Friday, June 24, 2011

They're Heerrree

The interns are here, the interns are here!  The welcoming activities are officially in full swing and I'm interested to see how everything all turns out. 

We kicked things off with a resident sponsored welcome dinner last Thursday that we almost didn't make it to.  In typical expect-the-unexpected medical fashion, Dr Love got pounded with a stream of hospital admits that afternoon which had him running all over the place in addition to his regular floor work and was thus 2 hours late leaving the hospital.  As a result he came home tired, a bit grumpy, we were both hungry and 2 hours late for the welcome dinner.  We pondered if it was really worth going to at that point (would anyone still be there?) and I made the point that if anyone would understand the impact a bad day at the hospital can have on your previously laid plans it would be this group.  Despite all my logic of why we should cut our losses and stay home, Dr Love's team player attitude won and we made the drive over to the resident's house hoping there would be food and people still there.  Considering only 2 of the interns RSVP'd that they were going to attend the dinner, I was pleasantly surprised to see that 6 out of the 9 came and were still there several hours in.  Hooray we didn't scare them off!  Though really only 1/3 of them RSVP'd?  Come on folks maybe I'm old fashion but I've always thought work related events warranted higher levels of etiquette.  Rant aside we did have a nice time chowing down on carb-a-licious food and chatting with everyone.  A number of the incoming interns had that deer in the headlights look that I remember well from last year as you're the new kid on the block surrounded by people you don't know (though you will soon see them more than your own family) and you're about to embark on a huge journey.

Saturday was a bitter sweet day as we attended the graduation ceremony for the current 3rd year residents (even though they are here through the end of the month).  I'm sad to see several of them go.  This group played a big role in recruiting us to come here.  They were the first ones we socialized with and came to know.  They're strong doctors and good leaders.  They've been a valuable asset to the program and I'm sad to see them go. 

With this changing of the guard comes LOTS of other changes as well.  During graduation one of the attendings noted that Dr Love's class will go down in history as the last "true" intern year.  As some of you know the restrictions on interns have undergone a major overhaul.  Recently the AC.GME (THE grand poobas of ALL the residency programs in the US) decided that interns are now limited to 16 hour shifts, which is down from the 30 hour limit that was previously in place.  I can only imagine how prospective interns across the country breathed a sigh of relief since 30 hour shifts are not fun but this change has further reaching implications, particularly the necessity for a night float system.  Since what previously was one shift has now been split into two, the rotations had to be reworked in order to implement a night shift (aka night float).  I already hate call nights where I have to spend the evening alone, now there's going to be a whole month where I won't see him in the evenings (or possible at all) 5 days a week.  SIDENOTE: I really hope we're either pregnant by the time night float comes, though I guess it could make scheduling an IUI easier since he'd be free during the day.  Ah the joys of trying to work life around the demands of medicine. END SIDENOTE.

In addition to the change in work hours, the AC.GME also decided that interns need "close supervision."  No big deal right, except that the powers that be with the family medicine association interpreted "close supervision" as recommended in room supervision for a time period to be decided by the residency programs.  This means that for a certain period of time an intern can not see a patient, do a simple history and physical, anything, without a senior resident or attending present.  In essence they need a babysitter.

The current residents joke about giving the interns backpack leashes or creating intern-bjorns and just carrying them around everywhere.  The administration has assured everyone that they are working on a solution to make this babysitting time as short as possible but so far there's been no word on how they plan to do that. 

So we have smashed 2 residents into 1 and split what used to be 1 shift into 2 which equals (if my math is correct) more work for everyone.  Buckle in cause this ride just got more interesting.  In the end I'm sure it will turn out fine (if it's not fine it's not the end) but in the mean time I fear things are going to be a bit messy. 


  1. New to your blog :)

    My husband is starting his 4th year of residency. I'm SO wishing he were only in a three year program.... we still have two years to go. Sigh.

    I hope the new intern restrictions don't affect you guys too much. This is most definitely going to be a crazy year all over the country. My husband is in a surgical specialty, so I'm not sure he will be quite as affected as your husband. Lots of his intern year was spent in general surgery rotations, not his specialty (that started second year). Who knows though. Everyone I talk to think the whole thing is going to be bad for everyone- interns who don't see enough, upper levels who are slammed. We'll see.

    And I'm glad that your welcome dinner went well. I totally would have tried to talk my husband out of it. He wouldn't have gone for it either :)

  2. It seems like a million years since I was where you are, & it only improved slightly once he was an attending. Coming home late is an unfortunate side effect of medicine, but you get used to it after awhile. My husband works in a large academic center, so the AC.GME changes will be affecting him in a big way as well.

  3. I'm starting my third year of residency and the new duty hours will not be that much fun for me either. I'm so excited though for our new interns to start because they seem like a great group! That's awesome that your husband finished his intern year though! It's a great feeling to be an upper-level resident!!

  4. So in reading this the second time, I realized that things are a little different in my husb's residency. In his program (he's an intern), they have all the new hour restrictions and such, but they don't have this whole same babysitting nonsense. He has done multiple physical exams and seen many patients alone in the room. He always has to go run his treatment plan by a preceptor (who is never another resident, only ever an attending), but other than that he's on his own with the patients. The only thing that HAS to be supervised at this point are procedures.

    I hope they got the kinks worked in your husb's program, and they aren't have to babysit the interns too much!


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