Parting Words: 5 questions with graduating residents and fellows

Posted on May 24, 2021 by Carol McPhail
Carol McPhail

USA Health residents during rounds data-lightbox='featured'
USA Health residents during rounds

We asked graduating residents and fellows who have trained at USA Health five key questions as they prepare to move to the next chapter in their careers.


1. What are you looking forward to the most?

“Looking forward to getting some more time off and getting paid after years of loans.”

“Becoming a skilled child and adolescent psychiatrist.”

“Continuing training, growing expertise as a fellow.”

“Educating future physicians.”

“Seeing patients in a smaller town setting and watching kids grow up.”

“Working solo and making my own decisions.”


2. What will you miss the most?

“Southern hospitality.”

“The family atmosphere of the hospital, being able to build a strong sense of camaraderie with staff, residents and faculty.”

“The collegiality of working within a residency program at an academic institution.”

“The closeness of the small group of people going through the same thing together.”

“Camaraderie with those in my class and the classes behind me.”


3. What are your most memorable moments?

“Night float / call nights. Those are the times when friendships and trust are built.”

“Friends talking in the hospital and parking lot, and therapy dogs visiting before COVID.”

“The beginning of residency when you are learning basic skills and making mistakes. Then, the patients who affect you, either because they passed or because they lived, and the ones who defied your expectations.”

“Trauma alerts.”


4. What advice would you give to incoming residents/fellows?

“Buckle up.”

“Introduce yourself to everyone early. Every person in the hospital has a job that must be completed to provide patient care. Respect and be friendly with environmental, maintenance, unit secretaries, medical assistants, PCAs, techs, nursing staff, residents and faculty.”

“Keep an open mind, be humble and be ready to work hard. The interns who don’t follow this advice struggle and are slower to progress.”

“Watch out for yourself and your colleagues. It’s a learning curve, but together you can do it.”


5. Any parting comments?

“The ride is short and rocky at times, but the destination is amazing.”

“Take time for yourself – decompress. The beach is less than an hour away. Leave work, and drive straight there, sit with your feet in the sand, listen to the waves. If you are having difficulty – mentally, socially, academically -- talk to someone. We’re all in this together.”


Thank you to Darshana Sachin Pai, M.D., (psychiatry), Ryan Kiser, M.D., (neurology), Katherine McKnight, M.D., (pediatrics), Justin Ellerman, M.D., (internal medicine) and anonymous emergency medicine residents for supplying answers.

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