The late nights studying, trying to keep up with course load and balancing what “life” you may or may not have is no easy task. By the end of the degree, it’s fair to say that everyone is well and truly ready to start working as a doctor.
For me, this excitement also came with a sense of apprehension and fear of the unknown; chatting to many of our intern colleagues, this is a common analysis of intern life.
Personally, I felt I was at the top of the knowledge level coming into my intern year having studied so hard, eager and ready to put my knowledge into practice.
However, it took me about a week to realise that I really didn’t know too much at all and there was a long way to go to becoming the doctor I want to be – a journey that will be ongoing for some time.
My amazement and being in awe of the knowledge, skills and experience I have observed by the junior doctors, let alone the senior doctors, had my head spinning. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I have quietly said to myself, “how am I going to know all of this”. The imposter syndrome soon started to creep in, and I certainly have felt out of my league many times.
But that’s okay.
Reducing uncertainty in the workplace is vital to any newcomer adjustment and will most certainly enable us to thrive and build upon our own self-efficacy as junior doctors. It’s important to remember that it is not just about the pathophysiology… and let’s not forget the Krebs Cycle.
Interaction with all of our colleagues, whether they are allied health, nursing, administration, orderlies, volunteers or medical provides us a gateway to success in the workplace.
Having networks that enable you to seek out information such as understanding the correct administrative process for discharges, seeking referrals for outpatient requests, knowing the expectations for clinical handovers and requesting investigations, to name a few, are our ‘bread and butter’ as interns.
If I am able to share the best piece of advice I have as an intern, it’s communication and teamwork, which lead you to a workplace of positivity and learning. Start building your networks early.
We are now just past the half-way point of internship and if we all take a moment to look back at where we started eight months ago to where we are presently, that short time has provided an exponential curve of growth, learning and experience.
Like I said at the beginning, we are on a journey. Don’t be too hard on yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for help or let someone know your scope of experience and most importantly, teamwork is the key to succeeding in the intern year.