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Typical Day

Discussion in 'Family Medicine' started by PharmGirl214, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. PharmGirl214

    2+ Year Member

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    I've been considering medical school for awhile now, I'm really interested in family medicine. I have yet to apply for pharm or med school yet, so any information is great. I was just wondering if some people here could answer a few questions. :) (Sorry, but I'm a bit ignorant to the whole system)

    How does the residency for family practice go? How many hours a week do you usually spend and what are your typical duties? How often are you on call?

    And if a physician out of residency is in here, or if anyone knows, could you describe to me the typical day for you?

    I've searched online for information, but it's so general. It'd just be great to hear from people who are actually involved. Thanks!
     
  2. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Fides et ratio.
    Physician Gold Donor Verified Expert Verified Account 10+ Year Member

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    Welcome.

    If you haven't yet done so, I recommend checking out our FAQ and Links pages. There's lots of good, basic info there, and they may answer many of your initial questions.

    There's plenty of room for variation from program to program, but I'll try to paint a general picture. Family medicine residency is three years in length, and involves (typically) month-long rotations through various medicine and specialty services, each with varying workloads and call requirements. Commonly, interns are on-call roughly once every four days. There's generally less call as you move upward in your training. Duties involve supervised (by FM or specialty attendings and upper-level residents) management of patients on the service, with regularly-scheduled didactics (often at lunchtime). During most rotations, you also spend anywhere from 1-4 half-days (depending on year) in the family medicine office seeing your panel of ambulatory patients.

    Again, endless variation is possible here. I'm in a pretty straightforward ambulatory care practice. I see children and adults from 2 weeks of age on up. I don't do OB, and I don't do inpatient. I see patients in the office four days per week (off on Wednesdays) from 8am-5pm, with one hour for lunch (or catch-up, depending on how the morning went). I schedule patients in 15-minute appoiontment slots, with 30 minutes for new patients and physicals, with a max of 5 30-min. slots per day (3 in the AM, 2 in the PM). This works out to around 25 patients per day, on average. A significant chunk of what I do is chronic disease management in adult patients with multiple medical problems, along with preventive medicine visits, acute care, and procedures (typically joint injections and minor dermatology procedures). It's a busy day, but not overwhelming. I precept for our local medical school and residency program, so I'll sometimes have a first- or second-year medical student or a third- or fourth-year FM resident with me in the office, so I get to do some teaching, as well. I take care of the bulk of my chart work, lab/study follow-ups, phone calls, etc. during the course of the workday (in between patients), so by the end of the day I'm usually ready to leave the office by 5:30pm. I'm in a 9-person call group, so call (telephone only) is once every nine weekdays, and once every nine weekends. Call is light enough that you're not really prevented from doing whatever you normally would've done at that time, short of leaving town.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    PharmGirl214

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    This helps a lot, thank you for the info!
     
  4. Dr. Wexler

    Dr. Wexler Member
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    Kent,

    If it is telephone call only, what is preventing you from leaving town? What kind of things do you need to be 'in person' for?
     
  5. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Fides et ratio.
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    There are certain things that the on-call doc could get paged about that may (rarely) require their appearance (e.g., if somebody breaks into the office, we have to meet the cops on scene.) That sort of thing. Plus, if you're on call and for some reason can't be reached, it would look really bad if you were in Bermuda at the time. ;)

    Basically, we've all just agreed that the on-call doc shouldn't leave town. It's easy for us to switch call with each other so we can work around vacations.
     
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