Monday, March 14, 2011

Being Mean with Good Intentions

My husband is on his last year as a surgical resident.  He is also the Chief Resident in their department which is in my opinion both an honor and a curse.  Why do I say that?  Because residency training takes up most of his time, and now that he is the "chief", he is "on call" everyday, goes home for dinner once in a while and only sleeps over during the weekends.  I don't really complain about it because I know that is what we signed up for when we became doctors, I guess that is the reason why I had to put my residency training on hold, I can't bear the thought of being away from the kids for a long time.  

Going back to my husband, being the chief resident was a big adjustment on his part.  He was used to taking orders, but now he is the one giving orders, following up on his juniors, making sure that things are running smoothly in their department.  A few weeks into the role of being chief, I could tell that he was having a hard time because some of his juniors were missing out on what they were supposed to do.  Routine tasks like following up on patients, proper referrals to consultants, and other basic things were being disregarded.  No matter how many times he would reprimand them about those things, they seem to make the same mistakes over and over again.  Absences and tardiness were also a problem.  

He would tell me about these concerns almost everyday, and he said he was tired of not being taken seriously.  I guess people were used to the "happy go lucky" side of him, and that reprimanding was not enough.  And so he decided to be tougher and stricter, he created  policies for their department, and that whoever violated those policies would have corresponding sanctions.  He told me giving punishments was hard on his part, but he needed to do it to help his co-residents be more responsible towards their patients, and mindful of  their actions in the hospital.  Sometimes I would ask him if maybe he was being too hard on his co-residents, and he said that he won't be punishing them for no reason at all, and I trust his judgment.  Maybe Ross is right, sometimes you need to be firm to bring out the best in people. In the eyes of others, he may come out as the "mean or bad guy", but I know that he only has good intentions at heart.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:41 AM

    hi doc! i agree. there are times that you have to be strict to help others even if they see you as the villain


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