• Funniest Story on the Job Contest Starts Now!

    Contest starts now and ends September 27th. Winner will receive a special user banner and $10 Amazon Gift card!

    JOIN NOW
  • Site Updates Coming Next Week

    Site updates are coming next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Click the button below to learn more!

    LEARN MORE

Crying in front of senior

cryhavoc

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 20, 2014
803
569
216
Park Row
  1. Resident [Any Field]
So I got yelled at by my attending and although I managed not to cry in front of him, I went into the other room and couldn’t hold it in. My senior saw me, grabbed me into a room and reassured me. He was outraged I was yelled at because I hadn’t even made a mistake, it was something I hadn’t learned to do yet and all I did was ask how to do it to my attending. Med students never do this, you learn it in residency.

I sort of said to my senior that I was just stressed about covid and normally am not like this. I said I was sorry I got emotional and never cried at work before and hope I wasn’t unprofessional. He reassured em.

No tears came out, my eyes just watered and my voice kept cracking.My senior promised not to tell anyone and accounted all the times he cried and thought I was doing great.

Later that day my attending grabbed me and said “I don’t expect someone who just started to know that, you’re a blank slate. I think I misinterpreted you.

Now I’m terrified I’m a “problem resident” or seen as weak or incompetent.

Opinions. Thanks. I guess I am an emotional person but I usually run and hide before the waterworks start. I just respect my attending so feeling like he hates me and doesn’t want to teach me things and thinks I’m not good at my job (Maybe in my head) is of tear causing.
 
Last edited:

Virgo32

Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 30, 2018
307
139
116
Hey I’m not a resident but you’re good and this is how we learn. Focus on your residency you’re so lucky you are in residency there are thousands of people who are just waiting to get into the program. I know you’re worried but prove them you are the best
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

StIGMA

Doctor Professor
10+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2008
1,280
710
266
  1. Resident [Any Field]
As a med student, the chief resident of general surgery bawled in an OR full of about 30 people after losing a post-op patient following a massive code protocol. Honestly I had even more respect after that knowing how hard the chief worked and how much they cared about doing a good job. We’re all human. How you responded is normal and appropriate.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 7 users
About the Ads

BoardingDoc

Don't worry. I've got my towel.
Volunteer Staff
10+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2010
1,981
3,200
376
  1. Attending Physician
As a med student, the chief resident of general surgery balled in an OR full of about 30 people after losing a post-op patient following a massive code protocol. Honestly I had even more respect after that knowing how hard the chief worked and how much they cared about doing a good job. We’re all human. How you responded is normal and appropriate.
Bawled. Balled means something very different.
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: 15 users

calvnandhobbs68

I KNOW NOTHING
10+ Year Member
May 20, 2010
4,059
3,160
276
  1. Attending Physician
You’re fine. I would bet most people on here have broken down at some point or another emotionally during residency. I’m glad your senior showed you sympathy and reassurance, which is what a good leader should be doing. Of course the attending shouldn’t have been yelling at you in the first place....

I wouldn’t worry that you’re going to be labeled a problem resident or weak or something. If you’re crying every other day on service, then people might be asking (rightfully) if you need to take a break. Wouldn’t mean you’re weak either but obviously you’d need to intervene for your own good if you were feeling that emotionally broken down that frequently. Situation doesn’t sound like that though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 8 users

cryhavoc

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 20, 2014
803
569
216
Park Row
  1. Resident [Any Field]
You’re fine. I would bet most people on here have broken down at some point or another emotionally during residency. I’m glad your senior showed you sympathy and reassurance, which is what a good leader should be doing. Of course the attending shouldn’t have been yelling at you in the first place....

I wouldn’t worry that you’re going to be labeled a problem resident or weak or something. If you’re crying every other day on service, then people might be asking (rightfully) if you need to take a break. Wouldn’t mean you’re weak either but obviously you’d need to intervene for your own good if you were feeling that emotionally broken down that frequently. Situation doesn’t sound like that though.

Thanks. No, I will not. I have had preceptors in medical school who have screamed in my face, insulted me, etc. It was a combination of starting residency, covid anxieties and sleep deprivation.I might cry a few times a year at work during residency, but I plan to be in the bathroom alone. Definitely not every other day, week, but maybe month!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Mass Effect

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2012
4,108
10,383
226
  1. Attending Physician
You're a human being. You had a normal human reaction to being mistreated. You are NOT a problem resident so get that out of your head. Sounds like your senior is pretty awesome and I doubt anyone will know about this. Even if they do, so freaking what? You had a normal reaction. Nothing to be ashamed of. In years to come, when you're the senior and an intern cries, remember this moment and pay it forward.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 7 users

nofliesonme

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2015
64
153
166
los angeles
  1. Attending Physician
,crying in critical situations, during evaluations or criticisms is negative and should be avoided if possible.., if you do its best to apologize so the crying is not regarded as manipulative.... you did the best thing, you left and were able to confide in your senior, you turned your vulnerability into a strength .,,,, crying for others, death of a patient, loved one, natural catastrophes are acceptable even admirable.....
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

hallowmann

SDN Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2012
6,490
7,957
226
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Opinions. Thanks. I guess I am an emotional person but I usually run and hide before the waterworks start. I just respect my attending so feeling like he hates me and doesn’t want to teach me things and thinks I’m not good at my job (Maybe in my head) is of tear causing.

Honestly, it sounds like your attending was actually spoken to or better yet realized they overreacted. If anything its a demonstration that your place or attending are probably not as malignant as could have initially been thought. I'd consider that a win. I wouldn't worry about being judged. Seems to me like you handled it exactly as you should have.

Crying happens. I've seen multiple residents go into a room (often a resident work room or on-call room) and just let it out. The times I've done it have been on the drive home or in the shower in the morning. This is a tough job. Emotions run high, traumatic events are witnessed, and sleep deprivation/exhaustion are quite real. You're fine. Keep on working through the grind.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 8 users

HemeOncHopeful19

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2019
212
319
116
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I agree with the a above. OP I think the story at least as you've told it indicates you're in a pretty nice program. Not only did the senior back you up but they also either felt comfortable talking to the attending about it OR the attending recognized it on their own and apologized. Either way I'd say that's a place I'd want to be at. This whole story was a lot more normal than you are probably thinking it is!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 9 users

2010houston

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2009
368
180
266
  1. Attending Physician
Please try your best not to worry about this anymore! ****ty things happen in medicine, and part of getting through it is learning to move on. You got a couple of great role models for the future out of this:
- your senior- remember how supportive they were when you’re faced with a med student in this situation, or a junior resident when you’re a senior.
- the attending as a model of how NOT to act intially
- and then the attending again as a model of how to apologize when you’ve screwed up.
The first weeks of intern year are rough and stressful and emotional. You’ve got this! Don’t dwell on it - I can’t even count the number of people I’ve seen cry in the hospital - and it hasn’t negatively influenced my opinion of a single one of them. Sounds like you’re doing great and are in a supportive program - keep on keeping on :)
 
Aug 1, 2005
58,508
2,483
326
working on my tan......
  1. Attending Physician
From what I gather, attending was talked to and he realized he was being an asshat. Crying is human. Some of us cry easier than others. What matters in the end is if you learn and can function at the basic level of training. Not being able to do that would make the attending hate you and your fellow residents, etc. Nobody wants to be the weak link in the chain that others have to carry their load. Don't be that person. Personally, I could care a less if you cried daily if you could do your job and I don't have to.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads

cde

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2012
36
36
196
  1. Attending Physician
July 1st isn't just new for interns, EVERYONE, including your attending has to adjust. Maybe your attending has been overwhelmed with COVID patients, call, etc and forgot for a moment he was dealing with an intern 2 days into residency instead of an intern 360 days into residency like he was 2 weeks ago. Two great things happened already in your residency. A senior resident acknowledged the wrong and gave you encouragement and a private place to recover and the attending recognized their wrong and apologized. This kind of culture is priceless and you will do great in your program.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 10 users

oldiebutgoodie1211

Membership Revoked
Removed
May 13, 2020
162
125
41
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I really hope you’re not an intern..I don’t think 1 week into residency there is literally a single thing you should be getting yelled at for considering you’re expected to know nothing. Did you forget how to breath and became hypoxic and fell into a patient in the OR during surgery? Maybe that could get you yelled at...
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

twospadz

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2015
546
622
166
  1. Attending Physician
There is no problem with crying from time to time. But if you do so, make sure you are not the problem resident making mistakes or else you will get labeled as being mentally unstable as a “factor” for your incompetent. Also, if other incidents of emotional instability pop up, it could be an issue. If you do well, you should not have a problem.
 

Kissmyabjj

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2014
269
153
216
I was caught crying twice during residency: once as an intern by a pulm-crit attending after getting yelled at by an ICU nurse, and as a 2nd year resident by a 4th year after an attending made fun of me. Both times I was feeling a lot of stress. Neither episode ultimately had any negative impact on the rest of my residency.

I think that things seem so much bigger than they really are when you are a junior resident. There is so much pressure on you to perform and that for me led to constant feelings of inadequacy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Raryn

Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist
10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2008
8,669
8,722
276
  1. Attending Physician
So I got yelled at by my attending and although I managed not to cry in front of him, I went into the other room and couldn’t hold it in. My senior saw me, grabbed me into a room and reassured me. He was outraged I was yelled at because I hadn’t even made a mistake, it was something I hadn’t learned to do yet and all I did was ask how to do it to my attending. Med students never do this, you learn it in residency.

I sort of said to my senior that I was just stressed about covid and normally am not like this. I said I was sorry I got emotional and never cried at work before and hope I wasn’t unprofessional. He reassured em.

No tears came out, my eyes just watered and my voice kept cracking.My senior promised not to tell anyone and accounted all the times he cried and thought I was doing great.

Later that day my attending grabbed me and said “I don’t expect someone who just started to know that, you’re a blank slate. I think I misinterpreted you.

Now I’m terrified I’m a “problem resident” or seen as weak or incompetent.

Opinions. Thanks. I guess I am an emotional person but I usually run and hide before the waterworks start. I just respect my attending so feeling like he hates me and doesn’t want to teach me things and thinks I’m not good at my job (Maybe in my head) is of tear causing.
I was a senior resident in July once upon a time - and due to some screw-up with the attending schedule, combined with the 4th of July holiday, I think we went through 3 or 4 attendings in our first week. My poor third year medical student, on their first ever rotation, got totally screwed up - had to present from scratch every day, got conflicting feedback, and had no idea how she was going to be graded. Very frustrating experience for just about anyone.

So she ended up bawling one day after rounds, with just the two of us in a room. And asked me for a hug. I comforted her, and then didn't tell anyone. She's now an EM resident somewhere I think - maybe an attending. Regardless, she turned out fine.

These transitions are stressful. **** happens. Crying is certainly not the worst coping mechanism you could have - and it sounds like your senior is handling it appropriately. It gets better after the first few weeks - then there's often some doldrums in the wintertime, and then it gets better again in the spring. Keep doing what you're doing and you'll be OK.
 

Etorphine

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 5, 2011
815
190
266
  1. Resident [Any Field]
problem with some of these people is they'll still hold it against you later at eval time despite saying its ok. Crying at work at a physician is weakness, I don't care what anyone says. I would chalk up entire episode as a mistake, count it as water under the bridge, and put 100% focus on doing whatever it is they expect of you.
 
  • Okay...
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

obgyny

Full Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2005
1,439
112
316
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
I don’t think it’s fair to say “crying is a weakness for physicians.” We’re human. We have an abnormally stressful job and witness some of the most devastating parts of people’s lives. We’re very hard on ourselves and are held to a higher standard. Certainly you shouldn’t be crying every other shift, we have to keep some composure of course.

As a woman, I’ve certainly felt pressure not to cry because I didn’t want to feed into the stereotype and didn’t want to appear “weak.” But I don’t think that’s right and I wish the culture would change.

I’ve cried with patients when I’ve had to tell them horrible news such as their unborn baby passing away. I cried in front of my senior resident as an intern who constantly was yelling at me (she later apologized to me and wrote me a good eval). I cried in front of an attending after being harshly criticized for not delivering a patient via c-section sooner with a bad outcome (when the night attending had been the one refusing to let me take her to the OR. I was also at the end of an exhausting 6-week night float rotation). I cried at work after my dad passed away when I was a 3rd year resident. I’ve certainly cried many other times on my drive home from work or in private as well from sheer exhaustion or feeling like I wasn’t good enough.

And I was never labeled as a “problem resident.” I was chosen as chief resident my senior year and got into a great fellowship.

You’ll be fine, OP. Just don’t make it a habit and remember to be kind to your fellow residents.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

BocephusTim

Full Member
Mar 30, 2020
19
6
1
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I'd take more solace knowing the senior resident was on your side and consoled you. The jerk attending might have just started working there and is uber-stressed just like all the interns? I've seen attendings act more immature than MS1's so don't let it affect you too much. Chalk it up as a good war story!

I also remember getting dressed down by an intern when I was an MS3 and came into AM morning report about 10 minutes late. It was the first time I was late for that particular clerkship and this jerk intern decided to act tough by criticizing me in front of all the other students and housestaff. I have a pretty thick skin and just ate my breakfast while he flapped his gums. Afterward, I had a couple other interns walk up to me and said that particular intern who chewed me out is a total ass and has done that to other students before. Made me feel better about ignoring him, and luckily I wasn't on his service so I didnt have to deal with him for that entire rotation.
 
Last edited:

togaedere

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2010
354
243
266
Detroit, MI
  1. Resident [Any Field]
thank you so much for normalizing this. I cried a handful of times in residency, was afraid it would be more because I tend to stress-cry. Most of the time I was around coresidents, once it was with a patient who was actively dying. Thankfully never once was it ever seen as a problem or something I got shamed out of doing during the appropriate time.

I kind of can’t stand the attitude that we have to be autonomous robots who never get upset about anything. Stuff happens, emotions are real, and this job has moments that are beyond stressful. It’s far harder to regulate an emotion you are trying to push deep down and not address than it is one that you take ownership over. Sometimes tears come out and we should all be okay with that.

we do have a saying in our program that it becomes a problem when the patient is comforting you.

I don’t think it’s fair to say “crying is a weakness for physicians.” We’re human. We have an abnormally stressful job and witness some of the most devastating parts of people’s lives. We’re very hard on ourselves and are held to a higher standard. Certainly you shouldn’t be crying every other shift, we have to keep some composure of course.

As a woman, I’ve certainly felt pressure not to cry because I didn’t want to feed into the stereotype and didn’t want to appear “weak.” But I don’t think that’s right and I wish the culture would change.

I’ve cried with patients when I’ve had to tell them horrible news such as their unborn baby passing away. I cried in front of my senior resident as an intern who constantly was yelling at me (she later apologized to me and wrote me a good eval). I cried in front of an attending after being harshly criticized for not delivering a patient via c-section sooner with a bad outcome (when the night attending had been the one refusing to let me take her to the OR. I was also at the end of an exhausting 6-week night float rotation). I cried at work after my dad passed away when I was a 3rd year resident. I’ve certainly cried many other times on my drive home from work or in private as well from sheer exhaustion or feeling like I wasn’t good enough.

And I was never labeled as a “problem resident.” I was chosen as chief resident my senior year and got into a great fellowship.

You’ll be fine, OP. Just don’t make it a habit and remember to be kind to your fellow residents.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

dienekes88

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2008
1,848
336
266
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
So I got yelled at by my attending and although I managed not to cry in front of him, I went into the other room and couldn’t hold it in. My senior saw me, grabbed me into a room and reassured me. He was outraged I was yelled at because I hadn’t even made a mistake, it was something I hadn’t learned to do yet and all I did was ask how to do it to my attending. Med students never do this, you learn it in residency.

I sort of said to my senior that I was just stressed about covid and normally am not like this. I said I was sorry I got emotional and never cried at work before and hope I wasn’t unprofessional. He reassured em.

No tears came out, my eyes just watered and my voice kept cracking.My senior promised not to tell anyone and accounted all the times he cried and thought I was doing great.

Later that day my attending grabbed me and said “I don’t expect someone who just started to know that, you’re a blank slate. I think I misinterpreted you.

Now I’m terrified I’m a “problem resident” or seen as weak or incompetent.

Opinions. Thanks. I guess I am an emotional person but I usually run and hide before the waterworks start. I just respect my attending so feeling like he hates me and doesn’t want to teach me things and thinks I’m not good at my job (Maybe in my head) is of tear causing.

Well. It already happened. Nothing you can do about it.

Onward and upwards. Keep learning. Keep trying to be better. Be disciplined. Get it done.

They can always hurt you more. But they can never stop the clock. Remember that.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 1 year old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.