How to survive and thrive during pediatric residency? 1st Year

Even if you are in an ideal place for training and don't know what to do, it is more likely you will be lost.

The residents are so overwhelmed, especially in the first year that the routine eventualy becomes the way of completing the training.

Residents are supposed to learn different things in all three years. The fear and focus of exam preparation, should not blur the real meaning and purpose of the residency.

This is especially important for DNB trainees where the anxiety about the final exam is at a higher level. Learning pediatrics is vivid and it's not just about DNB final theory and practical exams.

Through a series of short talks over few weeks, let us discuss how you should navigate in the pediatric training during the first year.

Identifying and Troubleshooting, Beginners Issues

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You are listening to Dr Janani Shankar on issues and solutions in first year of pediatric residency

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The first year is really challenging because of

  1. New place.
  2. New subject.
  3. New responsibilities and roles
  4. Doubt about the choice of your branch.
  5. The second thoughts about the institute you have chosen.

Now that you heard the audio and if you think you are facing similar challenges...

Let me tell you, you are not alone. The secret is, no one is immune to the beginner's blues. More important is how you cope with these and make the most out of your residency program.

While it is normal to have issues initially, its also essential to solve them

If the 3 years of training are spent wisely and in a planned manner with little addition of confidence, you will come out as a fine pediatrician.

Follow these...

  1. Don't hide your problems.
  2. Discuss them with your supervisor/Guide. There can be easy solutions.
  3. Make friends with seniors trainees who can guide you.
  4. Don’t neglect your mental or physical health.

Learning to master, Patient-Doctor communication

Try to focus on acquiring the skills of interaction. The interaction with kids ( your patients) and their parents requires certain skill sets, unlike other specialties.

Soft skills for Pediatric Outpatient department

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Residency is to learn pediatrics and that should be done in a step-wise manner. In the beginning, the focus should be on learning skills to smoothly navigate in the Outpatient department and wards. You are not expected to have cutting-edge knowledge in the first year, neither should you start preparing for the exam from day one.

Watch this space as I speak to you in the next podcast on history taking.

Further Reading

  1. Surviving Residency: 5 Tips You Didn’t Know You Already Knew
  2. How to survive thrive during pediatric residency (pdf)
Photo attribution Jonathan Velasquez on Unsplash


about authors

Dr Janani Shankar | DNB (Pediatrics) PhD MNAMS

Dr Janani Shankar is a senior consultant in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectitious diseases at Kanchi Kamakoti Child Trust Hospital, Chennai, India. She is involved in teaching activities conducted by NBE across the country for many years and also an examiner for the DNB Pediatrics exam conducted by NBE

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