Now that Maurice Hinson and Kelsie Persaud are in their residencies, we check in with them to see how it’s going. Aside from struggling with the stress and pressure of the long hours, they tell us of some bumps in the road along the way and if their matches were everything they’d hoped for.
Today is Match Day, when medical students find out where they will spend the next few years of their lives.
Last year, we met two students at Drexel University who were about to match.
Maurice Hinson was trying to land a spot in some of the country’s most prestigious internal medicine programs. His top choice was Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. And he said the stakes were high. “Nothing matters as much as where you do your residency,” Maurice said. “It’s that last site of training that really determines the course of your career.”
Maurice grew up in Philadelphia. His mother was addicted to drugs, so his father, Larry, raised him. “He’s a blessed kid,” Larry said. “I like to use the word blessed, because I’m a godly person. And I just feel that God has something for this boy to do.”
We also met Kelsie Persaud, who wanted to go into family medicine. Her situation was complicated by the fact that she’d recently gotten engaged to her boyfriend Evan, and he was already a doctor at a hospital in Virginia.
She had to decide whether she should try to match at his hospital or choose her own path. “Even right after I got engaged, I was like Miss Independent,” she said. “I was like ,’I would never follow a man wherever he goes. I’m not one of those girls. He can follow me, and I’m my own person.'”
But then it hit her: “Do I want to just put this relationship on hold again? I gotta start making decisions on a we basis and not so much on an I basis anymore,” she said.
In the end, Kelsie decided to rank Evan’s hospital, at Eastern Virginia Medical School, at the top of her list.
And when Match Day came around (SPOILER ALERT), she and Maurice both landed their top choices.
A year later, I checked in with Maurice and Kelsie to see how they’re doing — and whether their matches are what they hoped for.
Coping with residencyResidency can be a really difficult time. The newly-minted doctors work impossibly long hours. They’re always stressed. And sometimes that means they stop taking care of themselves.
That happened to Maurice, who lost about 10 pounds during the beginning of his residency. He’s doing better now, and he makes an effort to eat breakfast every day and work out whenever he can.
But he still has the long hours and the stress.
One of his hardest days on the job so far was during a rotation in the Intensive Care Unit. A patient came in with an upper-respiratory infection, and she seemed to be recovering, but then she crashed. “Both of her sons were there. They were out in the hall crying,” he said. “We did CPR for maybe like 20 minutes, and then we called it.”
The doctors went out into the hallway to talk to the family. “We were saying how sorry we were that everything happened,” Maurice said. “We tried to explain. We really had no explanation for why she died. And then in the midst of us talking to that family, the patient right next to her crashed.”
They rushed into the room to try to save the other patient, who also died. “Neither one of those patients were supposed to die,” Maurice said. “We had high hopes for both of them.”
Maurice says that after moments like this, he sometimes takes a walk to the 11th floor of the hospital, overlooking the river, to clear his head. But not for long, because other patients need him.
At the end of his shifts, Maurice goes home and tries to relax. And then he comes back in the next day and does it all over again.
Maurice told me he feels a little like an imposter, but that’s starting to change. “I think the first time I realized I had actually learned something was when we had medical students asking me questions, like ‘what do you do in this situation?’,” he said. “And I had an answer for them. So it’s like slowly I’m getting away from that imposter syndrome,” he said.
Kelsie Persaud told me she’s had a lot of difficult moments too. And given all the challenges of residency, she’s glad she ended up at the same hospital as her fiancé, Evan. “I am so happy I ended up coming here, because residency, especially first year, is really hard, and it’s nice to have someone to come home to and someone to kind of just share your space and share your experiences with who gets it,” she said.
Doing right by patientsKelsie says that because she’s a family medicine doctor, one of the most important parts of her job is building trust with patients. That can be hard to do, especially when something goes wrong.
She told me a story about a patient she saw last year, who had come into the clinic a couple months earlier. When Kelsie walked into the room, the patient was not happy to see her. “I said ‘hi, like hey do you remember me? I saw you in October.’ As soon as I said that, her face went from a smile to kind of a frown,” Kelsie says. “All of a sudden she started crying and getting really upset and, not really yelled at me, but started kind of just venting at me. She was like ‘yeah I remember you. I don’t want you to be my doctor. You guys were the ones that missed this big issue (that happened with her heart).”
Kelsie said she was mortified. “I almost kind of felt like a failure,” she said. She apologized profusely. And then she went over the patient’s files for more than an hour, trying to figure out what the doctors had done wrong.
Ultimately, she says the doctors had followed procedure and that she doesn’t think there’s anything else they could have done for the patient back in October. But she says it was really important to her to rebuild that doctor-patient relationship. And she started doing that through the simple acts of listening and apologizing.
To hear more about Kelsie and Maurice’s first years of residency, listen to the audio above.