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Trial and error: Taking a cheat sheet to work

Taking a cheat sheet to work

It was the first week at my final internship and we were doing ward rounds. As always, I had my little paper with a description of every patient in the ward with me as a quick reminder before seeing the patient. Afterwards, the resident told me that was the most unprofessional thing she had ever seen. Well, no notes for me anymore. The next day I tried to memorize all treatment plans of the patients. I totally messed up. “We will perform an X-ray, oh no, sorry, that was your neighbor.” and “This afternoon you’re good to go home, uhm no sorry, it would take at least two more days.” Although in the following days it got better, I was not feeling comfortable without my little cheat sheet. My struggling was not unnoticed and the next supervising resident advised me to just use a little notebook to write down some reminders. I was astonished and decided never to accept anything from one person if it meant it would make me feel uncomfortable. Now, my little paper with notes is back in my white coat and I feel confident again as a (semi) doctor. Of course it is not intended to read out everything from a paper to your patients, but secret notes do not make you an unprofessional doctor.

M. Wennekers & L.A.A. Gerbens

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