This is a great time for reflection as I hit the halfway point of my residency experience at Nationwide Children's Hospital. The most incredible part of this experience has been the number of fantastic people I’ve encountered. Luckily, I was given a packet of about 50 names consisting of leaders throughout the organization, making it relatively easy to schedule initial meet-and-greets. I went into every meet-and-greet with three objectives. First, I wanted to learn about the individual’s career path and current responsibility. Second, I wanted to learn about how their particular department/service line functioned and how it fit into the larger context of the organization. Third, I wanted to display my honest personality during the meetings. I’m learning the importance of feeling comfortable within an organization and the best way to do so, plus make genuine connections with people, is to simply be you. The words “culture” and “fit” are thrown around quite a bit, but it is imperative to stay true to yourself, both at interviews and at the job.
The other fantastic aspect of the residency experience at Nationwide Children's Hospital is that I’m able to get involved in such a broad variety of projects. Currently, I’m working on the first step of a dental strategic plan, consisting of data collection and analysis, and regional and national benchmarking. I’m also working with a few different teams to work out the difficulties in formulating outcome metrics for the Behavioral Health service line, as well as phase II of a business plan focusing on the growth of the Complex Healthcare Clinic. Perhaps the most interesting project I’m involved in centers around a Psychiatric Emergency Evaluation Center. The hospital is doing tons of work focusing on different models and the pro’s/con’s associated with each model and I’m helping out wherever I can! These projects, in addition to getting access to meetings like the operations committee meeting and root cause analysis meetings, have made this an exciting experience!
My biggest piece of advice for 1st year students is to ask 2nd years about their experience and when they get to their residency site, get involved! I have signed up for training sessions and volunteered to be a team captain for the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk. These extra activities have given me the opportunity to meet people and learn new skills! My excel skills have been challenged, and thus greatly improved and my understanding of meeting management, project coordination, and overall inter-personal communication have skyrocketed.