Training for docs not getting easier


A fine line exists between demanding a certain standard of excellence from a resident, which is to be expected, and unacceptable bullying of a resident (“Bullied to Death, March 17). During my first clinical rotation (internal medicine at the Veterans Administration) at Pitt Medical School, I lost 15 pounds despite eating like a horse. My response to the stress of losing at least one patient a week and being grilled daily by the head of internal medicine (“How did you make it through two years of medical school without knowing the answer?”)? Hunker down. It’s not the healthiest approach.

I have two daughters in medicine. Despite a cap on their hours, I don’t think training has gotten easier. The older finished training in New York last summer. During her first year in neurology she was covering a busy hospital. She had a difficult case and needed to call her second-year resident, who was taking the call at home. His response? “Don’t ever call me again.”

If this article prevents one suicide in any profession, it has done a great service.

Owen Reynolds, MD