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Post-call exhaustion stories

Vandelay Industries

Full Member
Mar 9, 2014
  1. Resident [Any Field]
    Not to encourage making poor decisions like getting behind a car post-call if you're exhausted...but thought I'd share a funny story of my post-call day and see if anyone else had similar experiences:

    Was feeling pretty decent post-call, so I figured I would run a quirk errand on my way home from the hospital: getting a document notarized at my bank that I had put off for a week. Was feeling a little tired when I pulled up to the bank at like 1030 (and only a few blocks from my house), but otherwise fine. There were a bunch of people waiting to be seen unfortunately, so I checked in at the desk and took a seat between two people. My phone was dead, and there was no TV in the waiting area, so I just leaned my head back on the wall and felt myself relax. Next thing I know, I wake up with a snort (meaning I was probably snoring), to the gentle prodding in my shoulder by the 70yo grandma that I had slumped over on.

    Everyone was staring at me and laughing/smiling. I apologized profusely to the lady (who was very kind), but after I left the bank I was chuckling to myself about how ridiculous it must have looked. I texted a few of my co-residents so they could share a laugh at my expense, and a few had similar stories (one had fallen asleep on the light rail and went like 15 stations past their stop). Anyone else have similar stories of post-call exhaustion?
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    Junior Member
    15+ Year Member
    Nov 16, 2002
    1. Attending Physician
      Attending here...but back when I was a resident in Anesthesiology I worked a 24 hour all-nighter at a busy trauma/transplant center. This wasn't unusual, but for whatever reason I was super tired when I left work. I drove home, lowering the windows to let in super cold air and blasted music to stay awake. I was actually feeling more awake the closer I got to home. I pulled into the garage, put the car in park...and woke up an hour later with the car still running! Fortunately, I had not closed the garage door or I might not be here today relaying this story. From then on, and to this day, if I am exhausted when I'm done with call, I sleep for an hour or two in the call room before driving!
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      Attending iDoc
      10+ Year Member
      Mar 30, 2006
      1. Attending Physician
        Post-call on general surgery during internship in NYC. I probably logged 105-110 hrs/week. I left the hospital post-call around 8AM on a Sunday and drove across the Queensboro Bridge. I got to the stop light x 3rd Avenue in Manhattan. I must have dozed off. Got the patient NYC honk.

        As soon as I woke up, I hit the accelerator, but shocked that the light was still red since I almost hit a pedestrian crossing the street with his groceries.

        When he looked at me in shock/wtf, it turned out that it was Spike Lee.

        Good times in the fall of 2003.
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        Living the dream
        15+ Year Member
        Feb 16, 2004
        Right where I want to be
        1. Attending Physician
          s/p 24 hour call. Car was in the shop that week, so took the train home. Transferred to second train. Got off at my stop. Heard the beeping from the service pager that I forgot to give to the oncoming resident.
          Ohhhh. Oh, that brought back some memories. Worst feeling ever.
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