I’m about to start fellowship in a couple weeks. All the expected emotions are there: excitement, apprehension, curiosity, fear… except for me also there is this feeling that I need to make some personal adjustments, as well. Though I did really well in medical school (to my own surprise), I know I dogged it a little bit in residency. I didn’t read nearly as much as I could or should have (barely any dedicated reading at all other than UpToDate articles about my patients), I didn’t do any real research (only a couple fake task-working data gathering activities for other people’s projects like many of us do), and I just generally didn’t really apply myself. I know this to be true. I basically just did the work, and though I had a couple moments here and there I basically just cruised along. On my way out the door the other day, one of the junior residents made an offhand comment that I can be really great when I care about something, but pretty lazy when I don’t. He meant it as a joke, but it resonated with me. I’d been feeling that way for a while, and somebody finally said it out loud.
So I have plans to do better in fellowship. New city, new hospital, new people, and a renewed me. I care about this field, and I want to do right by my program, my patients, and most importantly myself. I refuse to finish fellowship (and start independent practice!) with more disappointment about missed opportunity and anemic personal growth.
I’m wondering if anyone feels or has felt similarly, and what plans you’ve made or what experiences you’ve had in pursuit of this goal. Would love to hear some stories!
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