by W.D. Smith

Dear Incoming Resident,

Your potential was never in question. That's why you were chosen for such a strong residency program. Your confidence may be clouded by the enormity of your task; however you've just completed four years of education which has prepared you for this. It doesn't matter if you had access to CT scans, MRI's, PET scans, or laparoscopic procedures. Medicine is always evolving as treatments advance. Your UAB foundation will see you through.

You will recall in the future when you see your colleagues that you trained with, "he was a student of mine", or "we were residents together." Regardless of the years that have passed, you will refer to those people in the possessive tense because you were a team.

When you come to the point where you have to choose between a specialty, private practice, or hospitalist - don't fret. The landscape is evolving, and you will be able to adapt. Many of us did not train with computers. Look over your laptop at your patients. Listen and hear what they say because that is your lifeline.

You never stop learning. You have the skills. Enjoy your residency.

W.D. Smith (PGY34)

DrSmithDr. William Smith with daughter, Starr SteinhilberDr. William D. Smith (Housestaff 1979-1983) is an Internal Medicine physician in Montgomery, Alabama with an active inpatient-outpatient general medicine practice. He recently returned to Birmingham to share his experience with the UAB Primary Care Track. He is proud of his daughter, Starr Steinhilber, for her numerous accomplishments during residency and as one of the current Chief Medical Residents. 

If you would like the opportunity to write our residents or compose a reflective piece for Letters to Tinsley please email us