Washington Health System

155 Wilson Avenue Washington, PA 15301   (724) 225-7000


Night Call

Night call is an important part of the training program. For the first two months, the first-year resident takes first call every fifth night. For the next eight months, each resident takes turns in a two week night float rotation where the resident covers night call from 7pm until 7am Sunday through Thursday. In May and June of the first year, first year residents return to an every fifth night call rotation.

Call is designed for the resident to assume responsibilities in a graduated fashion. Initially the second-call resident directly supervises the first-year resident. By the end of the first year, the resident will be able to manage a wide variety of medical problems.

Several duties are assumed by the first call resident. In-house emergencies are managed in consultation with the attending physician and senior resident. Under the supervision of the second-call resident, the first-call resident evaluates and provides initial treatment for medical or pediatric patients admitted to the teaching service. The first-year resident performs all clinic deliveries under the supervision of the second-call resident and attending family practitioner or obstetrician. Residents also assist with emergency surgery. Call responsibilities do not include starting IVs, venipuncture, or drawing routine blood gases.

Senior residents are responsible for second and third call. Second call admits patients to the teaching services, supervises the first-call resident, and answers telephone calls from family medicine patients. Second call occurs on an average of two to three times per month. A senior resident is also on third call to provide additional support as necessary. Third call occurs two to three times per month (taken from home). Call is concluded by morning report with a senior faculty member who reviews the important learning experiences encountered.

Night call is designed for a resident to experience the entire spectrum of clinical problems encountered in family medicine. Because of the graduated and comprehensive nature of night call it is a critical component of the educational experience.

"Night call provides the opportunity to manage a diverse assortment of medical problems. High quality medical support and hands-on involvement make it a very important part of the overall learning experience."

Don Faith, Class of 2000