One more day and Dr. D. and her classmates become PGY4s. That means today is the last day of residency for four other residents in her program.
Residency is one of those weird experiences--there's not quite anything that really compares to it. When you graduate from medical school, you are an MD. I know everyone reading this probably realizes that, but I also know that most of you have probably had to explain that to people. Interns and residents are doctors.
And they are the most exploited and overworked group of doctors you'll find. They make very little money, despite working 80 hours a week. And, yes, I'm saying 80 hours because that's the legal maximum. It's not really an accurate representation of the hours they work when you include hours at home going over charts, dictating OR cases, and doing other administrative work.
It might surprise you after reading that to find that some residents actually are in favor of this approach to post-graduate education in medicine. Dr. D., for instance, has indicated that as problematic as the system is, immersion is really the best way to go. After all, soon she'll be running her own clinic and working at a hospital that doesn't have a full staff of mentors to constantly watch over her shoulder.
The downside is that like Dr. Cox some attendings can get a little snarky. I don't know if it is a matter of forgetting what it is like to be sleep-deprived and stretched to the breaking point or if some attendings feel like they were pimped and treated badly so why should the residents under them have it easy.
For the KU residents in the OB/GYN program whose last day is today, I hope that you get some praise from your attendings, even if you aren't as lucky as JD.
This blog is written from the perspective of an older medical spouse who happens to be childless by choice. I hope that husbands, older spouses, those childless by choice, and others will find this entertaining and occasionally useful.