Tuesday, July 1, 2014

1 July.

#internselfie #1July #SJGR #isthereadoctorintheroom 
#ohyoumeantme #checkmypulsefirst

July 1 is a sacred day in medical education. It is the day that has traditionally marked the first clinical day of internship for newly minted resident doctors all over the US. And while, yes, many start a few days before (like I did back in June of 1996) we all respect the symbolism of this day, this date.

1 July.

And so. I texted them. A word of encouragement plus some simple instructions from the world's most sentimental clinician educator.

"Happy July 1! Quick! Take a pic and send it to me for posterity!"

And since they all know how mushy I am and how giddy I get about such things--or since they're just great sports--they obliged my request. Some of them here in Atlanta. And several of them from far, far away. But either way, they captured a piece of history and sent it my way.


I don't have many photos of myself from medical school or from residency. And those I do have aren't anywhere near the hospital or in my white coat. Part of me wishes I had an image or two that captured the wonder, the excitement, the nervous disposition, and the magic of that time.

But you know what? Seeing all of these images today might be an even better alternative.


 And so. Here they are. From Atlanta, Portland, New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, Seattle, Boston, The Bronx, and probably a few other cities that I forgot to mention. Representing every culture and with hues as vivid as one of those United Colors of Benetton ads. These faces will enter just about every specialty you can wrap your mind around. So no matter where you go, you'll find them. You will.

So here they are. A little bit nervous, yes. But a whole lot ready to save your life. Readier than even they realize.

Like to see 'em? Here they go!

And no first day of July is complete without someone being trapped in the stairwell. 2014 did not disappoint! Nor did Megan, the intern who took it upon herself to share this with me.

A life saved already! From the stairwell dustbunnies, but still. It's a life saved, right?

Oh yes. I forgot to also mention that 1 July is also the day that the old interns become bona fide supervisory residents and residents become senior or even chief residents. Here's one of them.

I texted Lucas G.  and asked him to show me that "senior resident swagger." He gave me this instead. Ha ha ha. (I think he was too busy managing the deer in headlights, first day interns on his Grady ward team this month.) Either way, those are some really, really lucky learners to start off with a resident like Lucas.

And lastly, this. . . .the only picture shown here that wasn't taken on July 1, 2014 but that was the one that inspired me to ask for all of these special people to send me these snapshots.

This is the image Kevin S. took it upon himself to snap and then text to fellow Grady doctor Wendy A. and me the other day. It was his final day of internship in Boston and he wanted to capture it as he left for the day. I love that he realized the magic of that year and all that it meant. 

Even with just half of his face showing, the immense pride of this accomplishment beams through. There's no picture of the looks on our faces when we received this, but know that we felt just as proud.

Can I just say this? To everyone who is wondering if Generation Y will put down their cell phones and hold your hand. To those asking if they'll swaddle your baby tight and perfect and then smile at you as you learn how to burp them for the first time. For all of you feeling doubtful that they'll pull up a chair and just listen. Without rushing you or forcing some unspoken agenda upon you that isn't the one you wanted addressed. To all of you--let me say this:

All is not lost. Look at these faces and believe. Believe that there are still legions of caring, earnest, empathic and hardworking health care providers just waiting to give their all to taking excellent care of your loved ones and you. I know it because I've seen it. And I'd trust them with my life. 


Generation Y. Reporting for duty. (With close supervision, of course.)

World? You can exhale now.

Happy July 1!

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . love this song so very much.


  1. I'm actually a little sad that I couldn't work on wards this month. Brand new interns would be so much fun.

  2. This made me cry. Thank you for the years of dedication that have gotten you all to this particularly special July 1st. And from a parent who has literally put my daughter's life in your hands multiple times in her first year (I'm looking at you new neonatal neurosurgeon), never ever, ever ever forget how much your patients and their families believe in you too.

  3. LOVE this post. LOVE the pictures! LOVE you!!

  4. OMG I love this. It made me smile huge and feel better.

    they look so young


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

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