Monday, April 7, 2014

Medical Mondays: Preparing for Upper Level Residency

Hubby is deep into intern year with his worst rotations to come.  April and May are going to be horrendous for both him and me:  a week of nights in the ED, followed by night float, followed by MICU (which also includes a week of nights).  I am so dreading this stretch, especially since the weather is going to be nice, things are going on around town, and I am going to want him to do things with me.  

There is light at the end of the tunnel, though.

A few weeks ago the chiefs sent the interns all of the possible "tracks," or schedules, for the next two years of our lives.  We had to look at the twelve options for his clinic group and rank them.

This is what the spreadsheet looked like:

It was so hard for me to wrap my head around this to rank schedules for two years, so I color-coded it:

I know it is hard to read on the blog because I had to shrink it, but when it is printed it takes up two pages in landscape format.  You get the gist, though.

I also added a third page for notes- how many Q4 call (30 hours overnight every four days) rotations, which outpatient clinic, and any other notes.

I cut them out, taped them together, and got to work.

Everyone said when making the upper-level schedules to look at where you want vacation first.  We don't have any specific plans yet, so that wasn't as necessary for us.

These were the criteria I looked at:
  • Rheumatology, Endocrinology, and Hospitalist before Christmas (he still doesn't know what he wants to ultimately practice, so he needs early exposure to these top three options so he can begin working on a fellowship application)
  • Start with something not as demanding (after the end of this year, he needs a breather!)
  • Fewer MICU (some of the rotations had 4 critical care--MICU and CCU--so we looked for ones with only three, and preferably only one of those being MICU)
  • Try to keep vacation away from a holiday
  • He wanted one outpatient clinic over another
  • Consider what he would be on for holidays
  • Attempt to plan for a baby?

I analyzed this schedule for three hours before making the rank list.

Some were easy to rule out:  tracks with four critical care blocks, no hospitalist service, and beginning the year with night float were no-goes.

Fortunately, he got his number one choice.  None of the tracks were ideal; they all had elements that are unappealing.  However, since he is still undecided, we had to get one with his top three rotations early and only one of those fulfilled that.

He only has three critical care months, but two of those are MICU.

It doesn't have the outpatient clinic he wanted.

He is on MICU over the holidays, but will have a week off for holiday vacation.  

Supposedly being an upper-level is head and shoulders better than intern year.

I tell Hubby all the time when he gets down that intern year is supposed to be the worst year of a doctor's life.  I have to remind him that being on the wards in residency still doesn't indicate what he is going to be doing forever and ever!  

Intern year hasn't been as bad as I was expecting.  Getting towards the end and all of his most difficult and time-intensive rotations is starting to wear on us (and all of the interns, I'm sure).  

At least he's not OB/GYN or General Surgery...

Three more blocks...

We can do it!

It gets better, right?


  1. Wow. Thats some major organization on your part, i hope I can figure something like this out when the time comes for me. He is lucky to have you. Seeing all those blocks made me pretty nervous! Good luck with everything!


    From MM

    1. Thanks! I always want to know his schedule before he does so I can plan as much as possible in the medical world.

  2. Thanks for linking up with Medical Mondays! Looking at your spreadsheet almost makes me thankful we never knew what was coming up next. Remember, the schedule always looks worse than it really is.

    1. Now that it is done I am thankful to know what is coming was just a process to get there!

  3. visiting from MM. The schedule and organization in general gives me headaches. I looked through the blog ans saw your financial budget. It motivated me to be more budget conscious.

    1. It was a headache but now I love knowing (I am a planner!) I hope you are more successful at your budget than I am!

  4. I have so been where you are. Try not to stress too much and enjoy the little time you have together. Things will get better and residency will end. Thats great you're so organized I love it. Do you have any fun hobbies or classes you take to help the time go by? I found thats what helped me out a lot. Hang in there!

    1. It hasn't been too terrible. I am just dreading the nights. Thankfully IM is generally 6-6 (plus a little). I am very active in our spouse group and have made friends through that, which has been tremendous. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Stopping by from MM - being an ophtho resident wife that schedule gives me major heart palpitations! Go you :) I think having a positive outlook helps surviving any year better & always friends and wine -


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