On the Over My Med Body Blog, see this eloquent rant about what it is like to begin a sub-internship. A sub-internship is an experience for (usually fourth year) medical students during which they function like interns, and hence functions as an introduction to the world of post-graduate medical training. Sub-interns, and later interns and residents are up at all hours of the night, taking care of often severly ill patients, with little experience and less sleep. Yes, they do have various forms of back-up, from sub-specialty fellows to seasoned faculty. But nothing can make up for the cloud of cotton wool that fills one's head after being up all night.
It's a sad testimony to our training system that the experience described is little different from the one I went through just about 30 years ago.
But now the intrepid blogger of Over My Med Body may be getting an inkling why doctors who have had years of training like this can get so upset when their dedication, knowledge, or work habits are questioned by some "suit" with a six-, seven-, or eight-figure income, a "suit" who is comfortably in bed every night of the week, and who never has to handle an emergency, much less a patient throwing up blood, hallucinating, and febrile at three in the morning.
But perhaps some of the money going to pay for those "suits'" fancy salaries could be used to pay for more hands on care givers in teaching hospitals, alleviating the need for those sub-interns, interns, and residents to work so many hours straight.
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