Becoming a doctor is a complex process that usually consolidates during medical residency. This phase includes full immersion in professional activities with long working and studying hours. Junior doctors take care of patients in complex and difficult-to-manage care situations, both for their severity and institutional shortcomings. Although medical residency is recognised as an efficient form of professional training, there are several criticisms about work overload and long working hours.Objective
To identify strategies of time management in the daily routine of medical residents of Internal Medicine in a university hospital in São Paulo, Brazil.Method
In-depth interviews were conducted with eight randomly selected residents about their daily lives during the first year of residence.Results
The mean age was 25 y, being 4 men. Average hours of residence are 60 h/week. This excludes night shifts and work performed during days off. Over 8 months there is a 12 hour weekly night shift; and during 2 months there are 2 to 3 shifts per week. The reported highlights were: little time to accomplish domestic activities and commuting time to and from the hospital/home. Reduced time for leisure, sleep and study activities. Six out of eight participants reported activities during night shifts for supplementation of income. Some strategies for managing time were: moving to places close to the hospital, hiring cleaning ladies, eating out at the hospital restaurant, keeping a social circle restricted to other residents. The need for income supplementation was reported as a time management constraint.Discussion
Time management strategies during residence include measures to save time such as hiring third persons to perform domestic activities, and living close to the hospital. Some of the reported consequences are: the reduction of time to study, the restriction in the social relations and working odd-hours/days to supplement their income.