By Brad Burmeister, MD
Resident Representative to the WACEP Board
There is a pair of geese and maybe six or seven of their babies that just love to sit out on my porch. It’s awesome to watch them come up and snack on the droppings from the birdfeeder. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen these little fuzz balls grow up in to nearly mature birds. They are at a point now where their feathers are starting to peek out and they are looking more and more like Mom and Dad. Soon they’ll be completely grown adults and soaring all by themselves.
These geese remind me of the residency process. Initially, new residents are clumsy, requiring a lot of guidance from their attending. Soon though, they start to gain a few feathers. They can’t yet fly, but they start to develop their own attitude and way to do things. Sometimes they even make bad choices, but the attending is nearby to correct it. Soon they have a full set of feathers and are ready to fly all by themselves.
The transition from emergency medicine residents to attending physicians is about to begin for 21 or so graduates in Wisconsin. It’s a period filled with excitement and a little anxiety. Soon these residents will start their new jobs. They’ll develop new relationships with the staff and their peers and fill the sometimes desperate void of a qualified Emergency physician in their communities. They’ll also soon have the opportunity to finally start making some progress on those student loans!!
Class of 2017, soon it will be time to trust your wings. The last several years have readied them for this new journey. Every one of your feathers was earned and is strong! In just a few days, it’s going to be time for you to fly! There will certainly be times over the next year that test your skills, but always go back to your fundamentals and never forget why you went in to this career in the first place, and you’ll soar.