Since our current chairman arrived a few years ago, our department has conducted an annual end-of-academic-year farewell party. I know this ritual, or some variant, is probably performed by many other departments. We make it a big deal, starting with an Academic Day for which we invite a famous speaker.
is the Editor-in-Chief of this journal and a Professor of
Radiology, Diagnostic Imaging Department, University of Maryland
Medical Center, Baltimore, MD.
Since our current chairman arrived a few years ago, our
department has conducted an annual end-of-academic-year farewell
party. I know this ritual, or some variant, is probably performed
by many other departments. We make it a big deal, starting with an
Academic Day for which we invite a famous speaker. Following this,
each section reviews its major research accomplishments of the past
year and discusses future goals. In the evening, we meet at a
fairly posh restaurant for cocktails, dinner, and entertainment.
The faculty, fellows, residents, and key administrative staff are
invited to bring their significant others. It is a black-tie affair
to highlight the importance of the occasion and the esteem we feel
for the members of the department being honored.
One major goal is to acknowledge the contributions of our
departing senior residents for the quality and success they have
brought to the department and to celebrate their maturation into
full-fledged, board-certified radiologists (at least this is almost
always the case). Also, we thank our fellows for their efforts
during the year. The chairman announces important life events
(engagements, marriages, births, etc.) that have occurred and
offers congratulations and gifts. Selected faculty, fellows, and
residents are honored for their teaching and research with further
testimonials and more gifts.
The real fun begins when the residents have a chance to poke fun
at the faculty. There is no shortage of peculiar traits, unique and
memorable phrases, and bizarre behaviors from the faculty to serve
as ample ammunition. I believe many of our residents would have
great success doing stand-up or comedy writing should the need
arise. Of course, this business tests the good will and humor of
the targeted faculty, but only a few are gun shy and opt out of
participating. This year, one featured topic was selecting the
champion resident conference sleeper from image documentation in a
PowerPoint presentation. A few members of the faculty (including
yours truly) and our chairman were caught making up for lost
Zzzzz's as well. The seniors created and starred in a video spoof
of the movie
Being John Malkovich
with various mocked faculty sharing in the lead role.
Throughout the year, we all have ample opportunity to
acknowledge each other's radiology skills, but it is as important
to voice the appreciation we feel toward one another for sharing
ourselves as people, making the residency experience fun and
personally enriching beyond radiology training. During 4 or more
years, we have truly become family, with ties that will stretch in
the future but seldom break. I am really glad my department now
holds this event. It brings a nice closure to the year and helps
soothe the sadness we feel seeing good friends leave the nest. It
is an event I strongly recommend to all departments with graduating
trainees. Unfortunately, it also raises the specter of July 1st and
the sight of all the new folks waiting to begin their escapades in
our department… new grist for the mill. But remember to be nice to
the new residents, as they will have a clear shot at you some
evening in late June of their senior year.