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Urology Residency hours and practice hours

Discussion in 'Urology' started by Anatomist, Sep 28, 2006.

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  1. Anatomist

    Anatomist Junior Member Partner Organization 2+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2006
    SDN Partner
    I've heard all kinds of horror stories about residency programs making residents work up to 110 to 120 hours per week (still in 2006) in general surgery and most of those sub-specialties (although the actual reported hours for the programs may only be 80 by doing some questionable accounting of hours or pressuring residents to report lower hours).

    What's the scoop on hours for Urology? I'm looking for hours during residency and afterwards. Do the hours vary by year of residency? Are there any/most/few/no programs that actually follow the 80-hour guidelines?
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  3. Chizwheel

    Chizwheel Urology Resident 5+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2006
    First off, if you pick a residency based on how many hours they work, you are in for a lifetime of misery and regret.

    That being said, to answer your question, all urology programs require 1-2 years of general surgery before starting your urology residency. During these years, its probably inevitable that you will work around 100 hrs a week. Some programs are better than others and a lot depends on how busy the hospital is. Places with a high volume may require you to work over 80 hrs and other places that are lower volume may be able to maintain the 80 hr guideline.

    Once you are past your general surgery year(s), the actual residency is still kinda rough. Most residents that I know usually get to the hospital around 5:00 am to 6:30 am and stay until around 5:00 - 6:00 pm at night. And most have to work weekends too with usually one day off a week.

    The glory stories you hear about a urologists lifestyle are usually after the residency is over. In general, I dont think any surgical specialty has an "easy" residency. But to re-emphasize my initial point, don't pick a specialty based on the number of hours they have to work. It's extremely short sighted and a terrible career move.
  4. jsaul

    jsaul Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    if you don't want to work then don't go into that specialty--- it's easy as that...
  5. tugbug

    tugbug Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    Hey fellas - your med school interviews are over. You don't have to impress anyone by bashing people who ask about work hours or pay anymore... So, how bout you save your stories about handing out condoms to african orphans and help answer legitimate questions.

    To the OP, I agree that work hours in residency are something to consider. My 2cents, but only from talking to residents since I'm still in med school - the general surgery intern year is pretty rough wherever you go (reportedly), and those that I've talked to do more than 80 hrs. The Urology 4 years also sound pretty busy, but supposedly benefit from a relatively healthy population (=easier call and call from home often)... and so, are less onerous than a gen surgery residency. Plus, having spoken with a bunch of folks in each, Urology types seem to be more laid back than other surg specialties...
  6. sponch

    sponch Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Palo Alto, CA
    It's definitely worth considering the amount of time you will work once you finish training as the above poster noted. However, the other poster above is also correct in pointing out that you really ought not to pick a career based on work hours alone. Take into consideration the type of people you like to work with (peers and patients), the science of the field, reimbursement, and lifestyle, and anything else you feel is important to your happiness.

    That being said, urologists generally do not work as many hours as their general surgeon colleagues. And their call is not as tough owing to the fact that fewer of their patients end up in the ICU and many of their procedures are outpatient or require only overnight observation postoperatively.

    That's not to say that they have it easy. No surgical field has a great lifestyle the way derm or rad onc have a great lifestyle. On average, they work about 60 hours a week. That's 12 hours a day for 5 days. 6am-6pm monday through friday. You'll have a hard time making any of your kid's baseball games or afterschool activities with those hours. It is not an "easy" life.

    It is true also that urology is more laid back, but that's not really from not having to work as hard or as much. It's just the type of personality that goes into a field where you have to work with piss and genitals. You've got to have a good sense of humor.

    About general surgery. There are many programs out there that "comply on paper". No program is going to come straight out and admit to this, you have to go by secondary markers of noncompliant programs. Observe closely the residents during your interview. Are most of them available to answer your questions? Do they look well rested? Are they grumpy? Are their eyes sunken? Are there big ole dark bags under their eyes? Do they start cursing when their pager goes off? Do they scoff at questions about work hours? Some will try to mislead you and tell you how great their program is, but it is rare to find someone who just worked a 100+ hour week that will CONVINCINGLY tell you that they love their program. Read their body language. Trust your gut in these situations.

    Don't accept anything less than a direct, unqualified "Yes, we comply with the work hours regulations". Most people will have difficulty answer giving you a straight up lie, so they will try to talk around the issue or give a vague answer. If the residents hesitate, hedge, or are less than direct, there is shadiness going on and you should be careful and dig deeper. Ask multiple residents. Ask the students you meet on the interview trail who go to that school or people who've rotated through there.

    Another thing I've heard about is that people will work at the hospital for 80 hours and comply that way but end up bringing home a lot of their busy work...such as charting, dictations, etc., etc. I think this is a gray area, but 80 hours in the hospital + 20 hrs at home doing work you would normally do at the hospital but had to leave because of work hours feels like 100 hours to me...
  7. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 11, 2002
  8. DMedicineMAN


    Dec 21, 2007
    Urology residency is very hard and tough in Ain Shams univeristy, It is like the army camp, 1st 6 month you are not allowed to leave the department, then as you get promoted you become more free until you finished residency, Seniorty is put in mind, no excuse to mistakes and if you do there is punshiment, not mention the long hours of work from 8 am until 2 am and maybe to continue till the following day without sleep, but despite all that you get to learn and become an excellent surgeon if you are keen to learn, I wonder if what I mention happens in every urology resident in every part of the world
  9. discontinuebed

    discontinuebed 2+ Year Member

    Aug 16, 2007
    So they beat their residents? Fascinating.
  10. Knight_MD

    Knight_MD Member 5+ Year Member

    May 27, 2006
    Yeah, they "beat" their residents. Then an evil prince lands from his castle and swings his sword to slice off the resident's fingers. After that he jumps on his camel - I mean flying carpet- and he's off to marry the princess.

    Hopefully you've realized that I was just mocking your hollywood-based projection of the ME. So seriously, the "punishment" is no OR time, a lot of dirty-work, and paper work.
  11. sponch

    sponch Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Palo Alto, CA
    there's a misconception that urology residency is easy. it's not. we work just as hard as any of the other surgery programs. the difference is that most of our attendings and residents are chill people. that makes life so much more tolerable when you're working 100 hours a week.
  12. shadow998877


    Aug 14, 2011
    Nice to see a voice of reason every now and then

    Its perfectly ok to ask about hours and pay, especially for all those with a family- in such a case, it should be one of the most important aspects to consider when deciding
  13. alpha2716

    alpha2716 Banned Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2013

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