Day in the Life of an Intern

Hi, my name is Rebecca Maddux. I’m going to walk you through a typical day as an intern in the Internal Medicine residency program at UVA. I start my day around 6:30 with a cup of coffee from the hospital’s Higher Grounds coffee cart. Thanks to our night float system, I come in refreshed after a good night’s sleep in my own bed. Every morning around 7 am, I check in with the night float intern to get sign-out and then pre-round on my patients. I catch up with the nurses to hear their perspective on how my patients did overnight, do data collection from the electronic medical record, examine each patient, and write progress notes for the team. Before the start of rounds, my resident and I discuss our patients and formulate a plan of action for each one. Attending rounds begin at 8:45. We walk the wards and the ICUs with an interdisciplinary team that includes attendings, residents, medical students, nurses, and pharmacists. During rounds I’m able to review charts and enter orders on my iPad or at the workstation-on-wheels, both of which help boost my efficiency. Interdisciplinary rounding is a time to “put our heads together” to come up with treatment plans that result in superior patient outcomes. This is a big part of why UVA is the #1 hospital in Virginia. Morning report is at 11:30 am, with lunch provided. The timing of morning report allows me to finish rounding, put in orders, call consults, and even get a few notes done before I head to conference. The chiefs are energetic teachers and exceptional mentors. Intern Report on Wednesday afternoons is a protected learning time when our residents hold our pagers, which keeps us distraction-free. About 1 pm, after conference, we have work and teaching time. With our 3+1 schedule design, neither the intern nor the resident leaves for continuity clinic. This means that afternoons are free for patient care and informal learning. I have time to call my consults, get procedures done, and talk with patients and their families. A typical afternoon also includes a quick chalk-talk by my resident or my sister-team resident. On non-call days, we typically sign out to the call team by 5 pm.
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Attending rounds begin at 8:45. We walk the wards and the ICUs with an interdisciplinary team that includes attendings, residents, medical students, nurses, and pharmacists. During rounds I’m able to review charts and enter orders on my iPad or at the workstation-on-wheels, both of which help boost my efficiency. Interdisciplinary rounding is a time to “put our heads together” to come up with treatment plans that result in superior patient outcomes. This is a big part of why UVA is the #1 hospital in Virginia.