Outpatient clinic seemed like such a perfect first rotation: Sure, the hours weren’t as cushy as I thought, but who cared? I was seeing patients! Putting in orders! Wearing a long white coat! Not getting too many things horribly wrong!
So of course, Friday morning – as I’m settling in to read some relevant review articles on a makeshift sofa consisting largely of empty cardboard boxes – I get a call from the chief resident.
“So… there’s actually been a… scheduling issue. We need you to move to the inpatient team. Night shift. For the rest of the month.”
Well… so… okay.
That sucks. But… okay! Positive thinking! I’ll adapt! I will rise to the challenge like the flexible, go-getter, team-player I am!
(Read: I sat there, stunned, until it occurred to me that night interns get to wear scrubs.) (I’m a huge fan of anything that qualifies as Socially Acceptable Business Pajamas.)
So: I did some math: I had 3 days to adjust to a 10am – 6pm sleep schedule.
AND I DID IT. Because I am a power intern. Hoo-ah.
(Read: I did it because I really, really like staying up late. Pulling multiple socially acceptable all-nighters until I have the kind of sleep schedule that would have made my parents haul me in to see a doctor myself? SIGN ME UP. The nocturnal train is leaving the station and I am on-board.)
So I shifted my sleep schedule by 4 hours every day this weekend until, this morning, I reviewed all of my inpatient files and I fell blissfully asleep at 10am. My alarm was set for 5:30, 5:45, and 6:00pm. I was ready.
Which – as you can all guess – meant that of course I got a surprise call at 11:30am.
“So… hi. I really, really hate to do this to you… but we’ve had another intern issue. Slight scheduling change.. again: You’re back on outpatient.”
“So… we’ll see you at clinic this afternoon?”