Monday, 12 August 2013

On Call: The Skinny

I spent the weekend on call and was astonished at how many of my friends are still asking me,  "So what does that mean exactly?" So for anyone who has family members or friends in medicine, here is a quick educational piece for you.

On call means we are:
- on the verge of tears
- considering changing careers
- falling asleep standing
- easily agitated
- lonely as heck while everyone we know is at the cabin
- missing our nightly glass of wine

Ok, so maybe that's just how call makes me feel. But in all reality, here are some definitions:
- being on call means you are responsible for new admissions and patients on your ward in the hospital
- In-house call: this means you are not allowed to leave the hospital; in this case you are allowed a post-call day, where you get to leave after rounds the next morning (unless you're in a hardcore surgical specialty and don't require sleep)
- Home call: this means you are at home and will get called in for anything you need to deal with; in this case, you do not get a post call day unless you spend a certain number of hours in the hospital per night
- Call frequency is much greater in specialties like internal medicine, surgical specialties, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics
- Thankfully for my sanity, call is much less frequent in family medicine. Although we do rotate through the above specialties too!

Hope that clarifies things for everyone who was sitting at home racking their brain trying to understand what I was doing all weekend.

1 comment :

  1. Hey Guys! John Here! Welcome to the blogosphere. I haven't had time to post in a while, but feel free to check out my blog! :) I'm currently writing this on call, but on internal... so maybe all of the above except perhaps too busy to be any of them.