Winter 2007

R E S I D E N T ' S   C O R N E R
Life-long learning


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July 1st, 2007 was something more than Canada Day for me and the group of newly minted residents  [who] took to the halls of the hospitals and clinics, armed with pagers and multiple pocketbooks, hoping that we didn’t actually have a license to kill despite our graduation year.

By Dr. Margo Wilson

July 1st, 2007 was something more than Canada Day for me and the group of newly minted residents. The medical student graduates of the class of 2007 took to the halls of the hospitals and clinics, armed with pagers and multiple pocketbooks, hoping that we didn’t actually have a license to kill despite our graduation year.

In addition to assuming the new role of a resident, I am also new to Newfoundland. I found myself at the bottom of two very steep learning curves. But, in keeping with our commitment to life-long learning, I have been working my way up step by step. Here are some of the choice lessons I’ve learned so far:

  1. Resident – a new level of responsibility. Also describes one who now primarily resides in the hospital.

  2. Around the Bay – from outside of St. John’s. Originally, I thought there was actually an enormous bay that I had missed on my maps.

  3. Teaching rounds – are now more relevant than in medical school. Instead of needing the answers for a test, I now need to know when to check potassium in a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis. For real.

  4. Weather report – an interesting work of fiction, often humorous.

  5. Pain – something that some residents of Newfoundland don’t seem to feel, despite physical evidence to the contrary such as a myocardial infarction or laceration. Instead ask if they have a “hurt”.

  6. Rain – St. John’s has a reputation to live up to, and it does a good job.

  7. Call – a marathon repeated every four days.

  8. Crooked – adjective, sometimes used to describe me after a night of call. Please see above.

  9. Pager – an electronic ball and chain.

  10. Colleagues – invaluable. Dispensers of timely advice and support. Thank you.

And to the PGY1’s on July 1, 2008 – Good luck, and look for me and my colleagues in the halls. We will be more than happy to share what we’ve learned in our first year of residency.

Dr. Margo Wilson is a family medicine resident in St. John’s.

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