* * Anonymous Doc: The Intern Who Doesn't Sleep

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Intern Who Doesn't Sleep

"Hey, intern, this is going to sound crazy, but I heard from one of the night float residents that you came back in the middle of the night and were rounding on patients and editing your notes?"

"Yeah, I just wanted to finish some things up."

"You know that once we sign out, you don't need to be back until the next day, right?"

"Yeah, but I wanted to check and make sure I didn't screw anything up."

"The night team is here overnight. They'll handle it if anything is going on. We work 12 hours a day, you should be sleeping."

"I know, but I just get worried."

"Here's the thing. You're not supposed to be here without your supervising resident. There's a reason we all sign out together. I'm in charge of you. It's one thing to stick around for another fifteen minutes to finish up a note. That's fine, if it helps the rest of the team get out a little earlier instead of waiting around. But if you come back here at night and something goes wrong, it's not just you responsible. It's also me. And I'm not coming back in the middle of the night, because I'm sleeping, and it's not our job to come back in the middle of the night. SO PLEASE STOP DOING THAT."

"But I don't want to miss anything--"

"We're here 12 hours a day. That is more than enough time to not miss anything. You can't come back and round in the middle of the night. You're making more work for night float, because you're giving them unnecessary things to follow up on, that we should just be waiting to do in the day, as a team. PLEASE STOP DOING THAT."


"You have a wife, don't you?"


"And didn't you say you have a six-month-old baby?"


"And everything's okay at home? Because besides it being generally hard for me to understand why anyone would want to be here instead of not here, it is especially hard for me to understand why someone with a family would want to be here when he doesn't have to be."

"You wouldn't understand."

"Try me."

"My baby is a monster."

"That is unfortunate. But that doesn't mean you should come back HERE. I don't care where you go if you need to escape from your family in the middle of the night. I just need you to STOP COMING BACK TO THE HOSPITAL."

"But Starbucks isn't open."


  1. Poor guy? How about his poor wife?? Jeez...

  2. Poor wife too, that doesn't mean we shouldn't feel sympathy for someone who is unhappy enough at home that he would rather be at work.

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