By AverageAvarice - 07/07/2016 20:09 - United States
AverageAvarice tells us more.
Hey this is OP, I know a lot of people are not familiar with the hours residents must work. I work an 80 hour week. 12-24 hour shifts 4-5 days a week. I must take a break every 16 hours but it's usually every 12. I have a locker with blankets, clothes etc. I sleep in the doctor's lounge and shower in the locker room. I'm on 24 hour call for the ER this month and since anything can happen at anytime I'm constantly being called for something while on break (when ever I'm eating). It's really not bad once you get used to it, I can sometimes squeeze in a couple hours of sleep at the end of a twelve hour period, do some studying then clock back in. Adrenaline wakes me up in serious situations. My attending physician is a nice person but really brutal with their assigned work-load. I must work long hours so I can observe the full conditions of the patients assigned to me.
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The previous comments are by people who don't know the power that attending physicians have over your life and career... Just don't be that guy when you're the attending!
4 is absolutely right. While all other fields complain if they miss their 15 minute smoke break, not having lunch or not getting out exactly at 5 pm, we work 20+ hour shifts with no time to eat or rest. It's not something that most people can fathom in a society that is so dependent on "me, me, me."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it illegal to not take a break after so many hours?
Not on the federal level, in this instance. Some states may say that you should get so much time off for every 8 or 10 working hours, or some companies may have policies in place for how long you have to be off the clock in a 24 hour period. It just depends on the profession and the state.
5, I'm sure there is, however, this is not enforced in academic medicine among medical students and residents, much like the 80 hour work week isn't. Unfortunately, medical student and residents bosses (the attending physicians) tend to be old fashioned and remember their training days where they worked 100+ hours every week and didn't have time to eat, and feel we must endure the same type of training -- which trust me, we do, and worse with the ridiculous board exams we take. I presume OP is on surgery, as these physicians are notorious for long grueling hours and not eating. However, this is an aspect of medicine that those whom are in the field fully understand. We signed up for this when we signed up to care for every body's loved ones.
Any break I take is not truly a break as I am on call. If something happens that my physician wants me to see or do, I must get up from under my mountain of paperwork and unfinished essays and go. I'm on ER duty this month so nothing is scheduled. I sometimes have no clue how long I've even been awake.
Depending on your AP's personality you can explain yourself and get cut some slack, or else you'd better scarf that food down and get back to it. Hopefully it's the former and activity has died down enough that you can snag some down time for yourself, otherwise just keep it up and count down those hours til shift change.
Tell them you can't hear them over the sound of their hypocrisy. Then proceed to finish your sandwich, ignoring any further non-emergency conversation.