Posted by: Kate | June 24, 2008

The (Intern) Pendulum Swings

A few months ago, I made a vague passing reference to the fact that I was going to be assigned a new intern

I haven’t talked about her here since then.  At first, it was because the previous intern experience was just so bad that I was still twitching and drooling a little at the mere thought.  I wouldn’t consider myself completely close-minded about it, but I was certainly reserved, both professionally and personally.  I trained her in what she needed to know, but I was slower to go into the theories and thought processes I have about my job, and definitely slower to form a rudimentary work-friendship (she heard her first ever mother-in-law story yesterday) this time around.  I don’t believe that her internship experience suffered for this, it was just a more tentative experience early on.

Then, I didn’t talk about her because those tiny little glimmers of hope?  They hurt.  It was painful to imagine that this person might actually be professionally competent.  That she might be an asset to the field, and that in the process of the internship she might be a willing participant in her own professional development.  You know, learning and stuff.  I was barely able to comprehend the idea, and the fear of being let down again squeezed upon my heart.

And then I didn’t mention her because it was already nearing the end of her internship, because it was meant to be a supplement to her other experiences.  She had already done her full-time year-long placements, and this was a chance for her to round out her knowledge a little before she finished school.  She had just barely started, it seemed, and now suddenly she was in the end stages of it all.   

But I’ll mention her now, because she hath restored my faith in humanity the potential of an internship.  She learned, she asked questions, she listened, and her clinical skills visibly improved over the course of four months.  At first she followed me around in a strictly observational role, and last week she was completing competent assessments all by herself.  Just like it’s supposed to happen.  Amazing.




  1. YA!! I am glad that this one is working out!

  2. I think, karma-wise, you were due this one.

  3. Something good happens at the workplace on a limited term random every-so-often basis? I’m going to live vicariously through you for the rest of the weak.

  4. There see . . for every bad’un there’s a good’un! Credit to your teaching skills Kate, some people just can’t be taught others are like sponges and soak it all up!

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