Before starting my first year, I had heard stories about gunners. I was told that a gunner was someone who hid study materials from his fellow classmates, wouldnâ€™t help his colleagues out with an academic-related problem, or sat in the front row and answered all of the questions in class. After 3.75 years of being around gunners, I can tell you that the initial bit of information that I was provided with was somewhat incomplete. Hereâ€™s your complete crash course in gunnerism â€“ be sure to print it out so you can study it on rounds:
Taken from HoursWatch:
“Here is my typical week.
Monday -6:00 AM to 7:00 PM — 12 – 13 Hours
Tuesday (on call)-6:00 AM to Wednesday at 6 or 7 PM – 36-37 Hours (we do not follow the 30 hour rule)
Thursday -6:00 AM to maybe 6 or 7 PM — 12 – 13 Hours
Friday -6:00AM to 6:00 PM — 12 Hours
Saturday (on call again) 7:00 AM until Sunday morning at maybe 9:00 AM. — 26 Hours
Back to work Monday at 6:00 AM…
Week Total: 98-101
These hours may even be exceeded if others call in sick or there are unexpected surgeries or traumas. What is the most appalling is the week day on calls where we are expected to work in the clinic seeing NEW patients while post call and going well over the 24/30 hour in one shift rule. Our program makes no efforts to fix this and does not report these violations to the ACGME.”
Anonymous Resident, Ohio State University
“Our program has been grossly non-compliant with work hour regulations since June 2003. While we conitinue to get lip-service regarding how the program is still working on being compliant, the truth is that there is no relief in sight. On q 4 call, I work a minimum of 34 hours, and on non-call days, the average day is 10 hours. So, overall, I work close to 90 hour weeks if I have a day off every 7 days, which doesn’t necessarily happen.”
Anonymous Resident, University of Washington
“My medical school has informed the students indirectly that the 80 hour work week does not apply to MS III and MS IV students. We could conceivably be ordererd to work 120 hours a week and if we do not we would fail that course. Could you please tell me where I could find regulations or laws about this? Any legal resources would also be appreciated.”
Anonymous Medical Student
Read more real-life stories at http://www.hourswatch.org/47yourstoriesarticle.htm
Match day has come and gone and I have to say that I was pretty surprised at the number of my classmates that entered surgery. I cannot fathom what makes these people want a lifetime of being overstressed and overworked. Is it the fascination with cutting and looking at the open abdomen? Is it the long 14-hour days of wallowing in crap that get you pumped? How about not having a lunchbreak…ever?
Whatever it is, I’d like to know. “To cut is to cure” as they say. Yeah, curing the patient maybe. But what about your own health? These guys oftentimes cannot find time to eat, let alone go to the gym or otherwise promote some form of a healthy lifestyle. Honestly, I believe that surgeons are some of the most out of shape people I’ve ever seen.
The “training” process begins in the 3rd year of medical school, where they get you “used” to the long hours. Then comes residency where you are required to live at the hospital with three to four days off per month at best. By the time these guys are done with training, they’ve forgotten what it’s like to live a normal life and have a decent sleep schedule. By this time, it’s all over. You fit the mold. You’re a surgeon.
It’s no wonder the burnout rate is so high. Everyday you run the risk of being exposed to some form of infectious disease. Everyday you must dodge feces, blood and urine in order to accomplish your normal tasks. Everyday you stand for hours on end.
Clinic, OR, clinic, OR, more clinic, more OR.
Eat when you can, sleep when you can, shit when you can.
Don’t fuck with the pancreas.
It never ends.
“Surgeons are overtrained, glorified mechanics. I’d rather have grease than blood on my hands.”
The question most every 4th-year medical student waits for. For those of you not aware, this is actually the subject of the email that you receive on the Monday of match week. The email is opened with anticipation and hopes of not having to attend the “I-Didn’t-Match-So-I-Have-To-Scramble” meeting. The location of your residence for the next 3-5 years is not disclosed at this time – this tidbit of information is held until this upcoming Thursday, March 16 AKA “Match Day.”
All of my classmates received the “Did I Match” email yesterday. There’s already word traveling through the grapevine of who didn’t match. Of course, I didn’t match. Hell, I didn’t even sign up. Those fuckers aren’t getting the next 3-5 years of my life.
Along with the rumors of who will be scrambling, I overheard that a particular gunner in my class who’s trying to match a competitive specialty didn’t succeed this go-around. Oops. Just goes to show you that having top board scores and grades won’t guarantee you a spot in this fucked up NRMP crap.
What’s most humerous about this situation is that this same gunner once told me that “it sucks to be you” after I got my ass handed to me on an exam during first year. Well Mr. Gunner, have fun doing prostate exams while I’m flying business first-class to Paris.
Not to keep score or anything, but…
Me = 1
People who scramble for internal medicine slots = 0