
Residency is a dynamic situation. Other than spending time each night retrospectively analyzing my strong and weak points of the day, becoming my own worst critique, and being open to change, I can only hope my trainers see my potential and allow my growth, taking into account personality differences that may exist between myself and my counterparts. I have unique talents, a strong personality and a softer side. I assure you this is winning combination and if given the chance, I will succeed. I am aware of my academic faults and have been putting in extra to make up the difference. Unfortunately, I realize the faults run deep and are not correctable overnight. Short of the allowance of time and gradual change, I am unsure how to prove my competence and worth.
Nevertheless, I will succeed. I was asked the goals I have for the next few months. In short, I must not only recognize my own deficits and correct them, but also facilitate the development of the future of this field through the education and growth of myself and others. This will allow the preparation for my future independent practice and allow me to become a well-rounded, competent neurosurgeon.