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Random question about On-Call

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Transformers, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. Transformers

    Transformers 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    Soooo question on my surgery rotation...the policy at my school is if you are on-call you get the next day off. The week of the shelf schedule basically (shelf is friday and we get thursday off) is Mon-work + on-call; Tues-OFF; Wed-work and then the mandatory Thurs-OFF

    Technically, we have 2 days off for a rotation....I don't personally want to work on that Wed, it would be awesome to just have 3 consecutive days of shelf prep. Any recommendations on getting that Wed off without impacting me negatively (i.e.- just take a sick day?)...I think bottomline, people agree that a continuity of study days is pretty nice and it just to have that one disruptive day of work.
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  3. physicsnerd42

    physicsnerd42 Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 25, 2006
    Just show up to your rotation on Wednesday. You're supposed to be there, so be there. Using a "sick day" when you're not sick is dishonest, and may count against you anyway in the surgeons' minds.
    mvenus929 likes this.
  4. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Is your call monday night even a true overnight call? Or just that you stay late?

    Are other students taking the week off to study?
  5. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Chief Administrator Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    We know when your shelf exams are and what your schedule is. If you call in sick the day or two before an exam I'll assume you're faking even if you aren't. You can believe that most residents and attendings will view that negatively.
    Sorry but unless your entire class has two days off before the exam I see no reason why you should get special favors.
  6. TooMuchResearch

    TooMuchResearch i'm goin' to Kathmandu... Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2008
    Townsville, USA
    Days off before a test? We don't routinely do that at my school. Don't call in sick.
  7. Transformers

    Transformers 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    Well I'm not here to argue because I definitely agree with your point of answer...

    My class does not get the day off but at the same time- during the rotation- we can get 2 days off (i.e.- people go to a wedding) in my case, I would like to grind out straight (heck I'll even work an extra Sunday if I have to) and use it to study for the shelf- I think a valid reason in my opinion and it totally sucks to have to stand in the OR for a day vs. valuable study time. Bottomline, different residents/attendings have different views, some will say no problem and other traditional, conservative nazis will use that negatively.

    Big picture wise- I am sure we can all agree that while I am not saying cramming helps- a continuity of a few study days to form patterns/bang out qbank is helpful
  8. Raryn

    Raryn Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist Physician 7+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2008
    Many I know/knew would say no problem, don't come in if you don't want... and ding you anyway. The purpose of your clinical experience is to gain clinical experience. Study for the test on your own time.

    That said, if you mention when you come in that day that it was your last non-test day of the rotation, chances are most people would let you go early. But don't ask.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  9. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Chief Administrator Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    I think the issue may be a difference of opinion about the purpose of Clinical Rotations.

    From the attending POV, the purpose is to expose you to the field (the good, the bad and the ugly), hone your general clinical skills and to teach you some valuable specialty specific skills and knowledge which you can use in your field of choice (presumed not to be our field).

    From the student POV, the purpose (or rather "goal") of rotations is to get the best evaluation and grade, much of which may come from the shelf exam. This is akin to the common student belief that the goal of medical school is to become <insert specialty X> rather than produce a solid foundation of medical knowledge.

    Therefore, while I understand the desire to have 2 solid days of clinical duty free study time, its not my goal for your rotation, nor is it my responsibility for you to do well on the shelf exam. As noted in the response above, you are expected to study on "your own time". This was the case when I was a minimum wage earning pre-med researcher and expected to write papers in addition to my work duties unpaid after hours and it was the expectation when I was a medical student and resident. When I need to study for board exams now, I take (unpaid time) off work and study in the evenings and on weekends. So its not being a "Nazi" to expect that; its (frankly) just the way it is. We have different goals and priorities.

    Now do I really care if you miss a day of rotation to study? Of course not (presuming you had been a good, hard working student the rest of the month). Would I advise you to ask to have the day off? Nope. The above advise is reasonable: if you just happen to let it drop that your shelf is on X date and today is my last clinical day ("so I want to make sure all our goals for this rotation are met before I leave"), many faculty would pick up on that hint and let you go early if there wasn't much worthwhile going on.

    Finally, why not just ask to switch your call night from Monday to Tuesday? That way you'd be off post-call on Wednesday and Thursday before the exam.

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