Your second year is when you will experience the most rapid growth as a physician. You will spend 9-
months assigned to a Faculty member’s service with primary responsibility for managing that service. Additionally, you will actively participate in primary day call and 3 months of orthopedic night float. During that time, you will be the first point of contact for a wide spectrum of orthopedic patients with progressive
decision making and responsibility for implementation of treatment protocols while always having a senior resident and rotating faculty on backup as a safety net.
Services covered include:
General Orthopedics / Trauma
Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery
FIRST CALL SHIFT
Katie Smeltzer DO, MS, MA
The start of second year sees an immediate increase in responsibility. For me, the first few weeks were exciting and rewarding. I felt like I became a meaningful part of the team. I had more autonomy holding the day pager, with plenty of residents in-house if I had questions or needed help with a consult. As everyone started to leave the hospital on the day of my first Friday night call shift, one of my seniors left with these parting words: “Remember, you’re the orthopedic expert in the hospital.”
I had nearly survived my first call shift when the ER called with a 5AM humeral shaft fracture, giving me my first chance to attempt a coaptation splint where I was the lead in the room. Everything feels unfamiliar at the start and you feel anything but an “orthopedic expert.” While my first coaptation taught me that I had plenty of room to improve, I also experienced that I am not alone on call. Senior residents are readily available for support and turned each challenge into a learning opportunity. Overnight call allows you to gain the trust of attendings by recommending and carrying out appropriate treatment and, furthermore, grows trust in yourself. The days go by slow, but the months go by fast. It sounds cliché, but before you know it PGY-3 is just on the horizon, and I can look back knowing that I’ve helped a lot of people and gained confidence and skills along the way.