Feb. 25 is Thank a Resident Day.
Kinjal Banerjee, MD, chief resident for internal medicine and a hospitalist, was a second-year resident when COVID hit. For him, working through the fear and uncertainty of the early pandemic and then the later exhaustion as it continued has come to define residents’ dedication — something he says everyone in healthcare should notice.
“When we residents came out of medical school, we had no idea what COVID was. We weren’t thinking we’d handle something like that,” he said. “In the beginning, we didn’t know much about the virus. But as trainees, our residents stepped up and dedicated themselves to caring for patients, even at personal risk to themselves. I think that speaks a lot about the devotion residents have.”
As chief resident, Dr. Banerjee said he wants his trainees to know their selflessness doesn’t go unappreciated. “I would say to residents that the immense hard work you put in really means something and it really changes lives. I know what it feels like when you are in the thick of things. It’s easy to feel that no one sees you, hears you or understands what you are going through, but everyone, including your patients, attendings, program directors — whether they are good or bad at showing it — everyone is extremely grateful for what you do.”
About Thank a Resident Day
In 2018, the Gold Humanism Honor Society instituted Thank a Resident Day to shed light on the importance of the residency staff and encourage everyone to show their appreciation. Residency is a key component of graduate medical training, offering in-depth exposure to medical practice. It often comes with long working hours and many responsibilities. Residents serve as the “house staff” of the hospital and are integral to the healthcare team, including as resources for medical students, especially during a clinical clerkship.