Residency training typically means long hours, little sleep and plenty of hard work for new doctors for the next few years.
But Zachary Kramer, M.D., remains excited for his emergency medicine residency at the University of Florida to begin this month.
“(Coming to UF) definitely felt right,” said the Medical College of Georgia graduate. “The philosophy here is what I’m looking for—camaraderie, everyone works together.”
Kramer is one of approximately 230 new UF residents who will start their training in Gainesville in July. Many members of the new housestaff were gearing up for their first shifts on Saturday, July 2 or Monday, July 4.
There are also 96 new residents who will begin training at Shands Jacksonville this academic year.
The UF College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Office of Housestaff Affairs held an orientation fair open house June 29 in the Shands Atrium to help new Gainesville residents find everything from childcare to parking.
On Thursday, new residents attended a New Housestaff Breakfast hosted by Michael Mahla, M.D., associate dean of graduate medical education, to meet other deans and vice presidents at the college, Shands HealthCare. and the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center.
Mahla thanked the incoming residents for the dedication, hard work and personal sacrifice they will be making for the next few years.
“I’m very grateful for each of you,” he said. “Welcome to the University of Florida — we’re glad you’re here.”
There are about 680 UF residents in Gainesville, and between 15 to 20 percent are UF College of Medicine graduates, said Mahla. The remainder are graduates from medical schools across the country and around the world.
Starting July 1, some new national changes by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education also went into effect, limiting how long residents can work. Specifically, interns, who are first-year residents, can only work 16 continuous hours. Mahla said one change is that interns will not be allowed to work overnight after working a full day in the hospital or clinic. They will be able to work at night in a night float system.
Executives from Shands HealthCare talked about the hospital system’s focus on quality and patient satisfaction, which will include the housestaff.
“We’re all here together,” said Irene Alexaitis, Shands’ vice president of nursing and patient services. “I see you our residents as an integral part of our team.”
Edward Jimenez, Shands’ chief operating office, said the hospital’s 7,500 employees will help the residents learn, but the hospital also wants to learn from the residents what could be better and what should be done differently.
F. Kayser Enneking, M.D., professor and chair of the college’s department of anesthesiology, reminded new residents that their first priority is listening to their patients.
“You need to care like it’s your mother, your sister, your child … because it is someone’s mother, sister or child,“ she said.