July 1, 2022 – Aron Sousa, MD
With the arrival of summer, I hope people will take the opportunity to take some time off from work to enjoy the season. For the past two weeks, my family and I have taken time off to be in the Pacific Northwest because Michigan wasn’t cloudy enough for us this winter. I’m joking; it was lovely, but our Michigan shores have the same beautiful sunsets, and you can see as many whales in the Great Lakes as we saw on our trip.
I made it back in time to visit the College of Human Medicine tent during the Grand Rapids Pride event two weeks ago (it’s pictured above). There were so many people! And, as a note to all, we’re working to get the t-shirts out of the college store. (And, look for Diagnosis Queer, an advocacy group started by fourth-year medical student Nicholas Nicoletti. They had a busy, well-attended tent at Pride and were featured on MSU Today. Catch Nick, as well as Rick Leach and Keith English also at City Hall last week.)
Today is July 1, the start date for residencies and residents across the country. It’s a big day for the profession, and a big day for new residents. Almost everyone I know has a story about their first day as a resident. I will share one of mine; I followed my wife to East Lansing when she joined the faculty at MSU, and started residency just about a month before her first day as a faculty. I started on the wards, and my primary resident had a clinic, so after rounds he walked me to the emergency department (ED) for our first admission of the day. We took stock, I got hands-on experience in the ER and with Sparrow’s paperwork; everything was good. Shortly after, we went back upstairs, did some work, and my eldest went to the clinic.
And then I was called to do an admission, but I couldn’t find my way to the ER, so I walked out the front door of the hospital, walked around the building and I entered through the ER parking lot entrance. I did the admission, called the attending physician, everything was fine, then I left the emergency room and came back through the front door of the hospital. I mean, it was stressful doing the admission on my own, but I felt well trained and attending was good for me (thanks, Dr. Neiberg!), so overall the day was going good .
Then the ED called for another admission, so I walked out of the hospital, walked around the building, and entered the ED through the parking lot entrance. Again I did the admission, called the attending physician, all was well, and retraced my way outside back to the main hospital through the front door. And, sure enough, the ER called back, so I walked through the front door of the hospital to the ER, and it was a beautiful day. I thought, “Could you keep walking…” And then I remembered my student loans, and walked around the building and into ED through the parking lot entrance…
Today I started doing the rounds with the new elders and new first year residents. It will be stressful for all of us, but we will make sure we take good care of the patients, and if we have to take a few extra steps to provide good care, so be it.
Serve people with you,
Aron Sousa, MD