Virtual graduation ceremonies during the COVID-19 pandemic might suggest a stifled sense of celebration, but there is no downplaying the achievements of our graduating chief residents. Whether their future plans include clinical service or advanced training, we are very proud of their accomplishments and blessed by the time we shared with them. We asked each to share their post-graduation plans, their favorite moment as a resident, and any parting words of advice for their junior colleagues:
Eric Bauer, MD
Post-graduation plans: I am headed back home to the Dayton, Ohio area to start a career in private practice with the Southwest Ohio ENT group.
Favorite moment as a resident: The rewarding experience of learning a new surgical skill and confidently performing it during an operation.
Parting words of advice: When you become a senior resident remember how you got there. Your senior resident allowed you to perform surgeries that at the time you may not have felt fully confident doing, but through the process you grew. Take care of the more junior residents.
Tyler Bertroche, MD
Post-graduation plans: I’m heading back home to Des Moines, Iowa to join the ENT department at The Iowa Clinic. My wife, Joy, will also be joining The Iowa Clinic as a pediatrician.
Favorite moment as a resident: My favorite times in residency were when there was a late head and neck case going on and there’s this special, almost magical time right around ten o’clock or so where people get a second wind and really start having a good time. Even though everyone knows they’re not getting a good night’s sleep, for some reason everyone starts enjoying themselves, just listening to music and getting the job done as a team. There’s truly something special about those moments. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Of course these times never resulted in any duty hour violations.
Parting words of advice: Residency goes by so fast! Try and learn something new from every patient you encounter because even the most “straight forward” patients can actually teach you something. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It’s better to know what you don’t know than to not know what you don’t know! Don’t be afraid of being “pimped”. Getting roasted in the OR is actually the highest form of respect because it shows that someone actually cares about you learning something that day. If you haven’t heard of something, look it up! And then after you’ve looked it up go tell your co-residents about it so you remember it better and help make everyone a little bit better.
Jay Gantz, MD, PhD
Post-graduation plans: I’m headed to a Neurotology fellowship at the University of Iowa.
Favorite moment as a resident: My favorite moment as a resident is a difficult choice but is probably a tie between the following three: 1. Doing my first tympanoplasty from start to finish; 2. The time a patient’s spouse pulled me aside in a grocery store a year after their hospitalization, remembered who I was, and thanked me; or 3. When I finally realized what was going on in a neck dissection.
Parting words of advice: When you see a problem, try to come up with one or more potential solutions to present to the team when you talk about it.
Elizabeth Wick, MD
Post-graduation plans: I will be attending a fellowship in facial plastic surgery at University of Miami.
Favorite moment as a resident: My husband and I lived apart the first two years of my residency, so my favorite moment as a resident was finally moving in together when we both transferred to St. Louis.
Parting words of advice: Listen more. Talk less.
Paul Zolkind, MD
Post-graduation plans: I will be pursuing a head and neck surgery and microvascular reconstruction fellowship at Stanford University.
Favorite moment as a resident: I have lots of great memories during the time of my residency, but nothing beats the birth of my two boys.
Parting words of advice: The best advice I learned was to work with the utmost integrity, compassion and respect for our patients and colleagues.