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CMAJ - January 26, 1999JAMC - le 26 janvier 1999

Bittersweet memories of residency

CMAJ 1999;160:179

Robert Patterson's recollections of residency were bittersweet,1 [full text] particularly the entry entitled "A resident dies, take 2." I read them on the day I was supposed to attend a hospital memorial service for a gifted young intensivist who had died suddenly. After reading Patterson's article I surprised myself by deciding not to attend the service. I had realized that the service would inadvertently serve to individualize what was a collective tragedy. Instead, I retreated to ponder the decency and the pathos of a system that commended an exhausted physician for distributing articles on DVT prophylaxis while relentless circadian and other hidden demons were consuming his soul.

Erica Weir, MD
Hamilton, Ont.

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  1. Patterson R. You're the worst goddamm resident I've ever had. CMAJ 1998;159(7):823-5.