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Our Residents Are Medical Experts


Part 1 of 7

Melissa Jack
PGY2 Anesthesia Resident

Dr. Melissa Jack, 2nd Year Anesthesia Resident

Dr. Melissa Jack, 2nd Year Anesthesia Resident

As residents, some of our most memorable stories come from our patients and their families. I was able to finish work in the operating room early one day and spend time with a patient’s anxious mother. I discussed her fears with her and reassured her that her child was in good hands. A few months later when I saw her again in the emergency room, she immediately came across the room and gave me a huge hug and thanked me. She told me that the time I took to comfort her and listen to her made all the difference. These are things you don’t forget. Of course, my first successful intubation at a code and my first unsupervised epidural—all of these were exciting moments in being trained as well!

Residents are medical experts. A medical expert is one who has a full understanding of the disease process (pathophysiology), its diagnosis and options for treatment. As well, a medical expert has the experience and training to be able to educate and offer patients available options and discuss outcomes. A medical expert not only applies knowledge, but also communicates important information to their team of colleagues, the patient and the patient’s family in a manner that assists in understanding and dealing with complex medical issues.

I am grateful for mentors here in Calgary. An incredible teacher allows learning that is invaluable and often not available in a textbook. There is a unique combination of young, new-to-practice physicians and veteran practitioners here. Through my training, I hope to become the kind of doctor my mom and dad would want looking after them. I also want to teach one day—to give my time as so many amazing mentors are currently doing for me.

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The role of Medical Expert is central to the function of the physician and illustrates how residents learn to:

1. Function effectively as consultants, integrating all of the other roles to provide optimal, ethical, and patient-centered medical care;

2. Establish and maintain clinical knowledge, skills, and attitudes appropriate to their practice;

3. Perform a complete and appropriate assessment of each patient;

4. Use preventive and therapeutic interventions effectively;

5. Demonstrate proficient and appropriate use of procedural skills, both diagnostic and therapeutic;

6. Seek appropriate consultation from other health professionals, recognizing the limits of their expertise.*

*Copyright 2005 The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

  1. Joanne Todesco Associate Dean PGME
    January 13, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Go Melissa! Our residents have told their stories better than the PGME Office ever could. Thanks to all the residents that participated for the insert. The poster project is underway next and we will be happy to have more residents come down and have their pictures taken.

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