I can't believe it's only been 2 weeks since I started residency. I feel exhausted already. I was on call last night and I felt like such a zombie. Everything I did was in slow motion. I almost fell asleep walking downstairs to the nursery. And at one point, I thought to myself, "How am I going to do this for THREE YEARS??"
There's something wrong with the medical career field. Whoever thought doctors can pull 24-hour shifts and make good decisions was out of their mind. I can feel myself getting dumber and dumber the later the night gets. And the problem is, there's a whole cohort of doctors who have this philosophy that "because I went through it, everyone else should, too." There are older doctors who would probably be extremely annoyed by this blog because they'd say I have nothing to complain about. We have a new policy now, the so-called "80-hour work week." Old-school doctors scoff at this, thinking they've softened residency too much. But if we break it down, here's what we get. There are 168 hours in a week. If you work 80 of them, that leaves you with 88 hours. Studies have shown that most adults need at least 8 hours of sleep a night in order to be functional and avoid accumulating sleep debt. That means of the remaining 88 hours, 56 hours should be for sleeping. That leaves you with 32 hours to do anything else with your life. That's 4.5 hours a day. Plus if you add commute time to and from work, you probably only have about 3.5 or 4 hours.
There just aren't enough hours in the day. If you ever wonder why your doctor seems so rushed or perhaps isn't giving you the attention you think you deserve... well maybe this will help you understand a little better. It's such a demanding career field. And I'm only 2 weeks into it. Yikes!