* * Anonymous Doc

Monday, June 28, 2010

To: My brand-new team of interns
From: Your Resident
Re: On July 1, your new life begins

Welcome! I saw that you'll be on my team starting this Thursday, and thought I would send you a quick e-mail to say hello and give you some preliminary information about what you'll be doing.

When I was in your shoes a year ago, I didn't know what to expect, there was no one to ask, and my resident didn't even bother to learn my name until two weeks in, so I thought this would be a better way to start.

Just some basic logistics:

-- We round at 8. It is your responsibility to pre-round on your patients before then. That mostly means making sure they're still alive. If you take an attending into a patient's room, and the patient is dead, the attending will be annoyed that you wasted his time, and will probably give you a poor evaluation.

-- I can't leave until all of your notes are written. That means the slower you are, the more I want to kill you because you're keeping me in the hospital. Competent interns aren't only helping themselves, they're helping me get a good night's sleep. Please be competent.

-- The hospital serves lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You won't want it. Plan accordingly.

-- If you forget your computer password, you're screwed, and the woman who can help you is never at her desk. Ever. I don't think she even exists. Without your password, you can't enter orders. Don't forget your password.

-- Mr. Edwards likes chocolate milk. Mr. Edwards was here a year ago when I started, and he's still here now. He will be here forever. Get him an extra chocolate milk.

-- Put your name on your stethoscope.

-- Looking bored and sad isn't going to get me to tell you that it's okay to leave early. I tried that. A lot. It never works. You're stuck here, for a lot of hours.

-- Finally, please show up on Thursday having read something in the past three days that you can talk intelligently about, and that isn't related to medicine or the patients. We spend a lot of time together, and I can't talk about sputum for 80 hours a week. There needs to be other conversation. We can talk about your personal life, or lack thereof-- I'm sure I will talk about mine-- but sometimes it's just nice to talk about some war going on somewhere, or the state of the economy, or who won the Cardinals game. Be prepared.

-- And, one more time, because it bears repeating: if you're presenting a patient, before you start, please be sure he is not dead. It's really embarrassing.

Get some sleep, and see you soon!


  1. Congrats on surviving your first year!


  2. How hard is it to get into your program? If its hard then you dont need to worry if your residents are competent or not!

  3. Well written. If I were entering in to a medical internship, I'd want you, or someone like you, to be my boss.