"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
I haven't been a resident for a little while now and I think it has been long enough that I have truly forgotten some of the fear and anxiety I had as a resident. In the past, many attendings taught by pure fear. I have been there. I remember doing things not because I knew it was the right thing to do, but because it kept me out of trouble. I watch the residents come and go on my service. I see them do the same things in the OR and in the clinic. They do them because it has been beaten into them on another service. It was their way of staying "out of trouble." I question them on why and they can not give me a "good" answer. I looked back on my own experience. I tried to put myself back into the resident's perspective, but it is difficult.
From my current perspective, an attending interested in education, I am not here to have you be afraid of me or for you to do things without a reason. I am here to help train orthopaedic surgeons. The resident is here to learn how to be an orthopaedic surgeon. This is an unwritten agreement that we have made. We are in this together.
Sometimes, I feel that residents view the attending/resident relationship as an us versus them battle. Is it really us versus them? I think we, residents and faculty, need to realize that we are in this journey together. The communication about education needs to occur both ways. The attending needs to be clear with his/her expectations; and the resident needs to speak up when s/he has questions. It is a relationship that needs feedback from both participating parties.
During this next year, I will plan to improve the out national economy, get our troops out of Iraq, decrease our national debt, and improve our relationship with the rest of the world. Oh, sorry I was watching the state of the union address. During this next year, I pledge to communicate my objectives to my residents, to give more feedback about their performance, and to ask appropriate questions. I will be responsive to resident questions and concerns. I hope this will improve in our symbiotic relationship.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
~George Bernard Shaw
~George Bernard Shaw