Thursday, September 9, 2010

Month 2, PGY-1*

I'm a little tardy in my recap of month two, but better late than never.

Month 2 (August) Mr. Dawkter was on burns. The hours were a little more intense, but Mr. D really enjoyed learning more about managing patient care for critical patients. The call schedule was much more demanding than the first month, in that it was twice a week or Q3/Q4.* Not only was call much more frequent than July, but it also was a lot busier/more demanding. Most nights the husband only got a half hour of sleep, a few nights he was lucky and got 3 or 4 hours, but that was the exception. In fact, on Mr. D's first night of call one of the nurses said that it was "usually pretty quiet." That night wasn't very quiet, and the doc only got a half hour of sleep. The nurses began to call him the "dark cloud" because the burn unit would get crazy busy (with consults, admits, or transfers) on the nights he was on-call. About half-way through the month the head of the program gave him the nick name "the sh*t magnet," simply because it got so busy whenever Mr. Dawkter was on call. Nice nickname, huh?

At the beginning of the month Mr. D was very tired as it was hard to adjust to not sleeping two nights a week, but he eventually did adjust and didn't need to take as long of naps when he got done with call. Overall he ended up getting 4 days off even though he was only scheduled for 3. I guess the rules require 4 days off a month, so the chief ended up giving him an extra day off at the end of the month leaving him with a three day weekend. We enjoyed those three consecutive days off (mostly working on the house) but we know that having three consecutive days off will most likely never happen again - other than during his vacation weeks. But it was a nice surprise since he had only had one day off for the first three weeks of the month!

Oh and he finally got a locker! (So he can bring a lunch everyday, which saves a little money).

Overall month two was pretty busy, but Mr. D really enjoyed it and was able to learn a lot.

*PGY# - stands for "post graduate year" or years out of medical school and refers to what year of residency the doctor is in.
*Q# - stands for how frequently call is. For example Q-2 would mean being on call every other night, whereas Q4 is being on call every fourth night.


  1. Wow! What a trooper! (Both of you)I love his endearing nicknames.

    I told my husband this morning after I read this that he will probably only have 4 days off a month during residency. He responded: Isn't that really good??

    (I was obviously on a different page...haha!)

  2. I have no idea how their bodies adjust to that little sleep, but I guess when you don't have any other options you deal.
    Thank you so much for talking about your experiences! It helps me out a lot reading what other couples experiences and "preparing" myself for what could/will happen!

  3. Those nicknames aren't very pleasant ;)
    What a crazy experience for them though... I don't know how they do it.
    Thank goodness that the director gave him the mandatory four days off though - at least THAT is a good thing. I think I would fall over and die if S's program gave him that kind of courtesy!! lol...

    2 months down... 10 to go... of PGY-1!!

  4. So far, hubs has been in the ER most of the time so the shifts aren't terribly long but it does mean he sleeps all day when he has night shifts, which is pretty often. I'm not looking forward to the mandatory Ob/Gyn and Medicine rotations he'll have to do...

  5. I love that four-days-a-month rule... It's always such a pleasure to get an unexpected day off. (Well, for my husband. But I love it too!)

    My husband's program refers to the full weekends off as "golden weekends" and the weekends where you have to work both days as "black weekends." Is that what your program calls them too?

  6. Wow, those call shifts sound intense! I'm not looking forward to the days when DH only has 4 whole days off a month.

    I too have heard of weekends off being "golden weekends" and full work weekends being "black weekends."


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