In a controversial new ruling, the ACGME has decreed that all residents must be given at least one uninterrupted hour each week to reflect on the monumentally poor career choice that they have made for themselves.
All other clinical and academic duties must not interfere with this sacred hour, in which residents are encouraged to reflect upon the decisions that lead them to where they are today and how they could have done things differently.
Medical educators hope that trainees will use this protected time primarily to fantasize about the thousands of preferable career options that they could have chosen instead. However, residents are also encouraged to use this time to ruminate over their deteriorating social lives, lack of fulfilling hobbies or the hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt that they have incurred from their chosen profession.
Residents have warmly embraced this new policy by using this hour to its full potential.
“It’s amazing,” said second-year surgery resident, Dr. Rachel Wosley. “I used the first half of my hour to think of all my friends who make more money than I do while working half the hours. Then I just sort of stared blankly at a wall until my pager beeped and it was time to go back to work.”
While many were optimistic about this bold change in duty hour restrictions, some older physicians cite this as yet another example of the medical community coddling the future generation of doctors.
“We sure didn’t have any when I was training,” said respected cardiologist Dr. Eugene O’Conner. “We just managed to find time to reflect on our horrendous career selection during our back-to-back 36 hour shifts ”
Despite the objections of these traditionalists, all signs indicate that the new protected hour to focus on regrets is here to stay. In fact, this move was so popular that the ACGME is already considering an additional mandatory protected hour that will be set-aside for residents to stare forlornly out a hospital window while the world at large passes them by.
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