New Interns Today

July 1st, legendarily the most dangerous day to be admitted to a hospital, as it’s the first day for the new Interns, and the first day of new responsibilities for all the housestaff.

I don’t believe this, by the way.  The newest docs are hyperalert and (hopefully) cautious, and the ‘supervising’ housestaff are well aware of the new docs’ limitations, having been there themselves.

I’d be very interested to get links to reflections of the First Day of this years’ new housestaff, be you interns or residents.


  1. Goat Whacker says:

    I’m disappointed there aren’t any comments yet, this would be an interesting discussion. Thinking back to my residency, I might have been at my most dangerous some time in the second year. At that point, I’d learned anough to be dangerous and had a self-confidence that was not entirely deserved. I also hadn’t been wrong enough times to learn humility and judgement.

  2. Well, I figure most of them are either too tired to write about it yet, or are still post-call. The stories will come out in a couple of days.

  3. Hi,

    I’m writing a screenplay with a male nurse who works predominantly in the emergency department of a city hospital.

    Would anybody be able to help me with some authentic advice? Such as – what is the humour like among the staff?
    Do you socialise together?
    What sort of shift patterns are there?
    What are the biggest highs and lows of the job?

    If anyone can help, I’d be immensely grateful.

  4. TheNewGuy says:

    In the immortal words of Detective Harry Callahan, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” I’ve seen many medical disasters that were a direct consequence of violating the above axiom.

    In my experience, people get in trouble when they start practicing beyond the limits of their knowledge. I’m not at all worried about a marginal intern, so long as he KNOWS he’s marginal, and KNOWS to ask for help.

    Remember, knowing you’re a fool is what distinguishes you from one.

  5. I start my first rotation as a third year on Wednesday–in psychiatry no less. As such, I don’t have any interesting stories to tell…yet. I’ll definitely put something together about my first day–but I’m sure it won’t be as interesting as my first day as a “real” doctor.

  6. I’m an EM intern, and my first shift starts this afternoon at 4pm. My mantra for these first few months will be “Know Your Limits.”

  7. bp, PLease let us know how that goes!

  8. How about the 8th day of the new resident year from the view of a nurse practitioner?

  9. I’m a combined internal medicine and psychiatry program resident, in my 5th year.

    On my very first day working as a doctor, I was the psychiatry intern in a Veterans’ Hospital unit. Most of the day was spent learning the computer systems, meeting new patients and nurses, and familiarizing myself with the types of computerized ‘paperwork’ I would have to do. At the end of the day, I thought I had been doing pretty well when the chief resident called me out of the workroom. Somberly, he walked me down to the exam room where nobody else could hear, and gave me a frank assessment of my first day on the job: “Fetter, we need to talk about how you spell ‘schizophrenia’.”

    This past week, on our first night on call together on a general medicine service, my intern did a great job. We even left on time according to the new duty-hours rules designed to keep residents from working more than 24-30 hours without sleep. The next morning I came in, however, and she walked up to mee looking contrite. “I made a big mistake,” she said, “I gave GoLytely to the wrong patient”. Go-Lytely is the most potent laxative available, and we use it to completely clear out the colon for a colonoscopy.

    Luckily, that patient was extraordinarily constipated from his morphine, and actually thanked us on rounds for finally clearing him out. There are worse mistakes to make, I guess.


  1. says:

    Day 8 of the New Interns

    For the first time in my career, I wanted to smack the SHIT out of a doctor today. Okay, there are times when slow torture, stoning, sabotage and just plain evilness have danced in my fantasies in relation to physicians,…