Friday, February 15, 2008


I just started my emergency elective in one of the many emergency rooms in the city of Toronto. I am doing an emerg elective because I think I might be interested in mixing some emergency work in with my family practice in future, it's a great way to get to see a really big variety of cases, and I think it will prepare me for future clerkship blocks. I have realized, however, that the hours in emerg suck. I don't know how anyone balances having a family and having emergency medicine as a career. The majority of the shifts are evening/night shifts (2 days shifts vs. 4 evening/night), so if all things are split fairly, most people spend the majority of their time working evenings and getting home late. This isn't great for people whose partners have day jobs. For example, the last 3 shifts I've worked have started at between 2 and 5 and gone until between 10pm and 2 am. I then sleep until 10am and then go the gym and get ready for my next shift. Doing this for the rest of my life seems somewhat less than ideal!

Anyway, the people are nice and the patients have been good for the most part. I like the work but the shifts seem long. This is not the career for me, but it still remains a viable option for a one shift a week type of arrangement along side my family practice.


DHS said...

I think the shifts are great. My hospital runs 4 on 4 off, 10 hour shifts (0800-1800, 1430-2430, 2230 to 0830). This means that you only miss evenings with your loved ones for 4 days in 24. There is the problem of weekend synchrony, however there is plenty of time to spend with your family.

Xavier Emmanuelle said...

Glad you're seeing some interesting patients. I've heard that emerg can be a good specialty for having a family, so maybe the schedule is normally better than the one you have, and your hospital is merely an anomaly.

If you're at the hospital where I volunteered over the summer, make sure to introduce yourself to the lovely women who work at the information desk at the East entrance -- they are seriously the most wonderful people I've ever met, and they're great to have on your side when you're new to the hospital community :)

Ah-Bong said...

oooo emergency...

i always adore the emergency department. tho our hospital received lots of complaints. not that i'm aware of, just some of the friends who were admitted were complaining to me that it's too blardy slow. LOL