Monday, February 15, 2016

Medical Residents, Misplaced Pride and Saner Hours - The New York Times

When one of my best friends in medical school returned from an interview for a surgical residency program, he told me how some of the surgeons there bragged that they were worked so hard that the divorce rate among their trainees was greater than 100 percent — some of them burned through two marriages.

They were proud of this. I was horrified.

I doubt this statistic was true, even 20 years ago, and I'm even surer it's not true now. But it points to an important truth: Some physicians equate "suffering" with "commitment" and believe that a residency should be grueling and difficult.

A resident is a physician having further on-the-job training after medical school. When I was one, I regularly worked 80-plus hours a week. When I was in the Infant Intensive Care Unit, I was on q3, meaning that in addition to working 12-hour days, I worked every third night between them as well. In a bad week, I could easily work more than 90 hours. And I was a pediatrician. Many specialties, like surgery, have it far worse.

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