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Feb. 25 is Thank a Resident Day.

Gregory Wu, MD, was brand-new to residency, in his first rotation in the ICU, when the responsibilities of being a physician hit him like a freight train.

“I was the only resident in ICU that day. It was just me and a few nurses and I was working on a computer,” Dr. Wu recalled. Suddenly he heard someone call, “Hey, doc?”

“And I was like, ‘Who, me?’” Dr. Wu said. “I turned around and saw a patient who had been intubated sitting there holding the tube in his hand, showing it to me. He was covered in blood. Even with restraints, he had pulled out the breathing tube. I realized I was the only doctor there at that moment and everyone was looking at me.”

But Dr. Wu had to ignore his shock and fear and go straight to work. “I knew he could code quickly if he wasn’t getting oxygen. I did all things I learned in simulations and lectures, and within minutes the team had the situation under control and all appropriate help had arrived. It dawned on me at that moment — as scary as it was — that interns may think they don’t know much, but we actually have a lot of what you need to take care of patients. It speaks to the transition from student to doctor. No matter how far along you are in residency, you can make a difference in a patient’s life.”

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.

Gregory Wu, MD
Gregory Wu, MD, is a PGY1 resident in Geisinger's General Surgery (Central) Residency.

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