Dear Interns by Dr. Sara Ansari (PT)

I am here to welcome you to intensive units, wards, and OPDs.

welcome to the bridge which will transform you enough to carve you into a good clinician. I am here to introduce you to the battlefield where you fight with miseries over health and fitness. From now on, you will be restless, sleepless and will procrastinate less. From now on, you will work more, response more and dedicate more. Here you, pledge to improve quality of life, reduce disabilities, make people more active and prevent surgeries while one can because this is the purpose of your life. This is why you choose Rehab school.

In this battleship, you have the whole army to support you – the medical and surgical team, the nursing and the paramedics, and you, the rehab master.

   There will be people who will inspire you. You will see your future in them. Every day you will dream to be a little like them and some will discourage you. There will be people on the rounds who will continuously remind you of being an amateur. Your observations will be suppressed by the assessment of the medical specialist; the nurses may stare at you and criticize on you for touching the patient without sterilizing. You might be called Exercise guy than a therapist. Some might compare you to a massage therapist. Some might belittle you. But remember, this is the time to not give into your temper but to act mature. Before you act you must learn and learn till your work speaks volumes. Your competitor is you, no one else. The medical hierarchy must be respected.

   The internship is all about luck, you might get paired with someone who is passionate to teach you and give you a chance to deal with patients. There will be times when you get paired with people who forget the phase when they were interns. They might bombard you with questions that you never heard of. They will keep questioning your knowledge and clinical skills until you study enough, practice enough to stand on their expectations. Every bad day will be a day you learn a lesson. The cases tough to creak and patient hard to educate will make you stronger as a practitioner. Let yourself polished enough to produce a diamond out of the coal inside you.

   When you fail, take it as a sport. Restart, play it again until you know each level of mobilization. The reflex examination should come in you like a reflex. You need not check GCS and MMSE- it can be done while interacting with the patient and caregivers.

   Before you start your rotations in the wards, sneak in the biofeedback unit. Look at yourself in the mirror, this white apron, the reflex hammer, and goniometer in your pocket and you with dark circles defines your purpose. Talk to you, self-practice positive self-talk and visualization. Remember your passion as a healthcare provider.

“Your dream is to bring quality to the lives of sick and sedentary”.

   Remember this moment because this is going to be the most difficult dozen months yet. Your patience, empathy, dedication, and humanity will be challenged and you will walk on the edge of two worlds.

   Yes, you will be tired, doubted, questioned and tested but then, and then you will stand again. You will take criticism positively. Each feedback will help you build a strong foundation for your career, you, from now on be a Rehab specialist, someone who adds life to years.

Period! Proud!

   If you have not heard from your professors yet then you will listen and experience it now that theory differs from practical. The standard treatment protocol may not fit in all patient conditions, here your presence of mind acts. You will be asked for not following the protocol only if you fail. Your good work is self-explanatory. We as a human have limited control over life and death. We can only prevent patients from early death and disabilities. Medical and allied science is a science, not a religion. You will notice and be shocked about the imperfection of rehabilitation. Sometimes, rehab and medicines lose the battle with destiny. This will be your first encounter with death. You will be drenched to see document priority over health, you will see people blaming the medicine or maybe your rehab. Different people react differently to stress. The patient’s family could hug you and cry their eyes out expecting answers from you. Or, they may run behind you to kill you for not being successful.

   Do not be emotionally driven. Do not blame yourself. Take no burden on yourself. This is a phase to learn another lesson – Life and death are universal phenomena, the soon you accept the faster you move on.

If being an immortal human is a limitation to medicine, then being a physiotherapist is a privilege. You get to spend the maximum time with a patient than any other medical and allied specialist. You have enough time to build a reputation and emotional connect with patients. No matter how busy you are, stop by your patient, hold their hands, and listen to their stories. Hug them if needed, reassure them, and tell them they are in safe hands. You will see miracles happening if only you believe.

   The last but most important lesson is – care for the source of your performance. Take care of yourself. Your work profile does not have a desk duty. You will have to bend-lift, pull-push and resist forces. You must not fall into occupation hazards. Start your day with exercises, dedicate some time to self-care, and pamper yourself on holidays. Nourish your hobbies, be social and give time to your family.

   The end of these six months of the internship will give you two visions- Yes. I want to be a clinician- choose a major, get a specialized degree, be certified and start helping others to stand tall.

   Or, you can join academics – step one remains the same, choose a major, get specialized, and be a trained lecturer/professor. Train the trainers! Not much time has been elapsed but in a blink of eyes when I was in your shoes — stretching out in the glory of graduating Rehab, in the exhilaration of packing pipes of my textbooks, joy combating nervousness, that everything is now real.

The beginning is always special. I am expecting you with a bright smile and shining eyes. I can visualize your energy and enthusiasm to treat patients. I am sure you will do well; your professors will be proud of you. Your parents will be swollen with pride.

All the good wishes and

positive energies to you, - Sara







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