Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Currently, I'm on a nice, cushy rotation that only requires me to work 40 hours/week.

Yeah, that's right. Cushy. Just a normal full time job.

As everyone in the medical profession knows, five years ago, hours restrictions were placed for medical residents. This, among many things, included restricting the number of hours a week to 80. Just a measly 80 hours/week.

Apparently, this is not enough.

Who ever thought it was? 80 hours/week is more hours than professionals work in other jobs. And it isn't that you can work up until 80; the restrictions are that you can't work more than 80. And everyone knows someone who is working more. Many programs encourage "adjusting" hours, or logging out before the resident starts writing their notes, or before doing discharges, etc.

And as a medical student, there was no way for anyone to keep track of my hours, except me. I commonly worked 90-110 hour weeks on some rotations.

Once I asked about this in a school meeting. I was told that yes, the hours restrictions did not apply to me, because I had more to learn than a resident. I offhandedly replied, "Oh, I thought part of hour restrictions were for driving safety."

There were days I wasn't safe to drive home. But what was I going to do? Spend more time at the hospital on a Saturday afternoon while my family was at home?

I hope for the sake of both patients and medical students/residents that we continue to see improvement and better hours.


Salem said...

If there is anything you can do-after going through all that,I hope that you find a way of helping out future students out.

You are aware what they are going through-- much more more than people aknowledge. It takes some authority to get things done, and now you have some of it!

I am glad you stayed on the roads... that kind of 'night vision' sounds dangerous!