I once read a study showing that intern morale reaches its nadir in February. Maybe this seems self-evident to you. Winter lingers. The skies are mostly gray. The slog of internship- the endless pre-rounding, note-writing, and hammer paging- is growing old. PGY2 year seems impossibly far off, and the reassurance that new interns are coming seems like a dream. We haven’t even submitted the rank lists yet.
But things are looking up. This morning the sun is shining and the sky is blue. The days will be warming soon. On the corner of my lawn, intrepid snowdrops are peeping through the dead leaves and twisted branches.
The snowdrops are tiny and easy to miss. But pay attention. They radiate warmth and light. Despite the harsh conditions, they’ve pushed through the frozen ground. They’re signaling to us that Spring is coming. Lush colors and outdoor weather are on their way.
Isn’t the same true of our interns? Despite the slog, they brighten our days. Don’t miss their radiance. Their clinical insights. Their support for one another. The kind words they use to soothe frightened patients. Their brilliance pops up wherever we look. Just imagine what wonderful residents they’ll be.
It’s too easy and self-defeating to accept the inevitability of low morale. We don’t have to submit to that. Not when we remember why we’re here. Not when we create the conditions that allow interns to thrive. Not when we appreciate the beauty around us and the flourishing to come.
I hope you all have a beautiful Sunday. We’re heading over to Chester for lunch at the River Tavern before I return home to finish the rank lists.
Yes, new interns are coming,
PS A special thank you to the many fellows who signed up to cover for Friday evening’s evidence-based ball (held every February to boost morale).