Archive for the ‘Residency’ Category

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There are many reasons to love 90’s hip-hop and R & B. Only recently, I offered a brief lecture to my ward team in which I deconstructed the iconic music video “Motownphilly” by Boys II Men. The exercise provoked teenage memories of working on synchronized high energy dance moves with one of my good neighborhood friends, Martin. The moment when your conscious effort fades away and the music takes over your body as you execute the moves to the building cheers of friends at a party is one of those great life feelings. 
Residency feels like learning a dance . . . 

But, I don’t always learn the steps in order.

There are many steps! 

I can be asked to perform at any time “What do you want to do for the patient?”

The music is always changing, from the steady mid-tempo of the wards to the upbeat Emergency Room to the slow dance of clinic (of course, the music can instantly change within all three settings as well). 

I can’t lead all the time- sometimes I only get to the best part of the room by letting my patient lead. 

I sweat, I get tired, I wonder how many minutes are left in the song. Can’t I leave the dancefloor for a minute? Then, this little dancer in clinic shows me a new move: It’s called “Hug the Doctor.” It’s a great move and easy to learn. It also gets me to the end of the song . . .

And sometimes, the music skips. I can’t figure out the problem or what to do next or how to get past an impasse of opposing lyrics. 

And sometimes, I’m back on the dance floor with Martin. The patient presentations flow with energy and purpose. Everyone recognizes the beat of a good plan. The steady drum of knowledge is overlaid with a couple of compassion tracks and we have a hit. The team may not be dancing on the desks of the nursing stations, but they’re thinking about it . . .


May 13th, graduation day, seems like a generation ago. I am now a resident physician in Pediatrics at Seattle Children’s Hospital.   I am 4 months in and the big question, of course, is “What is residency like?”
Residency is like a whirlwind- a lot of activity, direction not always clear.

Residency is like an intense championship game- you are surprised by what you and you team can do under pressure

Residency is like a great cup of coffee- when you can sit down and actually appreciate it, there is a lot to savor

Residency is like a power cord- sometimes your best efforts still fall short

Residency is like a great meal with a good friend- you walk away feeling more complete, more alive

Residency is like a murder mystery- never seen this before

Residency is like an assembly line- seen this too many times

Residency is like dawn- new possibilities abound each day

Over the next 3 years, I will tell the story of residency, right here, in weekly posts.

Of course, I am not on this journey alone; I have an extraordinary group of co-residents at work and my home team, the family. I will let these pictures tell the rest of the story:

Camz taking a nap with Snow and Storm, our first pets!


Camz, set for football practice


Christian and friends, first Homecoming at Shorecrest High School


Anne, taking it all in at Richmond Beach, Seattle


Celebrating Anne’s graduation from her Architecture program


Day off at Richmond Beach


The Dream Team, my co-residents


Downtown Seattle and Mt. Rainer , from Kerry Park

Donning the long white coat for the first time

Flashback to graduation


With Anne at BMA senior banquet


With “Mom-Kenya” and “Mom-USA”