I'm working on an ariticle on physician wellness and it has lead to a couple of questions. Thought it would be helpful to ponder them with other mothers in medicine.
1) how sick have you been while working including call? Are there things you do that you would not recommend to your patients or family members?
2) How many hours have you worked without sleeping? Was it supervised work or nonsupervised?
3) What does it mean to be "off work?" Not in the clinic or hospital? Not on call? No mountain of charts on your desk? No labs or studies to follow-up? When you are off, are you really off?
4) Have you even taken your children to work since they had no where else to go and a patient needed to be seen/admitted/needed a procedure? Who was watching your children in the clinic/hospital when you did this?
Looking forward to hearing some stories! Please remember to keep it anonymous.
1. Well...I have been so sick from a GI bug that I could not stand up. My attending sent me down to the ER, to be a patient rather than a doctor. I have also had a fever and continued working because it was the middle of the night and I was the only one available. I hope my patients and family members would take care of themselves while sick. I also hope that they would not expose other people to contagious diseases.
2. ~30, unsupervised
3. When I am not physically at work, I generally feel that I am off, but I leave my pager and cell phone on, and they occasionally remind me that I am not truly off.
5 years 6 months ago - 5 years 6 months ago#94089by becco
1) In residency I had a both-ends GI bug with many trips to the bathroom, and was covering a 24 hour in house call at a hospital as the only resident. I called every resident who could possibly fill in for me and only two called me back, and they had other obligations, so I had to stay. Thankfully it wasn't very busy but it was horrible. The thing I do I would not recommend to others is that I do not quite get the sleep I really need. But who does?!
2) supervised 30, unsupervised about 30, and it feels worse every year...
3) I still find myself catching up on charting, signatures, labs when I am off more than a day. Actually, I log in almost every day I am off. I always do some charting on the weekends. If I take a few days off for a vacation, I actually like the fact that I can get it all caught up as best as I can before I return. That catch up is almost as satisfying as getting the vacation! So, I would consider "off work" to be when I am not in the office seeing patients or on call. But it doesn't mean I am not working on the other stuff...
4) took my sick daughter to my office for half a day a few months ago because my husband and mom were out of town (he came back into town mid day). She watched movies in my office while I saw patients in my rooms. I set up a camping sleeping pad and sleeping bag in case she wanted to nap. When I was a senior resident, I took my infant son to OB rounds a few times when my husband had to be out of town, because the daycare was not open that early. I was supervising so I only had to see a few patients, but the med students just watched him sleep in his bucket carrier...
Looking forward to other replies, and will likely think of other tidbits...
1. Not very. I'm pretty healthy. One time, when I was admitting patients in the emergency department, the ED physician heard me coughing (throughout the day) and wordlessly handed me a script for azithromycin. I took it, with gratitude. No time to see my own primary care doc.
2. I didn't train before the 30-h rule and I'm still in training, so ... 30. Supervised/"supervised". But weekend call in my program spans from 48 (Sat at 7 a to Mon at 7 a) to 82 hours (Fri at 7 a to Mon at 5 p) and is generally quite busy. Very, very little sleep in there.
3. Off means off. Home call is most definitely NOT off. But I suppose I feel "off" even when I have loads of dictations to catch up on.
4. No, thank God.
The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. -- Isak Dinesen
Ah, to clarify, our weekend call is from Friday 5pm to Monday 9am. I said 30 hours because by that point I can get a little bit in, even if it is just a nap. I nap or sleep when I can on call weekends because you never know when sleep will be possible! I guess the whole weekend is 64 hours... There are eight of us in the call pool for weekends, so only one of those every two months, but it can be busy!