Monday, August 1, 2011


1 month down, 59 to go.  I bid farewell to the pediatric surgery service last night and officially marked the end of my first month of residency - 1.67% of a five year program is behind me.  Month one flew by!  The 59 months ahead of me seems a little daunting though, so I think I'll just focus on completing month one rather than on the long road ahead!

Tonight I start on the trauma service!  I've always enjoyed my trauma rotations in the past.  There's a degree of excitement that come with each unknown patient and scenario that rolls in the emergency room doors and I enjoy the fast pace and constantly changing circumstances.

With the new hours regulations for interns, my schedule for the month is a crazy mix of nights (7pm - 9am), regular days (6am - 5pm), and long days (6am - 8pm).  For those of you who don't know, the bigwigs who create the rules for medical education initiated a new set of work hour regulations for first year residents beginning July 2011.

-  Maximum daily work hours = 16
-  Minimum hours between shifts (8 = required, 10 = recommended)
-  Maximum number of hours per week = 80
-  Average number of days off per week = 1

Therefore, the standard 30 hour work day is a thing of the past and programs have had to retool and get creative to both meet the regulations and maintain superior patient care.  There are certainly growing pains associated with the new system - more hand-offs in patient care and discontinuity between day and night shifts.  All of us interns have heard plenty of jokes about being weak, needing our "naptime", and having it so easy compared to all of the residents who came before us.  I'm still not quite sure what part of working 80 hours a week is easy, but I'm trying to just go with the flow.  Somebody has to be the guinea pigs, and our intern class is just lucky enough to be the chosen few.

31 days down, 1794 days to go!

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