Plan Building

Although I failed to adhere completely to my lofty list of resolutions for 2012, I have to say it turned out to be a red letter year for me anyway. There were certainly highs and lows and things I wish I could have (or should have) done differently but 2012 was probably one of the most significant years of my life. Let’s recap, shall we?

13 Awesome Things That Happened in 2012
1. I graduated from med school
2. I turned 30
3. I survived the match and was chosen for a pediatric residency
4. I became a homeowner
5. I leased my first car
6. I performed my first lumbar puncture (actually, 2 so far)
7. I performed my first circumcision
8. President Obama was re-elected
9. The crazy night shift at the end of which I was told by our neurosurgery attending that I’d helped save a patient’s life
10. I got a MacBook Pro
11. I finally ended a relationship that was right on paper but wasn’t right for me
12. I saw Paris for the first time (and introduced my family to Barcelona)
13. I reached a new level of independence

It’s going to be hard to top all of that this year. Maybe resolutions aren’t the best way to go. Now just beyond the halfway point of my intern year, I’ve come to realize that it’s not necessarily about adhering to a strict set of guidelines (although guidelines, like resolutions, do serve an important purpose) but more about formulating a good plan and using it to navigate what comes. A wise senior resident told me that plan building was the main goal of intern year. Perhaps it would also be a good way to go forward with the other aspects of my life this year as well.

The best plans, in my opinion, are systems-based, so let’s break things down into systems.


Currently a PGY-1, will transition to PGY-2 (senior) in Q3. USMLE Step 3 likely to be undertaken in April.

– Use upcoming teams and night teams months to strengthen plan building skills in order to build confidence in medical management

– Observe and emulate the characteristics of a good senior – dependability, approachability and stability

– Study diligently for Step 3

– Continue to develop research project


Currently stable, but much room for improvement.

– Don’t neglect personal health maintenance

– Create an exercise regimen that is challenging but not forbidding and fits into an erratic work schedule

– Pack healthy lunches

– Be more sociable, don’t hide behind hermetic tendencies

– Continue to improve foreign language skills (I learned a bit of French for the aforementioned trip to Paris and purchased tomes on medical Japanese and Spanish for pediatricians – still more polishing to do)


Stable income source but shallow pool of savings for adverse events. Loan forbearance ends in Q3.

– Spend responsibly

– Save regularly

– Begin debt repayment (income-based is best for now)

I think that’s a decent plan skeleton for now. Hopefully as things come up, I’ll add to the plan (kind of like updating a progress note). As far as this blog goes, I know I’ve been less frequent with my updates as the year went on, partially because of the demands of work but partially because by the time I have a chance to write about the awesome procedure I performed or the night the patient’s brain almost herniated on my watch, something else has happened and the scope of what I want to cover in one post seems wider than the space/time I’ve allotted for it. Going forward, I may just have mini-posts instead of the themed, once-blockly posts I’d intended to do. We’ll see how that works.

As always, thanks so much for continuing to read my chronicle. Happy New Year/明けましておめでとう/¡Feliz Año Nuevo! and all the best in 2013.

Explore posts in the same categories: randomness, residency, thanks

One Comment on “Plan Building”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    your an inspiration 🙂

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