Saturday, September 5, 2009


Man am I steamed right now!!! That's the reason for a second post in so short of a time.

I'm on emergency duty for the weekend and holiday. Over the weekend, one of us covers a 33 hour shift although we are allowed to leave the building if not actively seeing clients. I feel fortunate to know that there is someone else covering the night shift Sunday so that I get a little guaranteed rest prior to coming back Monday morning. So why am I PO'd?

How dare you plan to enter vetmed with the thought of it being a 9-5 job? Or set hours at all for that matter. My emergency student's shifts are split up from 8 a.m. til 5 p.m. then from 5 p.m. til 11 p.m. then on-call until 8 a.m. We had several emergencies show up at once and were in the midst of working them up with one leaving to go to their regular veterinarian shortly after 5 p.m. and the student just left because her shift was over!!!!!!! WAY NOT COOL!!!!!!!!!

For the first time since I've been here I got really mad and called the student. I got her voice mail and left a message chewing her out for leaving. I DON'T CARE that your shift is over; you have patients for whom you are responsible and you DON'T leave until you speak to me. I don't care that you told the other student you would be back later after getting something to eat. You DON'T leave until you speak to me first. If she had asked, I likely would have kept her for about 5-10 more minutes then told her to go let pets out, eat, whatever, and we could finish paperwork later. If she had only asked...

Goes right along with all the whining. I just don't get it. Maybe I sound like the proverbial "walked 20 miles uphill in the snow both ways" story but I have to say that I worked a whole lot harder than the majority of these kids when I was in vet school and I do remember it being a bit tougher. I would have failed had I walked out at the end of my shift without checking with the doctor in charge; as is she will get chewed out (gently may I add, I'm not a harsh or screaming type of person) by me and that will be the sum total cost.


Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Welcome to generation Y...
Never been held accountable
No discipline
No work ethic
I want it all and I want it NOW.
Overtime - where is that in my job description?
They are the richer for it as they get a work life balance we can only envy - but they are the poorer because they don't learn as much or achieve the knowledge. The medical profession are realising that consultant doctors are lacking in experience because they no longer work the long shifts as junior doctors etc.
It does make me wonder if we expect to much breadth of knowledge from professionals - no one can be an expert in everything.

Anonymous said...

Nice stereotyping guys. I hear a few right wing organizations have openings in PR if you are interested. Dragging a whole generation down in response to one person's mistake is stupid and too predictable. Other than that, I like the blog.

The Homeless Parrot said...

I am a proud Generation Y. I worked my ass off in vet school, worked even harder in my internship. I STAYED MANY HOURS beyond my ER shifts as an intern b/c the techs were overwhelmed and couldn't care for all of the hospitalized patients. I love my job, I work very hard at it, I spend a great deal of time on VIN learning how to improve as a doctor, and I never think I'm good enough. Am I the norm? I don't know, I don't care. Instead of painting all of Generation Y with one brush - why don't you examine us individually? I could argue that all vets that graduated before 1995 are backwards, steroid-wielding butchers with catgut suture. Is that true? No. Are there many old vets like that? Yes.

The Homeless Parrot said...

I guarantee that there were people just like that student in every class in vet school since the inception of the concept. Some people are lazy, regardless of generation. Some people are not.

Anonymous said...

If vet and med students are taking a stand against unrealistic working hours, I have to say I think it is a good thing. There is nothing admirable about working a 33 hour shift... there is an interesting New York Times article this week about the relationship between medical errors and over-stressed doctors. No one wins--patient or professional--when people are exhausted. I'm not saying it wouldn't have been polite for the student to stay a few minutes beyond her 8-5 shift to help of course, but I think there's a growing understanding about the importance of a healthy life/work balance... even for veterinarians!