It varies widely. On that rotation, I got up before 0400 every day and who knows when I finished. Other rotations were much easier.What is the day to day like?
What are the busiest residencies like?It varies widely. On that rotation, I got up before 0400 every day and who knows when I finished. Other rotations were much easier.
On pod call, it was 24/7 “home call”. ED could call you in whenever. You finished when all the rounding/cases were done. Could be closer to business hours when light vs 20+ hour day. Off call on podiatry it wasn’t bad roughly 0600-1700/1800 for cases vs 0730-1730 in the office.
Not the busiest residency but also not the slowest.
You also have to differentiate between “busy with work” and “busy” in terms of spending long hours at the hospital not accomplishing much.
How can we tell whether a program that requires a lot of traveling/driving is bad?A good point. Agree. An honest resident will let you know which one their program is. In the same vein, just because a program is busy (either kind mentioned by @dtrack22 ) doesn't make it good.
Tangent: I also have come across residents who attend "cut and run" programs and think they are the best thing since sliced bread. These programs may rack up case numbers but the quality of the program can still be poor. These have you drive around scrubbing cases but if you are scrubbing a case the attending doesn't even know how to do, is that really of benefit? I've heard residents brag about these situations. I don't call that good quality. Where is the benefit of frequently working up a patient, seeing your post-ops? There is something to doing the case but if you continue to reinforce your own habits (read bad habits), is this really good training? Anyway, I digress.
Whether a program requires a lot of driving or not should be apparent in clerkships. Determining if a program is bad or not is sometimes obvious and sometimes trickier. Sometimes preconceived opinions of a program (ex. “I heard this program is good and really want to go here”) can give you rose colored glasses. Had a program I thought I really wanted to go to but when I really sat back and evaluated it objectively as best I could - wasn’t really the program for me and I’m glad I didn’t go.How can we tell whether a program that requires a lot of traveling/driving is bad?
Will it be apparent during clerkships?
On a somewhat related note, you may also find that the things you are looking for in a program may change as you progress through clerkships. For me, I didn’t solidify exactly what I was looking for until I had been to a few programs and it was around October.
Yup. I'm not sure how you really evaluate what it is that you want or need out of a program until you've contrasted teaching styles, schedules, etc. from one program to another. In my case I didn't know how much I valued resident autonomy and continuity of care between OR and Clinic until I spent time at a program that offered very little of those things. I didn't know exactly how important academics would be until I spent time at programs who did very little vs. a lot. I thought case diversity would be a bigger deal to me than it was in the end as well. I was fortunate enough to get to choose between a few programs and ended up at the one that offered the most autonomy, but had lax academics (though now I have several publications and review articles for JFAS and a few other journals, go figure). I don't think there was any way I could have known that those things were what I wanted until I was 3-4 clerkships in, going to programs that were all over the "training spectrum."