Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

How do you handle the tiredness/lack of rest related to clerkship and residency schedules?


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone! So I have been looking around for info and asking questions about the clerkship and residency schedule policies. I am wondering, how do you all handle the tiredness and weariness of those demanding years? I am in Qc so my understanding is that during residency, the max hours is 16h/days with 8 hours of rest between shifts and you work every other week end. So during the 8 hours of rest, you have to go home from the clinical site, possibly eat and study/read and sleep... Which does not leave a lot of time to rest and sleep! I work about 65h week at the moment and I am pretty exhausted. When I finish working at midnight, I feel exhausted all day the next day, and it gets worst with every long day, until I get a full day of rest... I'm a older too so obviously that does not help, I'm a mom and sleeping only 4-5 hours a night is getting harder every year! I wish I was in my 20s!...

So I'm wondering, how do you all get through those very demanding years? Any tips and tricks? Anything that should be prioritized, like exercice and rest?

Thank you all so much for your help and advice!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Constant coffee I suppose. As you get "better" at medicine (e.g., knowing an approach to chest pain off by heart, or knowing how to take a relevant history fast) it feels less mentally exhausting. However, this is counteracted by the fact you get more pushed onto you as you get better so I guess it's a wash.

Honestly, I took whatever free time I had and just rested. Exercise was on the table but sometimes I was just too tired given all the demands (clinic, research, studying, etc.). I think most people can probably handle the hours, it just won't be a pleasant couple of years. At times you won't be able to put yourself first which I think is what causes the exhaustion and burnout as people feel they lack autonomy and freedom during training.

I think if you're interested in family medicine though it won't always be that busy as you won't always be on an off-service rotation like surgery.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure about Quebec but with the classic 24+2 call you get the next day off, someone else will have to reveal if the 16h call gets a post call day. Typically night floats that are daily are 12h or less, 16h night floats are every other day. ER shifts usually will not schedule you only 8h apart. If you're up all night you're still gonna not be back to normal by the second post-call day but if everyone understands the system so if you tell your staff/senor that you had a rough call and are still recuperating they should cut you some slack! You'll have to be militant about your bedtime to make sure you get enough, especially with a family, obviously with young kids you're less flexible but if they're older everyone in the family is going to learn their schedule will revolve around you.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/7/2021 at 2:02 PM, MaudeB said:

Hello everyone! So I have been looking around for info and asking questions about the clerkship and residency schedule policies. I am wondering, how do you all handle the tiredness and weariness of those demanding years? I am in Qc so my understanding is that during residency, the max hours is 16h/days with 8 hours of rest between shifts and you work every other week end. So during the 8 hours of rest, you have to go home from the clinical site, possibly eat and study/read and sleep... Which does not leave a lot of time to rest and sleep! I work about 65h week at the moment and I am pretty exhausted. When I finish working at midnight, I feel exhausted all day the next day, and it gets worst with every long day, until I get a full day of rest... I'm a older too so obviously that does not help, I'm a mom and sleeping only 4-5 hours a night is getting harder every year! I wish I was in my 20s!...

So I'm wondering, how do you all get through those very demanding years? Any tips and tricks? Anything that should be prioritized, like exercice and rest?

Thank you all so much for your help and advice!

 

3 things:

1. Your body gets more used to it with time, to a limit of course

2. You make sacrifices or improve time management - fewer hobbies, less time for self care etc.

3. Remember that there are people who work harder than you and have made it just fine, it is doable.

It is truly very challenging. I work long hours with very little "off" time. What I have found is, prioritizing sleep is most important, for me if i'm getting enough sleep 6 hrs a day, coffee will get me through any call shift, if i'm sleep deprived however, I start to notice that coffee becomes less effective, that's when I know I need to get more sleep.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found that through medical school/residency I was not always working the max.  There were rough rotations/periods where I was going full out but also periods where I was not.  During the full out periods you just put your head down and try to get through, and during the less intense periods you rest and recuperate and try to put things in place for the next spring (e.g. cooking/freezing meals, taking care of stuff that needs to get done to get it out of the way).

It's also somewhat residency and program dependent.  In psychiatry call is generally lighter (about 1/7) and I had some control over my call schedule, and ours worked such that Saturday/Sunday calls were worth more than others, so I would work it so that I did about 1 Saturday overnight every 2-3 weeks and that was the extent of my call.  I preferred that much more.  Other people preferred to do 1/5-1/7 weeknights only so there were always swaps to be made.

I don't think I could do a surgical residency personally.  But my residency program was pretty okay.  And I didn't find medical school that bad overall apart from the shock to the system of working 24 hours straight.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...