Early in my intern year, I started learning one of the key principles in any residency program, which is that if anything goes wrong it’s my fault. The applications range from the mundane to the serious: wrong date on the notes because I’ve lost track of what day of the week it is, let alone what day of the month – my fault. Didn’t preround on a patient because I didn’t notice their name scribbled on the bottom of my list of consults from the day before – my fault. Didn’t reorder the statin after the patient started eating – my fault. Didn’t get in to the OR in time to help write postop orders for the chief’s big case – my fault. Didn’t make important vent setting changes till late in the day – my fault (I think I’m making that one up; I can’t say I’m 100% sure it never happened).

Today it was definitely noticeable, and the event was somewhere between annoying and infuriating for various members of the team (not least myself). One could argue that I wasn’t the only one at fault. But so to argue would be a waste of time and energy. As I’ve said, whatever goes wrong, is my fault. The chief I have this month is very helpful in this respect. Some seniors allow a little doubt to arise about whether it was entirely my fault. This chief leaves it in no question: undoubtedly, at all times, under all circumstances, my fault. This certainty saves a good deal of time and mental effort on my part. . .

(I’m not even sure myself if this is written with tongue in cheek or not; as you like it.)

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