A day in the life of a PGY-3 – Desmond Barber, MD

We asked a number of our residents to describe what a typical day looks like. We are grateful to share their stories in this series of diaries.

I typically arrive to the hospital between 6 and 6:15 am. While sign-out is not until 7, I enjoy the extra time alone in the morning to sip coffee, listen to music, and take my time reviewing patient charts. By 7 am the interns have arrived and received hand-off from the overnight team. Rounds typically start between 8:30 and 9. So, we spend the next hour and a half reviewing the data, receiving updates from nurses, seeing our patients, and discussing plans for the day.

Rounds typically include the attending, senior resident, interns, medical students, and we are often joined by a pharmacist and pharmacy students. Rounds are a fun and intellectually stimulating time where our medical students and interns present the pertinent data and plans for the day. Each patient is an open discussion where everyone is welcome to contribute, bringing their own unique knowledge and experience to the care of patients in a low-stress and judgement-free environment.

Rounds are usually finished by 11, which is plenty of time to clean up orders, call consults, and work on discharges before heading to noon conference. This is a protected time for learning and a nice midday break before a busy afternoon. They hold our pagers and only pull us out of conference for urgent pages. Otherwise, we can sit back, eat, and learn.

Afternoons are usually busy, filled with more discharges, admissions, the occasional procedure, and revisiting some of our sicker patients. To lighten the mood, DJ Des comes out playing all the favorite hits of our team (and yes, I do take requests). While our afternoons are busy, we do carve out time to do some teaching with our med students. Before we know it, 6 pm is here and the night team has arrived to receive hand-off. While my interns hand-off, I review our patients’ orders, labs, and consult notes one last time before leaving for the day.

After work I try to make it a point to move daily, whether it is running, lifting, or both (all properly socially distanced, of course). I use it as my time to reflect on the day and relieve stress. Finally, it’s time to shower, eat a little, read a little and head to bed to do it all over again tomorrow.

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