triggerpt

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I need help! The GMEC (graduate med ed committee) is screwing with the meal points for the residents in my program. They've demanded numbers from other programs.

Anybody get free meals at their program, how do they do it? How much do you get? I'd love the info.

And no our cheap little hospital only has cereal and tomato juice in the lounge. MMMM!

I'm at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida.
 

yaah

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I'm in pathology so it may not apply much, but we get a certain amount of $$ on our cards to be used for meals. It varies depending on how much call we have and which rotations we do, but generally ends up being around $750 per year, averaged out. I think how it works out is we get like $10 for each time we are on call, and $7 for every day we are on a certain rotation where we are busier. Things like that.
 

DrMom

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We get free food in our "physicians' dining room" which consists of the leftovers from the cafeteria the day before (no kidding) and a salad bar. We do get free drinks (pepsi, coffee, tea, milk, etc).

When I've been at other facilities, it has been unusual to get food provided. A couple of places would give you an allotment of a certain $ amt/per night of call for the month.
 

Faebinder

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At both community hospitals we rotate in, we get free meals all we want all we can eat.

At the university hospital we rotate in, we get 60 dollars a month.

At USF, Tampa were i did a fellowship, different departments gave different amounts to residents, seniors got more food money than juniors. Surgery there got a net of $1500 a year.
 

futuredo32

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I'm still just a student, but during one of my residency interview tours, someone asked if there was free food and the resident said that they got $600/year which I thought was kinda cheap. At my base hospital, residents (and students) get all of the free food they want.
I guess $600/year in food isn't that bad.
 

Winged Scapula

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We got $50/month when at the university hospital (which was decreased from $100 during my residency); a refrigerator filled with some white bread sandwiches, left over hot meals, jello, milk and sodas for after hours (although the cafeteria was open 24/7). No free food or discount at the VA. Meal cards when at the community hospital rotations for $5/meal. The amount did not vary based on call.

I got nothing during fellowship although occasionally the attendings would let me into the faculty dining room.
 

Dr.McNinja

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We could eat for free at the domiciliary at the VA when I was in medical school. Right next to the hospital so it was convenient.
In my first job, all food was free. All the time. If you wanted to (and people did), you could get 30 bottles of starbucks frappucino. You could get an entire meal, take one bite, throw it all away, and get another one. This was not routine, but did happen occasionally. This was a community hospital that, you know, earns money.
At the university hospital now, we get $100 a month for all months. Granted, this is more than some, but still won't cover a month of q4 inpatient medicine unless you only eat lunch. Remember, it is less than $4 a day for the month when you only get 4 days off. Because they charge inane prices for everything, a meal with ice water (not even bottled), one side, and one entree costs more than this.
The biggest beef is that it doesn't roll over. So if you have a month of outpatient stuff, you're never in the hospital, so the money goes away. Unless, that is, you go on the last day of the month and clean them out of diet mountain dew. Or so I have heard.
There are no places for us to get free stuff at any point in the hospital. Patient nourishment is locked up, no sodas, ice cream, sandwiches, anything. So you either bring it in or you buy it.
 

Winged Scapula

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RE: monies "rolling-over"

This is an important factor that is often not considered.

Our money was reduced from $100 a month (and this was in the old days when we were in the hospital a lot) to $50 because admin said we weren't using it all. They neglected to involve us in the discussion and they did not take into account the months at the VA (where we got no subsidy and paid out of pocket for food), months at the community hospital (where we got meal cards, but the cafeteria was only open 8 hours per day and closed for the night at 630 pm, so you often didn't eat) or other rotations outside of the university hospital.
 

dragonfly99

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We got food money based on how many call nights we had in the year. So interns got more than 2nd and 3rd year medicine residents, which seems fair to me. I think we only got $4-5/meal, calculated based only on our days of call. However, I found that since I never got to eat 3 meals/day on call days, the money pretty much lasted until the end of the year...or at least until the last month. We also got a lot of free lunched during noon educational conferences.

In my experience, how well fed you are as a resident has much to do with the richness vs. poverty of the hospital where you train. I interviewed for medicine at a state U hospital and was shocked that they had basically no free food...well Ok there were some cold cuts in the resident lounge. The free food and/or meal points, if present, can make your life much nice and add up to several hundred dollars/year or more, so it's worthwhile asking about it when you interview (ask the residents, NOT the PD or other interviewers).

To the OP - I suspect your hospital is financially strapped, so good luck with getting them to change whatever decision they have made. I'm sorry, though.
 

buckley

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We get about a 100 usd per call month. None if it's an elective month. I think you guys should also be comparing salaries. I mean, maybe that's factored in the salary already.
 
B

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$6/7 per meal at the university hospital and community hospital here, respectively; no free food at the children's or county hospital; a small handful of meal tickets for the VA and private hospital.

But at the community and private hospital we have access to the physicians' dining area, which is all-you-can-eat for free!
 

dpmd

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We have a limited amount according to our contract (I forget how much it says), but in reality they let us have unlimited meals. They do have some exceptions-we can get the regular coffee but not the fancy coffee, and they recently started bringing in fresh blueberries and raspberries, and decided they wouldn't let us get them on our cards. They have been looking at the amount that we have been spending and there is some talk of cracking down (people have been known to grocery shop-they scrutinize bills larger than $15). I have to admit I have stocked up on sodas and chips for a camping weekend or party, and I had cookie time with the ICU staff almost every day when I was on my SICU rotation. Hot meals are only available from 6:30 to 8 for breakfast, 11:30 to 1:30 for lunch, and 4:30 to 6:30 for dinner. Drinks, coffee, baked goods, and prepackaged snacks, salads, and sandwiches are available from 6:30 until 6:30 and not a second later (come late and everything is locked up). We have access to a fridge with drinks and occasionally it is stocked with food for overnight, and the patient nourishment rooms are accessible for us to steal from as well.

Our salary is among the lowest out there, so that probably contributes to some of the dining card abuse (either out of actual need, or just out of a sense of entitlement).
 

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Our residents at the university hospital (where they only rotate - the Shriners hospital is physically attached) get unlimited money on their cards, and their cards work in the cafeteria and Subway/Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks. At the outside hospitals (2 community and one standalone ED), the attendings get free food all of the time in the cafeterias when they are open, and one community hosp and the standalone have well-stocked physician lounges (so much so, that the nurses say we need to "go shopping" for them). I'm still pushing for macadamias, though.

At Duke, we got $7/day valid from 7am-3am (use it or lose it), which would cover lunch and dinner. It was supposed to be for "on call", but, for us in the ED, or the upper level surgery residents that had gone to 12-hour shifts for certain services, it wasn't monitored or limited if you went in every night. This was 2 1/2 years ago, and I'm confident that it has increased appropriately.
 

KidDr

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Our residents at the university hospital (where they only rotate - the Shriners hospital is physically attached) get unlimited money on their cards, and their cards work in the cafeteria and Subway/Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks. At the outside hospitals (2 community and one standalone ED), the attendings get free food all of the time in the cafeterias when they are open, and one community hosp and the standalone have well-stocked physician lounges (so much so, that the nurses say we need to "go shopping" for them). I'm still pushing for macadamias, though.

At Duke, we got $7/day valid from 7am-3am (use it or lose it), which would cover lunch and dinner. It was supposed to be for "on call", but, for us in the ED, or the upper level surgery residents that had gone to 12-hour shifts for certain services, it wasn't monitored or limited if you went in every night. This was 2 1/2 years ago, and I'm confident that it has increased appropriately.
unlimited $$ to spend at Starbucks? how does the hospital not go bankrupt?
 

cali-ob

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we have no physician's dining room....though I sure wish we did.
interns get $650/year for food, second years, $300, third years $250 for "on call" meals. But you can use it whenever you like, problem is, if you use it for anything more than dinner while on call, that money will be gone in less than 3 months.
 

Drawing Dead

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At my base hospital we get tickets, worth $5 a piece, one for every call day of the month. On a rotation with no call, no meal tickets (EM, outpt. sx, etc.) The ironic thing is our call is night float, usually 7p-7a, but the cafe is open from 7a-7p with their breaks in between meals (guess we can eat dinner if we come in early and breakfast post call). There is soup and soda in the doctors lounge.

At some of our EM sites, which are a little more profitable, there usually is hot food, soda, and stuff like that in the doctors lounge.
 

Dr. V

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Free and unlimited at 2 of our hospitals but hours of operation are like 6a to 7p with some down time in between for clean up etc. The downside is if you are busy and miss closing time it's hard to find other food.

The VA we can eat free at the DOM if you can handle it.

One hospital uses meal tickets that are bought by the respective departments from food services. They are based on amount of call. The problem with this is food services has figgured this out and refuse to round AND have greatly increased prices. If you buy a meal there it will always be 6.40 or something like that and you a have to give them 7 (did I mention no change, cha ching for the food service). It's a complete racket and I hope this group goes bankrupt (the last ones that had the food service did a good job and the food was reasonably priced, this group it's hard to get lunch for less than 7 bucks).

Not that it costs me anything but it is the fact that they are taking advantage of the situation and intentionally fleecing the residency programs.
 

randomedstudent

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I need help! The GMEC (graduate med ed committee) is screwing with the meal points for the residents in my program. They've demanded numbers from other programs.

Anybody get free meals at their program, how do they do it? How much do you get? I'd love the info.

And no our cheap little hospital only has cereal and tomato juice in the lounge. MMMM!

I'm at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida.
No free meals for us either. Our program used to help us out by allowing drug reps to bring meals for didactics and other meetings but now that has been snuffed out as well. So, no free food what-so-ever.