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Hello,

I am wondering what lifestyle looks like for family medicine students through medical school and residency. Up until recently, I thought the 80-hour/week, nights-on-call lifestyle was during residency only and that clerkship (3rd and 4th year) consisted of more "normal" hours hahah! I now realize this is a misconception and it sounds like at most Canadian med schools, 80 hours a week and night shifts start in 3rd year.

Does this mean 4 years of sleep deprivation and excessive hours even for students going into family medicine? More people seem to be choosing the FM route because they want a more flexible schedule and a better work-life balance, but I am wondering how long it takes to actually achieve that. Two years of residency didn't seem so bad, but 4 years seems a little horrible. Unless it's not as bad as it sounds! Do you just "get used to it"? Is it possible to maintain a relationship or is it to the extent that you would only be seeing/socializing with family members 1 day a week? From Year 3 to PG2 do you get any weekends off and are there any extended periods of time or rotations with no call?

I am specifically interested in UBC and how the work schedule, workload, and work-life balance is there.

Thanks! (And I know there are already many threads asking similar questions).

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I don't believe FM residency is actually that bad hourswise. Whenever you are on your family rotation (which should be a good chunk of your residency) your hours should be something around 50 hours if I am correct. Only when you do rotations in internal medicine do your hours become similar to IM hours. Overall, not all residencies are 80 hour weeks all the time. Many residencies actually do not have such bad hours. 

 

For clerkship I've heard closer to 60 rather than 80. 

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Friends of mine plotted their hours during clerkship. They averaged 50-60hrs per week, with one person having one anomalous week of 95 hrs.

That sounds pretty reasonable. I read something somewhere [citation needed] that people who work more tend to overestimate their work hours more, so these perceptions could be a consequence of that. The other thing to keep in mind is that the difference between a 60 and an 80 hour work weeks is huge. 6 10 hour days versus 7 ~11.5 hour days.

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3rd year is not 80hrs a week, if you factor in self study at home then yeah it can get up there or if you're on a tough rotation etc. Definitely not 80hrs all the time and def not that amount of time solely in the hospital. Maybe sometimes but not constantly.

 

absolutely - first the resident shield the clerks quite a bit (more than the clerks often realize ha), not all your rotations in clerkship even have call - a large chunk don't. You probably would be putting in 10 hour days quite often and have studying to do but that is all just the warm up for residency.

 

you get the odd week of extreme business but they are rare :)

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You also don't have many, if any, serious responsibilities as a clerk, so it's not as stressful as residency. You might have to write some notes, see some consults/inpatients, attend some clinic and/or go to an OR, but the expectations aren't extremely hard to meet on most rotations. It's a much more pleasant 10 hour day than residency.

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You also don't have many, if any, serious responsibilities as a clerk, so it's not as stressful as residency. You might have to write some notes, see some consults/inpatients, attend some clinic and/or go to an OR, but the expectations aren't extremely hard to meet on most rotations. It's a much more pleasant 10 hour day than residency.

 

ha - you are allowed to be wrong, and people are well aware that 90% of the time you are doing something you are not going into residency for anyway. Much less stress.

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