Monday, June 27, 2011

Vacation and the ER

I just got back from the most wonderful vacation with my family. The thought struck me whilst dipping my toes in the Gulf, that I used to dread vacation. I met some nice folks down there who were in other professions and I mentioned how I used to dread vacations and it puzzled them. It may puzzle you too. And for those of you thinking about a career in EM think about this.

If one takes a job with a standard ER group you are obligated to do a certain number of shifts per month. So when vacation comes along you either have to front-load your shifts before vacation, or back-load them and work a nightmare string of shifts upon your return.

So, if you do it before you go, it takes a couple or three days to come right, your vacation is almost over, you feel bad about wasting three days, and then you come home.

And, if you back-load them as the vacation approaches mid week you start to get the 'oh shit' feel in your stomach as you know what you are coming back to... No fun.

Not anymore. Not anymore.


  1. Although this is a problem, including at my hospital, it is one of the rare ones that we have totally done to ourselves. Our groups are mostly uncharitable towards each other and have no capacity for redundancy. This is something that we could fix, easily, and without outside help, but we choose not to.
    Just try to make a reasonable schedule for a group of docs all complaining about working too much; the reasonable schedule with built in, at 20% less $$ per year will be roundly discarded.
    My 2c,
    Dr. J

  2. Dr. J,
    Absolutely correct.

  3. 911...
    Of course I'm a Sadist, but one of the happiest times of my life was my Summer Internship at the Slaughter House...
    I mean the Summer I got to make the call schedule that included several of the biggest Puss-Eyes this side of San-Fran-Sissy-Co..
    thats right, Air Force Flight Surgeons, who "Worked" 1 day in 5, and called in "Sick" 1/2 of the 20% of days they actually worked...
    Making out that call schedule almost replaced Sex that summer...
    and Dr. J, despite your 63 inch Vertical Leap, Hands that would make Janet Reno proud, and Backboard shattering dunkts that would still be the stuff of Legends if youd played 1000 years ago instead of today, when even the President doesn't know what Medical Specialty does Tonsilectomies...
    Where was I? oh yeah,
    How come you shoot a jump shot like a girl???


  4. Frank, The jump shot is a girl's shot, that's how you shoot them. Guys like me prefer the foul line know....because that's the shot the girls love rather than the one they shoot.
    Dr. J