Dear First Year Resident Saved by Grace
This is a guest post I asked my husband to write for all incoming Christian first year residents. July is the start of a new year for residency. We are thankful that this month marks the start of his third year ! We are half way done 🙂
These next several years are what you were preparing for. They are an integral part of becoming the physician you are striving for. You will be able to practice patient care with confidence. You will learn to adapt to the inadequacies of our current medical system. You will build relationships with patients and colleagues. You will go through times of great joy and satisfaction as well as times of great discouragement and hopelessness.
One of the surprises of residency was the general atmosphere and attitude amongst residents. The morale of medical residents is really low, and after spending some time in residency, it is not too hard to see why – you look at the hours you work, the inconsistency of your work schedules, the amount of documentation you never thought you needed to do, the failure of our medical system to provide medical care in the best interest of the patient, the at-times hostile ancillary medical staff, etc. Because of this, you will be surrounded by colleagues who are discontent with their decision to enter medicine, always grumbling and complaining. At times, you will often find yourself joining in their disgruntled, discontent attitude. I was there and I was one of them. I still battle this issue in my heart daily.
Gratitude. Appreciation. Contentment
I realize that these words characterize some of the godliest individuals I have met in the hospital because the pull to be ungrateful, unappreciative, and discontent is so strong. It is easy for me to focus on what I don’t have rather than focusing on what I do have. It is the sin of habitually forgetting about the grace that has been given to me.
All too often, I forget that God has saved me from the penalty of my sins through the substitutionary death of His Son, Jesus Christ. I forget that because of Jesus Christ, I have a hope that is certain with regards to my eternal destination. I forget that because of God’s grace, I am where I am – learning to be a physician, being able to have a job, make a living, intervening in people’s lives and making a real difference for them. I forget that my purpose in life is not to gratify myself but to serve my Savior and Lord and to share the good news that He has given me. I forget that I was spiritual dead and needed God to make me alive. I forget that other people are not just another medical problem to diagnose and treat, but they are men and women in need of the true Physician who can heal the soul.
My hope and prayer is that as you go through these next few years, despite the loads of grumbling and complaining you will be surrounded with, you will do better than myself and not fail to remember the grace that has been given to you.
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” – CH Spurgeon