Welcome back to the Doctor Rich Channel. Today, Darcie and I are going to react to Dr. Glaucomflecken’s advice (and I think it’s great advice): “Suck less every day.”
Don’t have time to read this post? Watch the video here instead!
[Dr. Glaucomflecken speaks in a confessional-style video]
So a lot of new doctors are starting “Intern Year” this week — and it’s really hard. And I remember what I did as an intern to motivate myself, and encourage myself to keep going. At the end of every day, I would ask myself, “Did I suck today?” And if the answer was yes, I’d ask myself, “Did I suck less than yesterday?” And if the answer was yes — well then that was a successful day.
It can be overwhelming. [To Darcie] And I (and I’m sure you and in your training) kind of had a similar experience?
Yes, always. I would cry sometimes because I thought I sucked.
Well, I got to the point in my internship where I left (nobody really knows this!) So I was trained at the Cleveland Clinic at a very prestigious OBGYN program. I was SO miserable that I went back to San Antonio where I did my med school. I had done an acting internship on anesthesia, and I love doing anesthesia — starting spinals, intubating people…
[holding his hand to indicate a small amount] And I came this close… this close to quitting.
I’m glad you didn’t!
So there you have it!
But it’s tough — and there are times where you feel you know nothing. You know — you can ask yourself, “What’s the barometer? Did I suck less than yesterday?” Yes? Well, there’s progress!
…and if the answer was “No, I did not suck less than I sucked yesterday” — well, then I made a promise to myself to suck less tomorrow. And if you keep that going, day after day, eventually you’re not gonna suck anymore.
Doctor Rich [chuckling]:
So I think that reflects my process. I think it’s a tongue-in-cheek kind of delivery, but the truth of the matter is that it’s not bad advice!
So when you feel incompetent, and when you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing (which the system is kind of designed to do that!)… You come straight out of college into medical school or into nursing school, and you’re doing things that you’ve never done before. You were in a classroom before — and all of a sudden you’ve got people’s lives in your hand! And so not being so hard on yourself.
Yeah, I agree.
I think that’s good advice.
It is very different, though — from like coming out of nursing school, to going “hands-on.” You do learn a lot of procedures and things hands-on, and it’s very different from a mannequin to a real person.
So I think it’s a lot of “practice makes perfect.” You have good mentors and you’ve got to have patience. You know — you’re doing the best you can with what you have!
And I mean, that’s why there’s training! That’s why it’s called “school” — it’s medical school or nursing school. So you can get to that level of competence — and eventually be the best.