“You need to spend less time doing that.”

“You need to suture better.”

“You need to be more direct.”

Intern year is full of advice. I imagine all of residency is full of advice. And advice can obviously be very helpful. But there’s a fine line between advice on how to become a better resident and how to become more like the person giving the advice.

“I hope you’re not going into Plastic Surgery.”

“You need to write less on your notes.”

“You need to write more for billing purposes.”

“You need to not talk in front of the patient while the senior is talking.”

When you’re just starting off, every piece of advice feels and seems good. At the minimum, it’s a sign that people care enough to say something – either care about you or the patient or both. But not all advice is helpful. And maybe once you know a little more and appreciate a little bit more and do a little bit more, I think you can start to appreciate the way you do things and the way other people want you to be. It can be hard to know what’s important to listen to and what to file away for reference.

“What are we going do with you?”

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