gotrumpet

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Out of curiosity, what is the lifestyle during residency like?

I mean call, and the hours per week.
 

Fab5Hill33

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This question has been asked and answered in more detail in the past, so you might want to use the search feature. But to sum up my PGY-2 experience thus far: its much MUCH busier than most med students think. The number of studies being ordered just keeps increasing and the amount of info you have to know is unbelievable. Most significantly (for me) you can't leave your work at the hospital. At home you're constantly trying to keep up in reading. Moreover, you take 3 board exams over 4 years. Bottom line, don't get fooled by the jokes the other MD's make about us going home by 4 pm.

Call for us is ~5nights/month. And its nonstop work. >100 studies (mostly plain films and CTs). Get off by 10-11am next day and you're toast for the rest of the day. Not like Medicine where you can sneak in an hour or two of sleep at least or grab dinner with your team (you're usually all alone on call).

Not trying to scare anyone. But its no picnic, thats for darn sure.

gotrumpet said:
Out of curiosity, what is the lifestyle during residency like?

I mean call, and the hours per week.
 

hans19

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Fab5Hill33 said:
This question has been asked and answered in more detail in the past, so you might want to use the search feature. But to sum up my PGY-2 experience thus far: its much MUCH busier than most med students think. The number of studies being ordered just keeps increasing and the amount of info you have to know is unbelievable. Most significantly (for me) you can't leave your work at the hospital. At home you're constantly trying to keep up in reading. Moreover, you take 3 board exams over 4 years. Bottom line, don't get fooled by the jokes the other MD's make about us going home by 4 pm.

Call for us is ~5nights/month. And its nonstop work. >100 studies (mostly plain films and CTs). Get off by 10-11am next day and you're toast for the rest of the day. Not like Medicine where you can sneak in an hour or two of sleep at least or grab dinner with your team (you're usually all alone on call).

Not trying to scare anyone. But its no picnic, thats for darn sure.
I agree with everything said above. We are on call Q6, its not the frequency that kills you... Its the nonstop barrage of exams ordered when on call. I am post call today and last night, I my pager went off every 5-10 minutes for the majority of the night. I didn't sleep a wink. Even the neurosurg residents can sometimes find an hour of shuteye on call.
Thank got we didn't get hit with any major traumas. Its tough to concentrate at 4 am when you've been at work all day reading and dictating as fast as you can, and you've been up all night. You still have to read with the the same level of concentration-- you can't half-ass anything or you might make a big miss.

When I got done reading out my cases at 10am, I went home and crashed... Woke up at 5pm. A whole post-call day gone by... Oh well.

I think the work level is the same or busier in private practice.
 

Whisker Barrel Cortex

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I think part of this is definitely residency dependent and part depends on the person.

Our call is less frequent than q6d. The first year, we have no overnight call. Instead, we do short call lasting until 9:30pm. That call is plain film only and relatively easy once you get the hang of it. In R-2 year, we start overnight call. This year call will average out to q9d. Next year, about q12d. The seniors q15d for the first half of the year, then none in the second half. The total number of calls is definitely less than surgery, but about equal to the medicine program here for the corresponding years (they have several months of clinic rotations with no call at all, so it averages out the same).

When you are on call, it is usually pretty overwhelming and non-stop. Rarely do you get any sleep. The work requires intense concentration and definitely wears you out the next day.

The part that depends on the person is the number of hours studying. If you were one of those types that didn't study as much as others in medical school and got similar grades, the same will likely apply. I know people that read a couple of hours a night and many that read a little bit here and there. I know I do most of my learning at conferences and at the viewing station while reading out examination.

On average, we probably work on the order of 50-60 hours a week, depending on whether you have a call that week or not. This is significantly less than other residents at our hospital overall.
 

bigfrank

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thanks, very helpful. :)
 

hans19

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Addendum...

I was talking to one of the 4th year residents today, and he said that the volume of studies had gone up astronomically just within the last few years.
As an R1 he could usually catch 3-4 hours of sleep on call, and it wasn't unheard of for upper level residents to get 6-8 hours.

There are stories of the attendings taking the residents out to eat for a two hour lunch on Fridays or going to out to the horse races track once in a while on Friday afternoons.

Apparently rads really used to be a cush specialty, and I missed out on it by just a few years! :mad:
 

BenHoganFan

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We have a night float system and we do weekends every 6-8 weeks. We have short call which averages 2-3 times a month. Conferences are twice a day. We don't get down time to eat - we eat during conference.

The typical day is nonstop where we review exams and read out twice a day. Call is nonstop whether it lasts for 4 hours or 15 hour shift. During call, plain films are constantly flowing in, clinicians calling for ultrasound and CT requests, interpreting CTs are virtually nonstop. It is not like doing medicine or surgery where you may have a break. Even when I had 8 admissions as an intern, I still had some degree of rest. As a radiologist, you are constantly thinking and using your mind every minute of the day.

I read 2-3 hours a night as a first year and 4-6 hours on the weekends. I currently do 1-2 hours a day. Lifestyle as a resident is not easy.

The advantage is not having to deal with patients directly who may have social or mental issues. The worst thing for me is having to do a follow up for thyroid or pulmonary nodules.
 

samsoccer7

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The thing I really disliked about medicine and surgery is actually the downtime and the lollygagging around. I hated being there all day but trying to kill time after lunch if we didn't have surgeries to go into. I would rather work hard while I'm at work and leave and not worry about it.

I'm a 4th yr, but what I think I'll enjoy most about radiology is that, for the most part, YOU dictate your work day unless on call. You don't have to sit around and wait for labs then wait for the pharmacy then wait for the nurse to start an antibiotic. You get to read films, dictate them, and move on. You also don't have to find the social worker, contact the hospital where the patient had their last admission, yada yada. Nothing worse than knowing you need to be home by 5 but not knowing if you'll make it or not until 4:45. That pretty much sums it up for me.
 

BenHoganFan

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samsoccer7 said:
I'm a 4th yr, but what I think I'll enjoy most about radiology is that, for the most part, YOU dictate your work day unless on call. You don't have to sit around and wait for labs then wait for the pharmacy then wait for the nurse to start an antibiotic. You get to read films, dictate them, and move on. You also don't have to find the social worker, contact the hospital where the patient had their last admission, yada yada. Nothing worse than knowing you need to be home by 5 but not knowing if you'll make it or not until 4:45. That pretty much sums it up for me.
The biggest issue for me as a resident is tracking down clinicians for results that need action. For example discovering liver mets and an incidental PE on a follow up chest CT at 4:45 on a Friday Afternoon. Better yet, the request for a pelvic ultrasound on Friday afternoon for a preoperative scan for surgery to be performed on Monday. I love that. Piss poor planning doesn't constitute an emergency on my part. Intellectually though, this specialty is very intriguing. You need to know more than the clinician does about disease and the differential diagnosis. I have also figured out the potential surgical complications which makes me, as a potential patient, very critical of surgical care.