Every year that physicians have used social media, we’ve been talking about the July start for new doctors. And every year we offer our advice for medical graduates.
Each year new grads echo their cries of reservation. And each year we stand by telling them that everything is going to be okay. Tips and tricks for surviving the unsurvivable are almost too numerous to follow on Twitter.
But the reality that few of us ever like to disclose is that change is really hard.
This year’s move to residency will be just one of many major transitions that this generation will face. Our field will emerge faster over the coming decades than at any point in history. Disruption of the foundational elements of how we frame disease and therapeutics will occur by the year rather than by the century. And the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing environment will be a defining feature of this medical generation.
Medical life within this generation will be a series of real-time upgrades. Doctors will all be endless newbies.
Advice for medical graduates: Be flexible
There’s the predictable basics of drink more water and be nice to the nurses. But there are few among us who can help these young doctors really plan for what’s ahead. Because we really don’t know.
In 2015 when Eric Topol delivered the commencement address to the graduating class of Baylor College of Medicine he was asked what would mark a key attribute of a medical school candidate today.
His prescient response: Flexibility.
Change and transition is hard. But we might look beyond survival and see the unique opportunity that we have at this point in our profession’s history.
Congratulations and welcome to the medical generation of endless newbies.
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