Doctor looking at her pager
Call Duties

Call Duties

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.


Night float

The resident works 5 nights per week, Sunday through Thursday, for 6 weeks.  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.

Training Call

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

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.

PGY-1 Year

  • As part of their psychiatry months, all PGY-1 residents complete 3 weeks of night float.
  • Additionally, all residents take approximately 4-5 weekend shifts, ranging from 10-14 hours, during the time they are on psychiatry rotations in their PGY-1 year.
  • All night float, night, and weekend shifts are supervised by a senior resident (i.e. training call) or attending physician who is in house with the PGY-1 resident.

PGY-2 Year

  • 6 weeks psychiatry night float, in 1-3 week blocks during either an inpatient rotation or the night float/scholarly time rotation.
  • Approximately 20-21 weekend shifts, 10-14 hours each, during PGY-2 year
  • Shifts are supervised by an attending physician available in-house (Harborview) or by phone (UW and VA).
  • Shifts are in-house at Harborview, home call at UWMC or VAMC

PGY-3 Year

  • No night float.
  • Approximately 17-19 weekend shifts over the course of the PGY-3 year.
  • Combination of solo and training call.
  • 4 weeks of backup call during the PGY-3 year.

PGY-4 Year

  • No night float.
  • Approximately 9-10 weekend shifts over the course of the PGY-4 year.
  • Mostly training calls.
  • 4 weeks of backup call during the PGY-4 year.

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