Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

July 26, 2000 | Volume 1, Issue 4

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Managing Your Interns

Dr. Karl

For many residents, running a rounding team (consisting of the resident and two interns, along with medical students, pharmacists, and other personnel) represents their first experience in a managerial setting.

Because these skills are not emphasized during the medical education process, it's not uncommon for a resident to feel ill-prepared for these new responsibilities.

This issue, Q Fever!’s I&R correspondent, Dr. Karl Newman, reveals his secrets of: Managing Your Interns.

Interns are great - they can be a resident's dream come true if they're managed right, but... Watch out, a few wrong moves and you're on your own! So take these tips to heart. Practice makes perfect!

It's kind of like what my old high school gym teacher used to tell me:

You Can't Change Who You Are
Without New Shoes, A Good Map, And A Car

So without further a-do, here's all you need to know about keeping your team running smoothly and peacefully!

1. Memorize Everyone's Names.

What?! Yeah. See, people don't like being called a name that isn't really theirs. Think about it. If someone called you Arthur, and your name was really Henry, would you think that was friendly or right? So stop thinking only about yourself, and start calling people by their real names.

2. Earn Their Respect.

Huh?!?! Of course! Earning respect is one of the hardest things a new resident has to face, but it can also be one of the most rewarding. Try this: Give your interns a dollar every time they treat you like someone important. Pretty soon, they'll be bending over backwards just to make sure you know how special you are! Just be sure to set limits - no more than, say, fifty dollars a day per intern. Otherwise you'll look like a dork!

3. Compliment Them Often

Whatzat??! Right again! It's like this. When Beth does a nice job with her note, say "That's a great note you wrote there, Beth. Much better than the one Andy wrote." Make sure Andy's sitting nearby, so he can hear you! Then later, tell Andy "You're the best intern I've ever had, much better than Beth," and make sure Beth hears every word of it. Later still, tell Beth "Andy thinks you're a brown-noser," and tell Andy "Beth thinks you're a spy for the now-defunct KGB," and tell Beth "Andy has a bad case of head lice," and tell Andy "Beth is infertile and will be forever and ever," and so on. Believe me, it works!

4. Give Them The Chance

Uhh... Wha??!? Yes. The Chance. The chance to be on their own, free, free to do what is right, to do what is moral and correct, to make mistakes, to live, to learn. So turn off your pager. Go home. Sleep in. You think they need you? They'll be fine. They need help? Sure they do. They'll get it. You relax. Watch TV. Surf the web. Call your Mom. Internship? Over and done. Worries? You ain't got none. You're a resident now. You deserve this. Say it again - You deserve this... You deserve this.

“Just tell ‘em Dr. Karl sent ya!”

Karl Newman, MD is a second-year resident in Internal Medicine. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Q Fever!, its editors, or its writers.

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