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How We Make the Schedules

April 16, 2023
by Mark David Siegel

Hi everyone,

The Rising Chiefs are away on retreat, building next year’s schedules. Their task is gargantuan, considering they have to craft schedules for multiple residencies, not just internal medicine, but also for interns in anesthesiology, psychiatry, emergency medicine, and Ob-Gyn.

They’ll ensure a fair distribution of nights and specialties. They’ll account for parental leaves, weddings, international electives, and fellowship interviews. They’ll promote wellness by limiting long inpatient stretches.

Categorical schedules are built around clinic blocks, which residents attend two out of every eight weeks for three years. For all residents, vacations are plugged in before other decisions are made to ensure everyone or nearly everyone gets their top choices. Then, ICU and floor rotations are plugged in with all efforts made to honor specialty requests.

In 2023-24, we’ll have several new rotations to schedule. Residents will have VA nights and VA triage. Interns will have hospital medicine rotations at the VA and YNHH. Preliminary interns will have more electives, which should make their year more varied and less exhausting.

Every year, the Chiefs try to optimize each resident’s schedule, while recognizing that logistic impossibilities preclude creating universally perfect schedules. For example, a specialty rotation with two resident slots can only accommodate 52 trainees per year (2 residents multiplied by 26 blocks). This means only a fraction of the 136 seniors in the Traditional, YPC, and Med-Peds programs can be assigned to a two-resident service each year. Regardless, if a resident can’t do a rotation during their PGY2 year, we’ll try to give it to them the year after.

Building schedules takes time and attention, which is why the Rising Chiefs have left town to focus on their work. Please send them good wishes as they sit down to face the giant grid.

Speaking of leaving town, I’m in Mexico this week with Heide and the girls, immersed in tacos, pyramids, and mariachi bands. This morning, we’re driving from Guadalajara to Querétaro. Afterwards, we’ll be visiting Mexico City and Oaxaca before returning to New Haven next Sunday.

Enjoy your day, everyone.


P.S. Vacation pics:

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on April 16, 2023