Thursday, January 24, 2008

Student Work Hours

If you don't want to read another complaint from another medical student, stop reading now.

You've probably heard somewhere along the line that medical residents are limited to 80 hours a week and no more than 30 hour shifts.

Medical students often have the privelege of working more than that. Remember that we are not covered by any work hours restriction.

I am in the 3rd week of my inpatient medicine clerkship. Here is my 'required' schedule:

Monday 6:30 AM to Tuesday 1:15 PM = 30.75 hrs
Wednesday 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM = 11.75 hrs
Thursday 6:30 AM to Friday 1:15 PM = 30.75 hrs
Saturday 6:30 AM to Noon = 5.5 hrs

What am I complaining about? Our total hours adds up to 78.75 - plenty of room before the 80 hour limit, right? Subtract out the 3 or 4 hours I get when I am on overnight, and that puts me at 71.5 hours. What am I complaining about?

If I want to have my patient progress notes written in time for rounds, I need to check up on my patients in the morning. Sometimes I'll get in at 6:00 to see a patient so that I'm ready to present my three patients at rounds.

What I don't like is that I need to study, too. That will have to wait. In the end, I'm lucky to be in medical school.

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