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Is anyone else exhausted?

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by Tigger14, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. Tigger14

    Tigger14 Ready to move
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    I am becoming tired of being tired. Just when I am far enough away from a call night to start feeling human again, another one is there. Coming home so exhausted that I don't remember getting home, and can't get past my couch before passing out has gotten old. I love my specialty, and am excited for fellowship, but I am wondering how I will get through another two years of this. I was on call Friday, and slept through most of Saturday, and today until noon. And it all starts again tomorrow...
    :(
     
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  2. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    I've been told it takes 2 or 3 years (!) to get over the chronic fatigue of residency. Sometimes I don't remember what it feels like to be well-rested; trouble is, my body won't allow me to sleep long periods so I don't know if I'll ever feel better. :(
     
  3. OP
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    Tigger14

    Tigger14 Ready to move
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    It did not help that I came back from vacation (a cruise, of all the relaxing things :D ) to a 92 hour work week. This week I had 70 to help balance it, but one extra afternoon off is not enough.

    Kimberli, I think you are finishing a surgical fellowship... how was the transition? I am hoping that being in a new place with new people in my subspecialty will help allay some of the fatigue. Maybe I am just giving myself false hope, though. :(

    Also, while I can sleep long periods, I have been suffering from call insomnia... even if it is quiet, I can't fall asleep in the call room anymore.:mad:
     
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  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Vacation is the worst - never take it because its just so awful coming back to work!!! ;) Call insomnia is common - I think it true that you cannot sleep fully while on call because your body keeps you surfing right under the sleep clouds. I moonlighted yesterday - 24 hrs and 4 pages (and 2 of those were some of the nurses calling to say "hi" when they saw the call schedule). I could have slept right through the night, but of course I couldn't/didn't so am tired today. But at least I was paid for the inconvenience.

    I have to say being in a place where I am validated on a daily basis makes things better, as well as not having to do any in-house call. But then I am doing SOMETHING every hour of the day when I'm there - more productive obviously, but it can be more tiring. Different kind of tired than the on-call/off-call/pre-call/on-call cycle.

    It was hard moving to a new place where I didn't know anyone, had to leave a beautiful, large apartment for a tiny closet several hundred dollars/month more and to fight traffic and bad moods everyday. But that is OUTSIDE work...for the first time in the last several years, work is the least stressful part of my day. I love the people I work with, the hospital and the patients. Its just New Jersey I hate! ;)

    I would agree that if you are in a stressful environment, the body's natural reaction is to try and escape that and that you should feel better in a new environment, especially if you are surrounded with people you like and share something in common. BUT, I do think it still has to be a fairly nurturing environment (as much as is possible in medicine) to help you feel emotionally and physically better.

    Now that I am finalizing my look for an attending job, there's more stress and I find I am more physically fatigued again. I worry about making a mistake, that I sign a contract and the PERFECT (as if) job comes up the next month, and of course, having to start all over in a new place. I think if I had still had an SO it might be easier...but there's something to be said for independence and doing it on your own, right?

    Anyway, your new environment may prove to be easier on your, but it depends on the environment. As I've mentioned before, my ex had it pretty easy during residency, but his fellowship was horrendous - days and nights of non-stop work, emotionally and physically draining, lots of alcohol and tobacco (and perhaps drug) abuse amongst his colleagues, and a sense that no matter what you did, it didn't make a difference because there was always some other 15 year old in your trauma bay with a bullet in his spine.

    Sorry for the downer, but as you can see...change of venue isn't always better.
     
  5. scrubbedin

    scrubbedin Junior Member
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    I'm totally burned out. I'm 8.5 months into surgical residency, no vacation yet. With the exception of 1 Friday-Sunday weekend in September and 1- 3 day weekend at the holidays (which I had to take q2 for a week to get), I havent spent more than 48 hours away from the hospital in 8 months. I'm on my third month of straight q3. My current rotation is killing me, all the extra work - presentations, a paper I'm writing, are just wearing down on me to the point of complete nervous breakdown. Literally, I competely lost it the other day, my husband was ready to commit me.
    Hang in there, we all go through it. I'm taking a 1 hour mental health break by cruising the web right now. Do what you have to do to stay sane...it has to get better, right? It cant get any worse...
     
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    Tigger14

    Tigger14 Ready to move
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    There is stress here, but the greatest part of it right now is studying for the board exam (thank G*d it is in August and not October any more!), selling my house and looking for a new house. I am moving back closer to my family and a cluster of friends... many are still scattered. However, my new town is still a new place. I also do not have an SO right now, and it definitely made it easier to apply, interview and rank programs. Also it makes it easier to buy a house... only one persons quirks have to be considered. :rolleyes:

    The rumors about my new program are good, so I am excited. Plus, Ann Arbor is supposed to be a lot of fun... when I am not at work and can see it. However, vascular has a terrible reputation for work hours, which I knew going in. We'll see if and how much endovascular has affected that. :scared:

    Thank you for the advice... most of our grads go into private practice, so I don't have anyone on whom to bounce fellowship questions. One of my co-chiefs is in the interviewing phase for an attending position, so I know there is stress with that, too.
     
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  7. OP
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    Tigger14

    Tigger14 Ready to move
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    Good grief, what happened to the 80 hour rules? Although I do not agree with how they are managed, they are supposed to prevent this kind of abuse and burn out, and I do agree with that.
     
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  8. GATC

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    From what I have noticed, the 80 hour restriction is just a joke. It is all politics. Most of my friends in residency work well over 80 hours and are told by their programs to lie. It is just very unfortunate.
     
  9. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Ann Arbor is a great town, with lots of college life things to do. Of course, you made a mistake choosing Vascular ;) so you won't have any free time to enjoy all of those things!!

    I came from the opposite environment where everyone does a fellowship so it was hard for one of my colleagues to negotiate the road to private practice. But he figured it out, just as I am trying to do so now after fellowship.

    Although the experience described above is startling, I'm not suprised when people report violating the 80 hrs; what does suprise me is when programs that regularly violate it pass RRC inspection and when the ACGME reports that the vast majority of programs are in compliance yet the Committee for Interns and Residents reports the opposite. Its a farce.
     
  10. LaCirujana

    LaCirujana Smoking Gun
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    So Tigger14's our new vascular fellow, eh?:)

    The vascular crew at U of M are a really, really good bunch of surgeons and they do some pretty amazing cases, but the fellows do work pretty hard when they aren't on endovascular or at the VA.

    Ann Arbor, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired, if you ask me, although I know plenty of other folks like it just fine. To each his own, I suppose. Bienvenito!
     
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  11. OP
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    Tigger14

    Tigger14 Ready to move
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    Good to hear. I am excited to see a new place. :)
     
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