Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 August 2009
Having received your residency appointment on Match Day and your M.D. degree at graduation, you probably will have a short interlude of several weeks before you are back working as an intern at a hospital. Once there, you will be assigned to a treatment team consisting of an attending physician, other physicians-in-training, and medical students (see Chapter 13). Starting with PGY-2, you will be directly involved in managing the medical care of patients. You will be expected to know the clinical backgrounds of all patients supervised by your team and be assigned to do ‘scut work’ and write up medical notes regarding them. You may probably wear a longer white coat and will have the authority to order diagnostic tests (and need to follow them up) as well as prescribe medications (which may require being countersigned). Nurses and medical students will now respond to your instructions and everyone will usually address you with the title “doctor.”
From the outset of your residency, you can anticipate that your workweek will be 60 to 100 hours long. Every third or fourth day, you will be required to arrive at the hospital for the usual early morning shift, meet all your daily responsibilities, be on-call throughout the entire night, and then leave work the following morning. At that time you will report the night's events to the incoming day team.