Intern-To-Be Venting Session

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by raspberry swirl, May 13, 2007.

  1. raspberry swirl

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    i need a forum to vent some serious frustrations, and since this is the only forum i partake in ... lucky you guys :oops:

    i have recieved next to no information from my soon-to-be residency program. on match day, i recieved an email congratulating me, telling me i'd recieve a packet in the mail at the end of april, which would include housing information among other things, and would be hearing from the chief resident shortly. well its been 2 months since then, i've never heard from a chief resident, and i have recieved a total of one envelope from my program, which contained 3 papers - a contract, a background check form, and a urine tox form. i took care of all 3 things and waited for more information to roll in. nothing did. i eventually contacted the residency coordinator with a housing question, she directed me to a website and gave me the housing person's contact email. lo and behold once i accessed the information, i discovered i only had a few days to get it in!

    when i questioned my residency coordinator about this, i could never get a firm answer as to whether or not i was supposed to know about it earlier or not. i brushed it aside, as i did manage to get everything in time, and just choose not to worry about it. however, i emailed her a few weeks later asking about ACLS credentialing, and she was like, well its in your packet and on the website. ok, there was nothing in the packet about credentialing. and then when i go back to the stupid website, i do find the credentialling information. the class is an entire week before orientation - i never would have known about it if i hadn't asked.

    so i decide to poke around and see what else appears to be on the website. there's a crapload of stuff i have to do! i mean, im sure you guys know, you all had to do it, all these forms, and papers, and official documents they require. i never would have known about it if i hadn't asked or hadn't snooped around. not to mention, the freaking white coat form was due April 6th. umm, i hadn't recieved anything from my program until late april, so how the hell was i supposed to know about that?? it apparently takes 8 weeks to get the white coats ordered, so i guess i can forget about having one of those when i start.

    im just really annoyed because i have asked and asked and asked why i haven't gotten any info, and what do i need to do, is there someone else i should be contacting, etc., and i have gotten NO INFORMATION from anyone, and now im way behind on getting stuff in. i wonder what would have happened if i had never asked, and was still sitting here twiddling my thumbs. i have asked for the email of my chief resident several times and haven't gotten it. i would love the emails of my fellow incoming interns so i can ask them what the hell is going on, but i can't seem to get that either.

    im just feeling sort of overwhelmed and frustrated, and worried that there are important things that im not taking care of, things more serious than a white coat, that wil delay my start. and im mad that im ASKING and NO ONE is helping me AT ALL. i have emailed my residency coordinator so many times, i feel like i have hit a wall and i dont even feel like dealing with her anymore. im going to have to deal with her for 4 more years, and she probably already can't stand me. i dont want to go over her head and email my program director, but he's the only other person whose contact info i have. i feel like they do this every year, it should be a science by now. and maybe it is a science, and my envelope was just missing the letter that said "refer to the website and fill out every single form you find". i dunno. anyone else feel totally seriously completely absolutely in the dark????
     
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  3. goldennugget

    goldennugget Junior Member
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    Raspberry,
    I'm really sorry to hear you have to go through this whole ideal. I totally think that the program should be totally on top of things in terms of letting you know what you need to turn in. Simply telling you to look on the website definitely does not suffice.
    My suggestion is to contact the program director directly. I don't think its going over your head because you are going to be working with this person after all at least sometime in the next four years. An email may serve the purpose, but if possible I think a direct phone call can be better, especially knowing that you are short in time, and it might be a good chance to calmly tell your grievances; an email wouldn't be as good for this purpose.
    If I were you, I would tell the program director what you have been going through as long as you can remain cool and calm. After all, as a future intern, you totally have the right to give feedback, and its their job to respond (at least try to).
    And like you said, you will be working with these people for the next four years, but if you can try to give them benefit of a doubt- maybe there is some miscommunication. maybe there are soem other really pressing matters that unfortunately, made them put your questions on the back burner. After letting them rectify the situation (and hopefully they do), let byegones be byegones, because you don't want to step into your residency not trusting certain people from day 1.
    I wish you the best of luck.
     
  4. prominence

    prominence Senior Member
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    i feel for u swirl. i rotated at beth israel as a third year med student, and it was ridiculous how disorganized the psych dept was in general. i was so turned off, i didn't even bother applying there (despite the great location of the program).

    i hope this incident was just an aberration for u, and i wish u the best of luck! things will hopefully be clearer once u begin residency.
     
  5. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    This type of thing in most programs--the organization is up to 3 people. The Chief Resident, the Program Coordinator (aka the secretary of the dept) & the Program Director.

    I hate saying this but I've seen several programs fall under this trap and it seems to happen more often in psyche.

    My theory as to why this happens is psyche is more laid back and has fewer residents in general per program. Compare that to IM where there's plenty of residents who want to be Chief for fellowship purposes (their field is more competitive), where as in psyche, many residents end up being Chief because someone had to do the job.

    My first year, my Chief was someone who just had a baby and couldn't care less about the position. I think she was also a little schizoid. She had a reputation among the staff as not being a good resident on top of that. She was only picked because the other residents who were considered good that were in her year left to do child psyche.

    The program wasn't going to make a 3rd year Chief when there was a 4th year available because they felt it would be insulting to her.

    This Chief blew and a lot of good things the program used to do fell by the wayside under her leadership.

    Anyways, you're also in a precarious position because if you complain--you'll be complaining to people who are above you in several aspects and you don't know if they're the type to have an open mind to such things. Some programs tolerate complaints, others go after complainers and make their lives tough.
     
  6. Danica

    Danica Hit the road Jack
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    Everything is relative.
    I wish I had a residency and your problems. I would be ecstatic..
     
  7. maranatha

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    Hey raspberry swirl,

    I totally feel for you--that is just a sucky way to start. :(

    I second whopper's advice above and think it may be safer to not bring it up until you're in the program and get a good feel for who's who and what the dynamics are like.

    Best of luck!
     
  8. raspberry swirl

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    ohhh great. i was afraid this might be a foreshadowing of things to come :( ... but i did get a PM from someone who said he or she just found out about all the forms on friday, so im mildly comforted that its not my fault :rolleyes: i just feel like sending your new interns all the forms along with a checklist would be a pretty easy thing to do ... oh well. breath, stretch, shake, let it go ....
     
  9. Dramkinola

    Dramkinola Psychiatry Resident
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    just curious... what program is it? or at least what state?
     
  10. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    In my own program--people can feel free to openly vent so long as its constructive. There's also an oppurtunity to vent once a year--anonymously. The residents all get together with the program secretary and she repots to the attendings the complaints--anonymously.

    And several of the attendings really do take the complaints seriously. If residents aren't satisifed they can lodge a complaint to GME and GME takes these very seriously. So seriously in fact that doing so is considered a "nuclear" option because it really makes the dept look bad in front of GME.

    I really love my program for that reason. Its not a program where residents are brutalized, pimped or overworked.

    However the one thing that has bugged me about my program and I'm thinking this is prevalent in several psyche programs is we've had some bad chiefs in the past. I think this happens as I mentioned because psyche programs are in general small, and when you have a large program (e.g. IM with over 50 residents) you'll get several residents competing for the position. In psyche--since its small, there's a significant chance the person who became Chief only became so out of seniority & no other factor.

    Add to that-my program is spread over 3 hospitals-the residents into 2 teams--so you get 2 chiefs. From my own team we only have about 9 residents. That significantly cuts down the chances you'll get someone from the senior class that actually wants to be chief.

    How this affected me? The Chief my 1st year would put me on call on the same without any advance warning, she promised me vacation days that she conveniently forgot about, she gave favoritism to residents on the call days they wanted (and these residents were doing far worse work), and she didn't help us out or teach us in to getting used to the job when we first started out.

    I'm going to be the chief the upcoming year, and I'm going to sincerely try to do a good job (and I have years of experience doing executive work), but I'd bet good money that within 2-3 years we'll get a bad chief again.
     
  11. raspberry swirl

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    whopper you will be an excellent chief. anyone that takes the time to voluntarily give advice to total (sometimes stupid) strangers is bound to treat well the poor saps in his own program :) i dont know who my chief is, but i'd really like to hear from him or her! i finally bit the bullet and just called my residency coordinator on the phone today. she was really nice and spent nearly an hour on the phone with me going over everything. which was awesome, but still doesn't explain what would have happened if i hadn't taken the initiative. (hmm maybe this is a screening tool?? self selection??)

    as far as what program, if you'd been paying attention, you'd already know ... regardless, i dont want anyone to form a negative opinion of the program from this post (i had no intention of mentioning it - prominence did that for me...my purple font can be a total killer sometimes!). i haven't even been there yet! and who knows, maybe its me, if you've read any of my other posts, you all already know i can be a bit of a flake :rolleyes:
     
  12. littlepurplepil

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    I feel for ya RS - I hate not knowing what is/should be going on! My program has been great with communication, thankfully :oops: However they require a physical exam 4wks before starting to get the paperwork done on time, and the exam has to be done by their people, which means I get to spend my own (quickly depleting) money on cross-country airfare, hotel, and car rental :mad: It's frustrating b/c I had budgeted out enough funds for my many interviews & living expenses this spring, and now I get this unexpected added expense! And they don't reimburse for ACLS so I have to eat that too.

    Oh well....grass is always greener, huh? :rolleyes:
     
  13. Adam_K

    Adam_K Indentured
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    They're making you fly cross-country for your physical on your own expense? That's highly unprofessional.
     
  14. raspberry swirl

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    unfortunately i think thats pretty customary - i have to go to new york for a physical to be done by employee health as well. and my boyfriend has to do it for his program too. its another flight, another hotel room, more crap ... i dont understand why it can't be done by my current doctor. its just a form, whats the big deal?
     
  15. Adam_K

    Adam_K Indentured
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    Actually, it shows how little regard some residency programs have for their residents to be.

    Did they specifically let you know prior to the match that they would require you to do this?

    In the corporate world, where employment offers may equally be contingent on passing a physical, I've never heard of the employee paying for cross-country travel expenses associated with the physical. It just isn't done.

    Typically, the company will have a contracted physician complete the physical locally or will pay for travel expenses (think: professional sports).

    And, the fact that they demand it 30 days ahead of time (making it difficult to combine with other business of yours) adds insult to injury.

    If I were you, I would straight up tell them that this presents a financial hardship to you and they have the following choices:

    • you'll be happy to complete the physical at a time closer to the start date when you have already moved
    • or they can choose a contract physician locally to you (anybody doing occupational medicine can do this)
    • or they can pay your travel expenses

    Should they not budge (and not have mentioned this requirement in its entirety prior to the match) you always have the option of reporting them to the NRMP.
     
  16. jjbmsiv

    jjbmsiv INTJ
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    At Maryland/Sheppard we get to do our physicals the Friday before our orientation week begins. I don't know why other programs don't take a similar approach. *shrugs* I definitely second the notion that you should notify your program about this "financial hardship" (which is _no_ joke), and do everything you can to make them relent.
     
  17. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    You all might want to jot these things down for next interview season, so when an applicant asks you "Were there any negative surprises about starting residency here?" you have something to say!

    (This assumes that the programs don't replace you with "Stepford residents" during interview season, and lock you up in a basement storage closet next to the morgue!) :smuggrin:
     
  18. raspberry swirl

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    i think its pretty stupid that they just dont build the phsyicals into orientation somehow ...

    and since we're in a beefing mode, my other beef is that i have to be present on june 23 and 24 for acls ... our orientation doesn't actually begin until june 28th, and outgoing residents dont have to move out until june 30th - therefore many apts wont be ready to move in until after july 1st. which means im going to have to crash with friends, stay in a hotel, or who knows. THIS was something i really wish i had known during interviewing, because the cheaper rent almost isnt worth the hassle of trying to start my internship living out of a suitcase in my friends apt in queens and having someone in my family move all my furniture down 2 weeks later:mad:
     
  19. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    I don't think this will help you at all, but travel expenses for the job are tax deductible.

    I don't see what the big deal is on their part. They made me do this during orientation at my own program. That way I was already there to begin with, and didn't have to do any out of the way travelling.

    Anyways, I hope things work out better for you when the program starts for real. Hopefully they will be open to hearing your constructive criticism and make improvements.
     

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