During remediation it’s easy to think what you are doing is insignificant and that your efforts are not taking you anywhere—you are not part of a residency track, not part of the interviews tours, and not able to moonlight—but you’re wrong.
If your program put you in remediation it doesn’t mean that they are discounting you. Your program is recognizing that you need time to address whatever is going on in your life that put you in remediation—relationship stresses, mental health issues, or poor academic performance—to be the best person you can be.
Remember: you are valuable, your work still matters, and most importantly, your patients are waiting for you to be the best version of yourself!
When I was in remediation, I focused on five key areas to help me to stop thinking of where I was and to start thinking where I wanted to go. I hope these insights that helped me through my remediation will help you through yours.
#1: No Time for Buts
To start the change you need a serious but-ectomy. Get rid of your buts, those negative and powerful obstacles in your mind. Take time to reflect and reaffirm that you’re in control of your situation.
#2: Find a Mentor
If you can, find a mentor who has been in remediation before, or seek someone who you see as a role model for your life after remediation. Reach out to them and tell them you want to learn from them. Start with a small request to spend 10 minutes a day going through your notes, weaknesses, and fears.
Remember to show them that you value their time. Report back to them about how you took their advice and how it went, and respect their time by keeping to the requested 10 minutes. After a while, the time might naturally expand or decrease depending on your needs.
#3: Find Confidence
Believe yourself able to accomplish any task, no matter the odds or the adversity.
You can’t be self-confident unless the skill of the task you are doing is not novel. You want to be in a situation where you feel comfortable with the pressure. Repeat your presentations, H&Ps, assessments, and plans in front of the mirror until there is not a single ounce of nervousness when you recite them in front of your preceptors.
#5: Don’t Forget the Box
Think outside the box. Most importantly, stay outside the box. Continue to be innovative, resourceful, and creative.
The past is just training; it doesn’t define you. I hope your hard work, resilient response to adversity, and this advice works for you. I made it through remediation and so can you.