A Day in the Life of a PGY1 Family Medicine Resident: In Family Medicine Clinic

  • /Reviewed by: Amy Rontal, MD
  • 6:00 AM – 7:50 AM: Rise & Shine and Workout

    I usually exercise in the morning before work. I get to the gym by 6:20, workout for an hour, shower quickly, and drive the 5-minute distance to work, arriving by 7:50 or so. Just in time for the first patient of the morning!

    8 AM – 11:30 AM/12:00 PM: See Patients
    I really love my weeks in family medicine clinic (obviously, seeing as it is what I want to do). But by the end of my PGY1 year, I will have done rotations in pediatrics (inpatient and outpatient), general surgery, labor & delivery, OB/GYN clinic, internal medicine wards, ICU and emergency medicine along with a variety of electives. During a typical family medicine clinic morning, patients are scheduled from 8 AM – 11:15 AM. I see patients with my attending physician and might see a 2-year-old with a cold, an 89-year-old for a refill of hypertension meds, and a female in her 20s with abnormal vaginal bleeding. You just never really know what you are going to get. I see a patient when they arrive, come up with my own assessment/plan of what I think and would like to do, then present my thoughts about the patient to my attending physician.
    12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch and Noon Conference
    Noon conference for us varies. It’s always some kind of presentation led by either a resident or an attending. Today we have a short presentation followed by some relevant questions pulled from the Qbank that we use for our family medicine board exam. We answer and discuss these questions as a group. Sometimes, we have a journal club during this time. Journal club is when we are given an article to all read and then we come together to discuss it. Journal club is a great way to learn how to critically analyze information and research and I personally enjoy it quite a bit.
    1:00 PM – 5:00 PM: See Patients Again
    In the afternoon I again see patients and get even more variety! I do a routine pap smear, see a man for post-hospitalization follow-up who was discharged from the hospital recently after being admitted for injuries sustained in a car accident, and see a perfectly healthy child for an annual physical. It can be exhausting seeing so many different types of patients in a day and a lot of the time, people come in with very vague symptoms and I have to sift through the information to decide what to do. Sometimes patients come in with a very long list of problems that cannot be addressed all in one visit so we have to choose what to prioritize and discuss. It can be a lot.
    6:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Dinner and Game Night With Co-Residents
    Bonding with co-residents is important! Residency years are very long and at times very hard. It is important to spend time outside of work with your people. In my opinion, one of the best parts of residency is the people and getting to form special bonds with your coworkers through the long and stressful hours worked together.
    9:00 PM- 11:00 PM: Miscellaneous
    Netflix, catch up with parents, and read up on a few topics that came up in clinic that I didn’t have a chance to read on. I like reading up on things using UpToDate at the end of the day.
    11:00 PM: Bed!
    Further reading: