“As with any choice in life, there are positives and negatives to the Hospitalist 16 hour schedule.  The primary positive, of course, is freedom.  With this schedule, it is actually possible to schedule work around my life, rather than the other way around.  This is an entirely new experience for me.

The primary negative revolves around coming in for the first day after being gone for a week or more.  There is a lot to learn about new patients, and when there are patients still here they have changed completely.  At times, there will be hearings scheduled for patients that I have not met, requiring getting up to speed rapidly.  The first day of a block of being here can feel a bit overwhelming at times.  However, I find that by the second day I have settled in and can attend to the work of caring for patients.  Some days are busier than others, but even the busiest are quite manageable once I have established that initial contact with patients.  By the end of the stretch, the stress level usually feels quite comfortable.

For me, this system works.  I am able to devote attention completely to other parts of life on the days that I am not at work.  It allows a degree of separation between work and home that I would not have thought possible.  When I am working, I am able to immerse myself in that aspect, and feel that I am making a positive difference.  It is a very different means of achieving balance, but one that is working quite well for me.”