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Fitness for Duty

A Geriatrics fellow who does not feel fit for duty should consult with their current program director or Employee Health.  Additionally, a supervisor who has concerns regarding a fellow’s fitness for duty should also consult with the Program Director and/or Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education.

Emotional exhaustion, sleep deprivation, depersonalization, perceived low personal accomplishment, doubt, guilt, family issues, compulsiveness, dissatisfied patients, and the psychology of postponement (things will get better when…) can impact the balance of body, mind, and spirit for successful fellowship practice.  

Physicians often have difficulty accepting help, due to the pressures of perfection that are often part of the intrinsic nature of high achievers.  Physicians-in-training might be unable or unwilling to recognize their own state of health.

During the year long Geriatrics Fellowship there might be a time where the fellow may experience fatigue, sleepiness, anxiety, and/or depression.  If any of the fellows are having a hard time coping with any of these, whether it is at work or home, the Program Director has an open door policy and will provide necessary resources to the fellow and their family.  

If at any time during a rotation a Geriatrics fellow is feeling fatigued due to extended hours at the hospital performing patient care, they are to contact the Program Directors office and coverage will be arranged.  If they are unable to safely return home, transportation will be arranged for them.  It is essential to the fellow’s health that the Geriatrics fellow strictly adhere to the 80-hour work limit.