Friday, March 30, 2012

Ladies first.

Yesterday I was in the clinic working with one of my favorite residents. I have known her since her first day of internship and have had the distinct pleasure of supervising her every week for nearly two years. She is smart, mature, thoughtful, logical, helpful and simply a delight to work with. Furthermore, she has this quiet confidence about her that I deeply admire. She makes it all looks so effortless.

Surely she must know how great she is, right?

Half way through her internship, I told her, "You are one of the very best residents I've ever worked with. You are truly the total package. I wouldn't be surprised if you became a chief resident in a few years." And then I explained to her exactly why I felt that way. Every single time I've given her feedback since, I have been careful to tell her more than just "Good job" or "Strong work." I explicitly review just what she is doing that is so great and how, with those skills, she can take that great even to the next level.

And she always listens intently and takes it all in.

A few weeks ago, I learned that she had been selected to be one of the chief residents from her class. This is a tremendous honor, particularly in a program as large as ours. I hadn't seen her in a few weeks since hearing the news--and it isn't usually fully public outside of our Residency Leadership Team.  I'm sure I caught her off guard when I pulled her aside to congratulate her.

"Have I seen you since you were notified?"

"No, I don't think so," she replied with a big smile.

I put both of my hands on her shoulders and looked her squarely in her eyes. "I am SO proud of you. You know I think the world of you and am elated that you were selected to do this. You will be amazing,  I just know it. You truly deserve this. You do. Good for you!"

And her whole face turned beet red and her eyes began to glisten. She was smiling from ear to ear and everything about her body language showed me how humbled she was by the all of it.

It amazes me how wonderful and able women can be sometimes, yet we always--me included--are so surprised when someone affirms it for us. What I think this means is that we just have to love on each other and build each other up. Pat each others 's backs and say, "You are wonderful." And then be specific why we feel that way.

And this morning, I'm just thinking. . . .I just love being a woman. I especially love being a woman in medicine. And I'm proud that I was there to see and help this young woman in medicine evolve from an earnest intern to one who has been singled out for being excellent in her field.


Happy Friday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. Because girls are awesome, man.


  1. Validating someone for a job well done, particularly the loving way you do, is more precious than gold. I am sure you do the same with your beautiful boys and BHE as well. Love reading your posts.

  2. From the Deck of the Poop,

    You done good Dr. KD!!!

    Keep up the good work.. You will guide many more into Chief Residency. That is your "wheel-house".



"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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