March 2020 | Márta 2020

Sunday Shout Out | Let’s Hear It for the Interns

Sun, 29 March 20 20:55

I am a Non-Consultant Hospital Doctor working in St. Vincent's University Hospital.  You are right in that there has been outstanding leadership shown by many of the consultants and people of senior positions all across the hospital.  However, I just wanted to highlight some of the great work being done by some of the people who are a bit more behind the scenes.

One cohort of people whose tireless work often goes unrecognised are the Interns. We often hear a lot about people who are working on the 'frontline' and these are people who truly are.   Like all healthcare workers, they have really been asked to step up over the past few weeks and really are a cohort who are working on the frontline on call on nights etc.

Interns cover so much ground on call, probably the most in the hospital and their work often goes unrecognised. In my career, I have worked in many different hospitals with and for many different doctors. Most would agree that their intern year would be among the most challenging of their career, so adding another layer of difficulty is certainly very challenging.

Three interns in particular who have been particularly admirable in SVUH, have been Dr Laura Kennelly, Dr Emma Lennon and Dr Jenny Kennedy and I know that any members of hospital staff who have worked with them would agree.

They really are leaders at an intern level and are an example to others of how to carry themselves in challenging conditions like this. They have all been going above and beyond stepping up to cover call when other interns have been forced to self-isolate and all bring a sense of energy to their shifts. They all have different career interests, but what they do have in common is a hard working work ethic and drive (and being humble).

Without hard working team members like these, the senior leaders would not be able to lead as effectively as they have been. They show that even 'junior' members can have a great effect on team efficacy and morale.

I really think their hard work should be acknowledged and would be an interesting aspect on Frontline Fridays. 

(We could’nt wait until next Friday as so created a new feature called ‘Shout Out Sunday’!)

It's a pleasure to have work with them in St Vincent's and they are a credit to the teams that they work with.

Being an intern is a unique time in any doctors career. It is a time where we are very malleable and I really think that environments and teams that we are exposed to at this stage can really influence the doctors that we become and how we will subsequently treat juniors going forward. 

Furthermore, interns have a very shared experience which is unique and only lasts for a brief period of time.  Following intern year, we all pursue different career paths so your intern year is the only experience that all doctors go through similarly. Myself and some of my colleagues look back on our intern year and compare it to where we are now with the differing paths we have taken, fondly. Thinking back on those long days on call, in scrubs for the first time, helping each other through hard days. The enthusiasm these interns have is admirable and would be lovely to capture the same. 

It's also worth noting that the NCHD's all know each other quite well by this stage of the year, and intern's meet a lot of the nursing staff on call. The students often know them quite well as they would be the primary point of contact when the students are on the team.

I think highlighting their hard work is certainly worthwhile. Thanks you for recognising the same! I remember doing innumerable thankless jobs on as an intern so I now appreciate the hard work interns often do that nearly always goes unacknowledged.  

Thanks for spreading positivity and highlighting everyone’s hard work during this difficult time.  Seeing the great work that the teams affiliated with the UCD School of Medicine is really morale building. 

Anonymous 'Just Another NCHD'*

(* We'd like to say a sincere thanks to the author who is quite clearly not "just another NCHD" but rather a doctor who shows leadership, empathy and respect for their more junior colleagues.)

We know that there will be many heroes of this emergency and we hope to profile some of them in the coming weeks.  We’d be happy to receive your nominations and testimonials for inclusion in our #FrontlineFriday.  Suggestions to comms.medicine@ucd.ie.