Lately in some posts I wrote about my own residency, I got some negative comments about requests I'd made of my attendings. Apparently, some people feel that asking an attending to lift even a little finger is unacceptable. Like if you needed a piece of information, and the resident would have to run across town to get it versus the attending having to make one quick phone call, that resident better get on his running shoes.
And I quote:
"Interns do scut work. Attendings don't."
Here's a novel idea:
Residents are not slaves.
And on a similar note, attendings are not gods.
The purpose of residency is to learn, not to provide cheap labor. The job of residents is not to do scutwork. If they do scutwork, it's to free time up for the attending to teach. That is the exchange, or at least, it should be. The more scutwork you hand to residents, the more teaching you ought to provide. When I supervise residents, I always try to split the unpleasant work.
I've noticed an interesting pattern though: the more attendings seem to rely on residents for scutwork, the less interested they seem in teaching. Why is that?