A day in the life of a PGY-2 – Austin Greco, MD

We asked residents in each class to provide an account of what a typical day looks like. Below is an entry from second-year resident Dr. Austin Greco. We are grateful to all the residents who have participated in this series.

Fortunately, we aren’t surgeons; my alarm goes off at a respectable yet reasonable 6 AM. A quick shower then I throw on some loose fitting mint green scrubs courtesy of UIHC. Emphasis on the loose fitting as I haven’t had as much time for the gym as I care to admit. As I get ready I sneak out of the house not to awaken my wife or the dog still both snoring in bed (hopefully she doesn’t read this).

I live on the west side of Iowa City, about two miles from the hospital in a duplex my wife and I bought after I matched here. The great thing about living in Iowa City is that money goes a long way in terms of housing. With the drive only a few miles away my commute is short. Although, parking is a common complaint among residents, during most of our inpatient time we get parking passes to park in the Kinnick Stadium lot right across the street. I pass the Nile Kinnick statue while walking from my car, eager for tailgating season to return; as luck would have it I have most games off this upcoming football season.

I get to the team room just before 7. I am the senior on the team and fortunately for me I have two fantastic and hard-working interns that I am working with who have already taken sign-out from the night team and are deep in chart review for their patients. It’s April, and at this point in the year the interns are extremely competent and ready to be seniors. I don’t have to worry about micromanaging electrolyte replacement or noticing that a hemoglobin is 6.7 and the patient should be transfused; by the time I notice, the patient has already been consented and the unit of RBC’s is on its way to the floor. To feel like I’m contributing I sit down at the computer and go over the charts to make sure we are starting the day with good plans for all of the patients.

Fast forward to rounds. We talk about patients and subsequently go to their rooms to see them in person. Some patients are improving and not much needs to be done to change their plans but others we need to think about a lot more. Either way there is teaching and learning to be had by all members of the team on rounds each day. I chose this profession in part for the intellectually stimulating cases and have not been disappointed thus far.

We finish up rounds in time to clean up some orders and touch base with consulting teams before heading to noon conference. This is our protected time for a brain-breather in the middle of the day. They hold our pagers and only notify us if we get an urgent page. Otherwise, we get to just sit back, eat some catered food, and listen to a faculty member teach about a topic within their specialty for the next hour.

The afternoon is busy.  A few discharges, a few admissions, occasional procedures, and going around to see patients again that need some extra attention.  Being on the hem/onc service, unfortunately we have some patients that will not be getting better from what brought them into the hospital. Even so, it’s a privilege to help them and their families find a way to improve their quality of life with the time they have left and help get them toward their goals.

We have a lot to do throughout the day but the team is efficient at this time of the year. It’s 6 pm and time to hand the patient’s off to the night team and head home. I get home and my wife is already home from work (no longer snoring). We eat some dinner and take the dog for a walk and relax. This day may not seem exciting to some but I don’t take days like these for granted. I get paid to learn and take care of ailing patients in the hospital while being surrounded by incredibly driven and all-around good individuals.

Let’s do it again tomorrow. Go Hawks!

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