Aug 20, 2020


It was the end of another 13-hour day on my first week of my sub-internship. I was walking back to my car feeling pretty bad about the week. And I got a text message that said, "Hey, you did a really great job this week. I know it's hard, but keep up the great work." That text message was for my senior resident, Andrew, who also goes by Chevy, and that meant the world to me.

When I often think back to that first week of my sub-internship, I have a lot of mixed emotions, one of which was being very excited to start this, to prove everything that I had learned in the last three years of medical school to dedicate my passion to pediatrics. And the opposite happened that week. I felt like I couldn't handle the increased volume of patients that I had been given. I felt completely disorganized. I felt like a failure, like everybody else was doing way better than me, you know, classic imposter syndrome. My mind was wandering to the point of like, "Maybe I shouldn't be in medicine. Maybe I'm not cut out for this. Maybe medicine isn't for me. I can't do this." And then my mind, you know, trailed off into like, "Okay, what can I do instead of medicine? I could always like go start a farm."

And that text message that my resident sent me was all I needed to help reframe my mindset. I had a really negative perspective of myself, but to have that external validation was really helpful. And so then I was able to come back the next day with like sort of a refreshed mindset. And then after that, I felt so much better moving forward, and I was able to move more into a growth mindset and start the next day again with a renewed passion for medicine.

That moment was really important to me because now when I look back and I realize the first week of any new rotation has such a huge learning curve, imposter syndrome can really weigh you down and muddle your perspective of this chosen path that you want and something that you're so passionate about. Why that moment was so important to me was recognizing that something as simple as a text message with a few words of encouragement can make a huge difference to somebody.

What's really important is having a mentor like Andrew, who can be a relational leader and understand the needs of the people you're working with on your team for checking in, for recognizing the small victories, and for helping everyone recognize the power within themselves when they often can't see it for themselves. And I don't know if Chevy realized the huge benefit that that simple text, those simple words had for me.

Now, as an intern resident working on a team with medical students, I often think back to that text message, and I often look back to Chevy as a mentor for me in these moments to reach out and extend the same encouragement for those on my team.

For Patients