The educational goal of night and weekend duty is to provide residents with supervised experience seeing patients with the acute and emergent psychiatric issues that arise after hours, developing skills in independent clinical decision making and determining when to consult senior psychiatric colleagues and other providers, and (for senior residents) developing skills in teaching and clinical supervision of junior colleagues. Night and weekend duty provides an experience with progressively increasing responsibility over the course of the residency.
The University of Washington Psychiatry Residency adheres to all ACGME duty hour limits.
The resident works 5 nights per week, Sunday through Thursday, for 2-3 weeks at a time. These shifts are 12 hours long (8pm-8am) for in-house duty at Harborview and 14 hours long for home/pager duty at UWMC and the Seattle VA (6pm-8am). The resident has no daytime duties.
Call consists of 10-14 hour weekend shifts (Friday night, Saturday day, Saturday night, Sunday day) and weeknight “training call” by senior residents. Residents who are not assigned to a weekend call shift have the weekend off.
Initially, junior residents are on duty with a senior resident who provides “training call”, modeling interviewing, assessment, clinical decision making, and acute treatment and disposition planning. After the PGY-2 year, once the resident has had experience being on duty independently (with attending backup), PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents serve as “training call” residents, spending part of their night and weekend duty training and teaching junior residents.
Backup Call is served in one week blocks by PGY-3 or PGY-4 residents who are only called in for a shift in the event of emergent illness/absence of an on-call colleague.