SoCuteMD

10+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2005
8,677
720
No more rounding!
Status
Attending Physician
I used to get through a 12 hour shift with MAYBE a snack size bag of trail mix and I was fine. Pretty hungry by the end, but fine. On a recent shift I found myself RUNNING for food 4 times. I ate:
  • Chicken fingers from the cafeteria
  • Salad brought from home
  • 2 meal bars from home

I was going to skip the 2nd meal bar (it was an hour before my shift ended) but I literally couldn't think straight. I was mixing up two VERY different patients and making a mess of paperwork.

Realizing how much I'm going to have to plan ahead for my 12 hour shifts made me wonder what other people eat to keep going.
 

EM2BE

Elf
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2006
10,622
5
Somewhere over the rainbow
Status
Resident [Any Field]
hahahaha...I was waiting for the "and then I found out I was pregnant." guess that wasn't the problem...
 

Arcan57

Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 21, 2003
2,849
1,277
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
Beef jerky. High sodium load, but if your kidneys can take it then it's pure protein. As a plus, you don't get that rebound hypoglycemia you tend to get with carb heavy bars,etc.
 

diphenyl

Dancing doctor
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2008
294
32
Ca
Status
Attending Physician
I'm blessed w/ a decently high metabolism. I get the same things pretty consistently during the 20 shift a month I work. I usually eat everything at once cus if I don't I'll never come back to it nor sit down the rest of the shift. Recent shift diet includes:

-3 granola bars to tide me over until midshift when I think about heading to the caf (yes I have been known to snack on these while looking at films, lab results, or while watching a colleage w/ an interesting trauma)

-4 large chicken strips w/ tobasco and sweet and sour sauce

-french fry's or a muffin (I'm horrible I know, but it gets worse if they have mac and cheese on the menu)

-1 Large liter bottle of water

-1 Amp energy drink either green tea or black tea
 

southerndoc

life is good
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2002
12,017
995
Atlanta
Status
Attending Physician
I usually make a sandwich at home to take to work. I carry a small cooler with an ice pack in it, 2 Diet Mountain Dews, 2 Fiji waters, a sandwich, a small bag of peanuts/cashews (whatever the mood for the day), and some gum. That's my work arsenal.

Be careful about eating too much on a shift. You may becoming overly stressed and eating to relieve stress. A bad habit to get into. If you find that you're truly hungry, then that's ok. If you find you're eating when stressed, then try to find an alternate way to relieve stress or you may find you'll gain 200 pounds during residency.
 
OP
SoCuteMD

SoCuteMD

10+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2005
8,677
720
No more rounding!
Status
Attending Physician
I usually make a sandwich at home to take to work. I carry a small cooler with an ice pack in it, 2 Diet Mountain Dews, 2 Fiji waters, a sandwich, a small bag of peanuts/cashews (whatever the mood for the day), and some gum. That's my work arsenal.

Be careful about eating too much on a shift. You may becoming overly stressed and eating to relieve stress. A bad habit to get into. If you find that you're truly hungry, then that's ok. If you find you're eating when stressed, then try to find an alternate way to relieve stress or you may find you'll gain 200 pounds during residency.
southerndoc - are you calling me fat? :p
 

bartleby

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2005
447
3
Status
When it comes to eating during an ED shift, you're better off bringing food from home (or at least store-bought stuff) because aside from it typically being healthier than the cafeteria stuff, if I have five minutes, I'd rather spend it wolfing my food down than watching some dude count out the pennies for his chicken fried steak burger with double bacon in the cashier line. Sometimes you're better off eating a sandwich with some substance to it than multiple nibbles of cereal bars.
 

kungfufishing

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2003
1,053
6
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
I usually make a sandwich at home to take to work. I carry a small cooler with an ice pack in it, 2 Diet Mountain Dews, 2 Fiji waters, a sandwich, a small bag of peanuts/cashews (whatever the mood for the day), and some gum. That's my work arsenal.

Be careful about eating too much on a shift. You may becoming overly stressed and eating to relieve stress. A bad habit to get into. If you find that you're truly hungry, then that's ok. If you find you're eating when stressed, then try to find an alternate way to relieve stress or you may find you'll gain 200 pounds during residency.
As though work is ever stressful.

I usually eat one of the prepackaged tuna and crackers things made by chicken of the sea. Only 250 calories, protein, filling, and easy.
 

nymbarra

In flux
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2008
117
1
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I bring a liter of water mixed with Propel, as well as a granola or Cliff bar if I have a chance to eat. This keeps me from getting tired, I'm able to avoid cafeteria food--the saved money goes to my beer fund--and I don't need to spend time to prepare a meal that I might not get to on (the usually) busy 8-10 hour shifts.
 

emedpa

GlobalDoc
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2001
6,014
301
Taking an Away team....
Status
Post Doc
ten hr shift:
1. something(free) from the medical staff lounge if it looks palatable before the shift starts
2. 3-4 cups of coffee
3. 2-3 cliff bars
4. anything that the nurses leave in the break room after their daily pot lucks
5. anything the drug reps bring

the only constants are the coffee and the cliff bars....
 

leviathan

Drinking from the hydrant
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2003
2,429
65
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Status
Attending Physician
hahahaha...I was waiting for the "and then I found out I was pregnant." guess that wasn't the problem...
Seconded! :) PS - As a paramedic working 12 hour shifts I used to pack a sandwich and then hope that we had a 15 minute break between calls some time during the night to grab more food from a restaurant.
 

dchristismi

Gin and Tonic
15+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2003
1,029
440
Central Florida
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
8-9 hour shift:

If I have time to make it to the cafeteria, I usually have a chicken salad sandwich, some baked BBQ lays chips and sweet tea.

If it's like today, I have exactly 2 cashews and 4 macadamia nuts because my PA thought I needed it. Busy, busy, no time.

I do try to go get food because a) they have a sandwich press which is yummy, and b) it gets be out of the department for a few minutes to collect my thoughts.

I'm not organized enough to bring food on a daily basis, so the ol' chicken salad is my standby.
 

WilcoWorld

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2004
3,006
1,738
Status
One peanut butter granola bar and a diet cola


I eat a meal almost immediately before leaving for my 8 minute bike commute to my 8 hour shift, and then again after the shift.

Since realizing that I become oliguric while on shift, I've been trying to remember to drink a cup or two of water during each shift... that's meeting marginal success.
 

WilcoWorld

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2004
3,006
1,738
Status
Except for overnights - I get to the caf for a 4am breakfast at least 80% of the time. Hospitals can actually make a decent breakfast, I can usually steal 10 continuous minutes between 4 & 6 in the morning, and I'm much more likely to succumb to Southerndoc's aforementioned stress relief (biscuits, mmm) in the wee hours.
 

Mighty Mouse

One Nation Under a Groove
10+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2007
160
63
Status
Attending Physician
10 hour shifts. 1 PBJ sandwich, 1 apple, 4 cans diet coke. when things are getting really crazy I hit up the Peds ED and get some vanilla pudding snack packs or a bomb pop. they are awesome.
 

Pinner Doc

drop knees, not bombs
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2006
577
6
Status
Attending Physician
Our shifts are, for the most part, 8 hours... with a bit of time after to clean up.

We have a Starbucks outside our ED, inside the main hospital, where I usually have time to run and get a sandwich and a bag of chips.

Otherwise, if I'm starving, I'll go into the supply room and grab some saltines and PB.

I usually bring a water bottle and chug ice water throughout my shift, yet I still seem to be oliguric... usually 7 hours goes by before I feel the urge to go... maybe I'm just too busy to notice.
 

jazz

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2003
200
0
Visit site
Status
wow..looking at everyone's lists.. it brings the point home.. we really eat like **** on shifts...

it's no wonder after a stretch of er shifts and scrubs, the regular pants, jeans don't fit
 

Apollyon

Screw the GST
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2002
20,145
4,915
SCREW IT!
Breakfast from the cafeteria (mostly protein - sausage, chicken, and bacon - literally, 12-15 strips worth - you could too, if you saw how low is my cholesterol). Lunch from the cafeteria/physician's dining room - protein, vegetables, and fruit.

And Coke Zero/Cherry Zero throughout the day - about 6 20oz bottles.
 

Jeff698

EM/EMS nerd
15+ Year Member
Aug 11, 2000
1,998
15
Salado, Texas
Status
Attending Physician
Coffee: two medium sized starbucks (gotta love the free cafeteria)
Diet Cokes: 3-5 20oz bottles

Tuna and rice from home.

Intermittent gram crackers and PB from the ED. Love those in a pinch.

Take care,
Jeff
 

vin5cent0

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2008
782
13
Status
Pre-Medical
Jesus, no wonder you rarely ever see an overweight doctor. I'm in pretty good shape, and I eat in a meal what most of you eat in a 12 hour shift lol.
 

Dr.McNinja

Nobel War Prize Winner
Moderator
10+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2006
9,972
6,456
Texas
Status
Attending Physician
About 12 packs of crackers. Not plain saltines, but the little 2 packs of captain's wafers. Sometimes I'll throw a graham cracker in for variety. If there are granola boxes in the hold, I'll eat one of those on occasion.
Other than that, diet coke. Diet mountain dew from home.
 

NeuroSync

Every day is a good day
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2005
487
0
Puget Sound
Status
Attending Physician
I always eat right before my shift. Then I grab an ice cold water to have for the first half of the 9 hour shift. Since I'm vegan and there is nothing but total crap in the cafeteria, I always bring my own food...whatever leftovers I have. I always make a very large portion of whatever I'm cooking so I'll have lunches. But half the time we are so busy that I forget. When I'm lucky, I'll get 15 minutes to eat, and I try to get outside to a normal environment during that time. I try not to drink too much caffeine, because it makes me more tired and messes up my sleep.
 

Doctor Bob

EM/CC
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2009
1,830
2,241
Baltimore
Status
Attending Physician
On a 10.5 hr weekday shift: whatever kind of sandwich the cafeteria offers prior to the shift, 3-4 cans of sunkist throughout the shift, and then whatever kind of sandwich the cafeteria offers after the shift.

On a 12 hr weekend shift: same as above, except 4-5 cans of sunkist during the shift.
 

Jeff698

EM/EMS nerd
15+ Year Member
Aug 11, 2000
1,998
15
Salado, Texas
Status
Attending Physician
I see I'm not the only tuna aficionado around here.

Am I also not the only one who gets complaints or strange looks from others in the department about the fishy smell?

No bad jokes here, people (like an EM forum could help itself).

Take care,
Jeff
 

kungfufishing

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2003
1,053
6
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
I make a rather large effort to avoid smelling up the place (with the tuna). Either everyone is quietly annoyed or it is working. See that? Entire post with no sarcasm and no gutter balls. That is how I got my reputation as most professional and least sarcastic regular. You hadn't heard? Well, huge in Japan.
 

quideam

Too tired to complain
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2003
1,397
8
37
NYC
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I find that in order to keep from getting hungry, I try to snack continuously during a shift (ours are mostly 12 hrs during years 1 and 2). Of course, if it's really crazy, there's no time to do that, but I try to keep my backpack with all the snacks in it right under the desk with the computers at the nurse's station, so whenever I sit down to chart or write orders for anything (mostly all computerized), it's also easy to grab food. I always make sure to eat decently - at least a sandwich, but nothing too heavy - before a shift, which takes care of the first 4-5 hours. Then I fill the rest of the time with granola bars (Trader Joe's makes these fantastic 'salty and sweet' ones, they're amazing)/ clif bars, etc., low-fat fruit snacks/bars, and the little 100-calorie packs of cheese crackers or whatever. Also really filling are the cheddar crackers w/ peanut butter inside - you can buy a huge box of the packs (i think like 32?) for very cheap, and they're more filling than they look. I also try to remember to pack a sandwich (something easily digestible and not too messy, like cheese or salami with minimal toppings, maybe just a tomato or cucumber slice). It helps if you make the sandwich on a small roll - the small hamburger rolls are perfect - because then you can eat the entire sandwich in about four bites if necessary. If it's any bigger than that, it's likely that it will get wasted as you always end up having to run after something or other.

Trying to keep healthy... but it's definitely difficult. I really think the key is to pack plenty of at least relatively healthy snacks so you don't run for greasy or fatty food from the cafeteria and vending machines, and then also to snack regularly so you're never 'starving' and end up eating way too much...
 

diphenyl

Dancing doctor
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2008
294
32
Ca
Status
Attending Physician
Either somebody brought tuna to work or somebody round here has vaginitis:highfive:
 

Hard24Get

The black sleepymed
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2006
4,768
2
In my skin, when I jump out you jump in!
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Ha, cool thread

Our meals are free so for a while I was falling prey to the cafeteria, and I mainly wanted bad stuff. But I still lost weight cause the ER stops my boredom eating. :rolleyes:

Now, I realize I want to be healthy, so I work out for like 30 minutes prior to every shift (extra energy), and while I'm doing that I make some bean and veggie sautee to carry with me. If I'm really in a pinch I just throw some frozen veggies, canned beans, and seasoning into a pyrex (the disadvantage is I need to microwave it if I do this). That way I get lean protein and veggies almost every shift.

My favorite alternatives to this are a kale salad with canned TUNA :p or ratatouille from my local gourmet grocer. Usually on an overnight shift I will also end up eating a PB&J on whole wheat since the cafeteria workers stack them in the Drs lounge. :shifty: I will snack on almonds or salmon jerky but I don't like energy bars anymore unless it's glucerna or south beach. Too much sugar. :thumbdown:
 

Hard24Get

The black sleepymed
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2006
4,768
2
In my skin, when I jump out you jump in!
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Semi-serious question here: Does anyone work within walking distance of an In-N-Out? Or a 5 guys, for that matter? If so, what is your waist size?
We have an In-N-Out across the street from the hospital. Fortunately, the fat people standing in line and in the drive thru have discouraged me from stopping there :scared: It's terrible when someone brings it into the ED, though - can't resist the fries! :(
 

nymbarra

In flux
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2008
117
1
Status
Resident [Any Field]
We have an In-N-Out across the street from the hospital. Fortunately, the fat people standing in line and in the drive thru have discouraged me from stopping there :scared: It's terrible when someone brings it into the ED, though - can't resist the fries! :(
I miss In N Out and Fat Burger...fortunately, we have a McDonalds just right outside Grady. I love seeing the positive McD's paper bag sign in a patient with N/V and abd pain. :laugh:
 

NeuroSync

Every day is a good day
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2005
487
0
Puget Sound
Status
Attending Physician
I miss In N Out and Fat Burger...fortunately, we have a McDonalds just right outside Grady. I love seeing the positive McD's paper bag sign in a patient with N/V and abd pain. :laugh:
I don't know why that reminds me of the scene in "Super Size Me" when the dude pukes out his window. :laugh:
 

EM_Rebuilder

Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2006
1,228
55
Texas
Status
Attending Physician
On days, its usually some chips, maybe some granola bars...whatever is in our work 'pantry' which does not always get stocked very well...

On nights, I have a MUCH harder time making it without eating, plus the 'lull' lends itself to actually eating. I usually make a big batch of speghetti, grill a bunch of hot dogs/hamburgers, or someother casserole that I can divy up and take a meal each night during a string of them...

Also, on occasion, we might send a med student during the day for lunch elsewhere, or we have a Subway in house....