doc4Jesus

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Jul 24, 2007
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Hey guys...
Can you all please comment on some programs that you think are more family friendly than others and why? For example, do you think working more 8 hour shifts so that you can see your spouse and children would be more doable than working fewer 12 hour shifts? Also would programs who do more EM months and fewer floor/ICU months make a difference? Any input from residents/attendings out there who have/had a family during residency and came through it with a STRONGER marriage is much appreciated.

I am most interested in programs in the southeast/midwest but if you have any suggestions elsewhere, feel free to comment.

Thank you all!
 

doctorFred

intensive carer
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May 5, 2005
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, location, location!
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Attending Physician
Hey guys...
Can you all please comment on some programs that you think are more family friendly than others and why? For example, do you think working more 8 hour shifts so that you can see your spouse and children would be more doable than working fewer 12 hour shifts? Also would programs who do more EM months and fewer floor/ICU months make a difference? Any input from residents/attendings out there who have/had a family during residency and came through it with a STRONGER marriage is much appreciated.

I am most interested in programs in the southeast/midwest but if you have any suggestions elsewhere, feel free to comment.

Thank you all!
christiana: 8 hour shifts and a house in the delaware suburbs.. also, it seems like half to two-thirds of the residents are married or in long term relationships.

carolinas may also be a good fit using the above criteria, if i'm not mistaken.
 

DocVirk

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Feb 17, 2006
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I'm at Palmetto Richland in Columbia, SC and I think it's a pretty family friendly program. It's also a great program from a teaching and pathology standpoint. We've got a bunch of people with kids (some with several kids) and nobody has a problem with it. Last year there were 8 children born to our program (that's unusually high though). I think this year there will be two kids born to the program.

About hours and ICU months: We work 12 hour shifts. Occassionally we'll do 8s. I love the 8s because I get home and get to see the kid while she's awake. But I like the 12s too because I get a ton of days off. It's a trade-off. Work 8s, work more days. Work 12s, work less days but gone most of the days you work. Last week I had 4 days off, which is practically unheard of. This week I'm getting killed and have to choose between sleeping and seeing the child. Either way you're going to miss your family, that's just the resident life.

ICU months are the same way- you're going to do them anywhere you go, they're going to have long hours, and you can't avoid it. Almost anywhere you go you'll have a couple MICU months, a STICU month, and a NICU month. On my first MICU month, I think I actually saw my kid as much as I do when I'm in the ER. I wouldn't factor ICU months into my decision too much unless the program does a significant amount more than everywhere else.

The key is to understand that residency is hard, and you WILL work long hours. That is unavoidable. Your spouse MUST be understanding. You have to understand that it's hard on your spouse, probably as hard as it is on you. My wife struggles a lot when I'm on a string of nights or on an ICU month. You just have to be supportive and pick your priorities. My top priorities right now are my family and my residency. I haven't worked out in a couple months (my kid is 6 months old now, I think that will improve a little in time). I don't think it's realistic to work residency hours, go play golf on your days off, and expect your spouse to be happy about it. You have to make some sacrifices.

Come see Palmetto Richland, it's a great program and incredibly supportive of family. Rotate with us, you'll enjoy it. Columbia may not be a cultural mecca, but it's got everything you need, and the training is second to none.
 

turtle md

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I can second Christiana. I was a resident there and had 2 kids in residency (1 during intern year and one my last year). There were several others who either had kids already or spawned during residency. The program is family friendly in that regard. I felt I had time to spend with my kids. But residency is hard, as stated. There were months were I wouldn't see them much. Life now is great, I see them all the time.. :)
 

CommunityED

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Oct 18, 2007
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I did residency at University of Michigan. Very family friendly, lots of kids. Got rid of 12 hour shifts when I was a 3rd year resident.
 

Venko

True to self
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Mayo Clinic

Shifts are primarily eight and nine hours long. The target work hours is 45-47 hours / week when in the ED. Rochester is a very family friendly place that is safe, and has great schools. The majority of the town is Mayo Clinic families and many of the residents have spouses, or long term relationships. Many of the residents have children (some even have four children!).

There are ICU months, that require overnight call, but many families come to the hospital and have dinner with their on-call loved one.

Overall, a very family friendly place.

Cheers,
TL
 

edgesofsanity

just some guy
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Jun 22, 2004
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Indiana University is very family friendly. From an EM perspective, we work 9 hour shifts, with a target of ~50 hours/week. I'd imagine most EM programs do about the same, so if it is a time factor you're looking for I think you'll do well in just about any program (given that you've already picked EM and not, say, surgery).

The university has a huge benefits program, and the big one for families is that they offer full health insurance, including dental and vision plans for yourself, your spouse/domestic partner, and any associated children. That's on top of your salary - you don't have any deductions for your family members.

Combine that with the relatively low cost of living (all of the married/kid couples in our residency own homes, and many nonmarried residents do as well) and it works out pretty well for families.
 

doc4Jesus

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Thank you all for caring and taking the time to reply...
 

nymbarra

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Four classmates (two males and two females) had kids during residency. We had to rearrange schedules to make it work, which put some strain on our class...but as a whole we were very supportive. Now they are all back, and happy with family and continuing on with residency.

I would think in general EM residency--while still very rigorous--is more flexible than other specialties in terms of starting families and maintaining work-life balance.

For Emory/Grady, we have MICU in 1st year, two ICU months in 2nd year and one ICU month in 3rd year. No other in-patient months in the 2nd or 3rd year. We do 12 hr shifts for two weekends a month as 2nd and 3rd years to get two weekends off. On weekdays it is all 8's. Interns do all 10's. Total is around 17-21 shifts per month.

Atlanta itself is a big city, but there are many family-friendly communities, such as VA-Highlands and Brookhaven/Emory area. Decatur is a suburb that is very popular with residents and attendings with kids, it is about 10-15 min from Grady and Emory hospitals.
 
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