In the midst of residency, it seemed like the training, endless consults, biopsies, lectures and oversight would never end. Afterwards, I longed for the second opinion, the grand rounds discussions and the fabulous mentors.
Cherish the unique approach each attending takes for both common and uncommon dermatologic conditions.
What may seem like an unusual treatment regimen may prove useful some day when you see a patient that has failed several other more standard approaches. Keep a small journal in your pocket (or start a notes page on your mobile device) to jot down particular diagnostic pearls, therapeutic plans and details (i.e. dilutions of injectables or laser settings) that may be challenging to remember after a few weeks of board studying and vacation.
Be intently observant of your teachers and colleagues. Not only in their clinical skills, but also in their bedside manner, staff interactions, continuing education and time management. Remember those challenging moments – the difficult patient, the frustrated referring physician, or the clinical error – and how they were handled, as you will likely be presented with a similar moment in the future. You will learn what you do and do not want to emulate and can begin to develop your own particular style. Seek mentors and nurture these relationships, as they can be invaluable sources of advice, as well as lifelong friends.