I’m headed to a work trip today — Arlington VA (basically an airport hotel, albeit a nice one) for about 48 hours. I need it. It is officially interview season (in my residency/GME world) and things have been a little stressful at work.
Yesterday I found out that a very key new hire for our program (program administrator) chose another position at the 11th hour (she was supposed to start Monday). So. I’m a little dejected and need the influx of (hopefully positive) energy that a GME-related conference should provide. If nothing else I will have many FAR more seasoned program directors to turn to for advice!
I know some of you have been curious as to what my new work life looks like. It is hectic, varied, and fun. What it hasn’t been is particularly flexible. Somehow I thought that when I removed more clinical time, I’d end up with swathes of time to just complete work at my own pace. This has not been the case at all — I typically have semi-urgent projects to finish, and meetings upon meetings. Most of which are important (though some are longer than they probably need to be).
Usually I have 2 fully clinical days per week. I don’t do very much GME work on those days but still receive several texts and emails from people often asking urgent or semi-urgent questions (“hey, where is this conference” 5 minutes before the conference). Sometimes it’s frustrating because I don’t feel like those questions necessarily need to be directed at me, but that is the aforementioned staffing issue that we are actively working on, and hopefully it will improve with time.
I am still able to keep my clinical days mostly clinical — I mean, I have to, I’m actively seeing patients! And I like those days. Often I teach on those days too, with a medical student or resident with me.
The rest of the week is GME time, save for one day in 10 (ie, one full day every other week) when I am OFF, which is generally when I record podcast episodes! During my GME time, I have meetings (often early), work on projects (anything from editing curriculae to submitting required info to ACGME to working on recruitment materials for interviews). There are PD meetings and GME committee meetings and meetings with rotation leads and meetings with residents. Many meetings. And starting in October, interviews will begin which will take up two full half-days every other week.
So, the flexibility I fantasized about a little (workout at lunch?) has not come to fruition for the most part. But I’m also very new at the role, so maybe I will get better at time blocking/time protecting. I am learning that I am going to have to guard some days very fiercely to keep more open to get longer term/deeper projects done, or they will never get done.
Perhaps I will do a more detailed ‘work life’ analysis (sparing any confidential details of course) in the future, but not today b/c I have to get ready to go (7:30 am meeting . . . ).
PS: I LOVED all of your travel comments. I was reminded of our 2015 trip to NC with 3 year old A and 1.5 year old C which was (by objective criteria) mostly disastrous. I will admit that we love telling the travel horror stories though (specifically our plane flight back that got delayed with a 3 hr sit ON the plane prior to taking off and then there were two very special incidents, one involving a fruit pouch that turned into a fountain and a child that would NOT put their clothes back on after having an accident on the plane and had to be carried nude and screaming through the MIA airport). Ahh, good times.