Dr. Rosevear is in private practice at Pikes Peak Urology, Colorado Springs, CO
I was driving home from the office last week and realized that I have now been in the "real world" for over a year. As I looked back on the last year, I thought I would share a few of the lessons I've learned as I am curious if others have had a similar experience during their transition from residency to private practice.
First, nobody cares if you are “post call.” As a resident, it always seemed appropriate to look and act post call after a busy night. I remember many days in residency showing up to clinic in scrubs almost daring the attending to call me out on my unwashed hair or my generally disheveled appearance. Not anymore. While I certainly don't wear a three-piece suit to clinic, I have learned that patients expect a certain degree of professionalism from a physician. As a result, I quickly learned where the shower in the hospital was and I now keep a spare set of toiletries in my locker so that even if I am forced to go to clinic in scrubs, I look decent.
Second, being rude to staff, patients, and/or other physicians is not tolerated. In residency, I—along with most of my fellow residents—favored sarcasm as a defense mechanism. I quickly learned that in the real world, sarcasm is not well tolerated. Since arriving here, I have seen staff lose their jobs over inappropriate behavior and watched as other physicians were reprimanded by hospital administration for behavior that last year I would have considered simply sarcasm. While I would never have guessed it in residency, the real world is a very politically correct place!
Third, I couldn't do my job without the help of the staff, both in the hospital and in clinic. In residency, it always seemed that the resident was responsible for everything, from rooming patients in clinic to getting the supplies ready for a procedure. In the real world, that is not the case. Over the last year, I have worked with dozens of people from nurses to scrub techs to schedulers who do an incredible amount of work for not a lot of money. They may not have gone to medical school, but the good ones are truly indispensable. The level of efficiency I am able to maintain is not due to my skills but rather the combination of my work and the work of the team that I am blessed to be part of.
More from Dr. Rosevear