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Vacations, schedules


Senior Member
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15+ Year Member
Dec 31, 2003
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I know this is purely a personal decision, but . . .

Can anyone tell me how they set up their vacation during intern year? I'm just looking for a few different opinions. I thought about taking all my vacation during the second half of the year, but I am not sure if I will get burned out long before then - having never done an internship, I obviously have no idea what to expect!

Also, in terms of schedules - did you ease into your intern schedule or start out with a tougher rotation - and why?



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Feb 1, 2004
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Wow, it sounds like you are getting a lot of autonomy in determining your schedule. If I were you, I would schedule a regular general medicine/surgery/specialty rotation first, so that you will learn how the hospital works, but you will not be overwhelmed. I've heard that the MICU/SICU is the worst place to start in July, especially if you've never worked there before, for obvious reasons. I would schedule your vacation for the second half of the year. I think that it's nice to look forward to something then it is to look back upon something, so hopefully, that will keep you going through the first half. We have to schedule our vacation during elective time, and we were asked when we wanted our vacation, but I put down that I didn't care because it doesn't really matter to me.

Winged Scapula

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Apr 9, 2000
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Yeah, we don't get as much autonomy as you're suggesting either. We can request certain times for vacation (and I would suggest not taking one until Nov/December of your first year, the evenly space them out after that...you generally won't get burned out until half-way through the year so its nice to have something to look forward to after that). The rotation schedule is worked out by the Administrative Chief and while there are some rotations we're required to take vacation on (ie, the Prelims have to take one week as the last week of the year, etc.), if you have more autonomy, schedule the breaks during the rotations you think will be the most painful.
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Finally M3

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Jun 28, 2002
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My hospital has a policy of only allowing you to use your vacation days during elective months. I put down September, December, June. I picked September because I'm gonna travel with my gf (she is taking time off for Step 2 that month), December because I hate working over the holidays, and June for an extra week of vacation to get all my affairs settled before moving.

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