Slice of Resident Life - Charlie Burns, MD


Name: Charlie Burns
Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL
Medical School: Rush Medical College
Professional Interest: Infectious diseases

What’s the most important thing you learnt about residency? It is a big jump from medical school but exciting to put your medical skills to use.
What should new interns look forward to when starting the program? Meeting great friends, excellent attendings, and inspirational mentors.
The biggest misconception about the intern year is that you are expected to know everything. It is ok to say "I don't know". It's better to learn what you need than to make an easily avoidable mistake!
The one thing you absolutely should do during your intern year is develop a system to keep yourself organized for the rest of residency.
The one thing you should avoid during your intern year is panic.
Favorite residency event? Bronson’s day was a ton of fun. It’s a great tradition that has been occurring for many years at UH. It really makes you feel appreciated as an intern and a great way to celebrate the end of intern year. Also Summer Picnic is great as you have made good friends within the residency by then and get to celebrate another year completed with everyone. It is also a bittersweet time as it is also a goodbye send-off for the third-year seniors.
What’s the average day like for you? Well, I just finished intern year so I’ll describe a typical day on the floors.
5:15 a.m.: Wake up. I’m generally slow in the morning and need to have some buffer time to walk my dog.
6:30 - 7:00 a.m.: Arrive at work and head to Tower 5 for sign out. The actual time I come in depends on how many patients I have the day and how many overnight admissions I expect to get. Also I probably spend too much time hanging out with friends in the team room during sign out than I should.
7:00 - 8:00 a.m.: Pre-round on my patients and see any new overnight admitions. Make sure to organize your patient list geographically so you don’t waste time running back and forth between the various buildings!
8:00 a.m.: Rounds with the team. Depending on the team and patient load these may be longer or shorter but tend to last until 10:30am.
10:30 - 11:00 a.m.: Get orders in, call consults, run through your plan with the seniors to make sure everyone is on the same page.
11:00 am - 12:00 p.m. : Either more time to take care of business and have teaching sessions in the team room or intern report. Intern report is twice a week where you get to see all your friends and have a teaching lesson from an attending or chief resident. Sometimes its less formal and we discuss interesting cases or issues/concerns as a group.
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.: Noon conference, Grand Rounds, or Morbidity and Mortality conference depending on the day. All are great, plus typically there is free lunch!
1:00 - 7:00 p.m.: Assuming I’m on medium or .ong call, I have to stay until sign-out at 7:00 p.m. Otherwise, your day typically ends once your work is done, provided there is nothing you can do to help your teammates (approx. 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.) Use this time to finish orders, notes, or anything left over from the morning. This is also typically when most of your new admits will come in. The afternoon is a great time to teach/work with medical students and have further teaching sessions with seniors or attendings. Of course, it is also a good time to hang out with your team and build friendships.
7:00 - 11:00 p.m.: Sign-out time! The actual time depends on what call you’re on, when your new admits came in, and when all your patients are “tucked in.” Again, head to the Tower 5 to meet up with the night float team. Always remember that if you’re in a bind and/or need help - just ask! Our program is incredibly friendly and supportive and there is always someone willing to lend a hand even if they are not on your team. There is no reason for an intern to be staying extremely late or overnight!
Post sign out: Head home, relax, spend time with friends/family/significant others. Don’t forget to leave time for yourself and your hobbies too!
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? As long as you can walk away at the end of the day knowing you did what you felt was best for the patient then you'll be ok.

How would you describe Cleveland to somebody who has never been here? A medium sized city with great music, food, arts, entertainment and outdoor activities.
What neighborhood you live in? I live in Shaker Square approximately 5-10 minutes from UH.
What are some of the spots to go to fall in love with Cleveland? All of the different neighborhood festivals with music, food, and friendly people. Also all of the beaches and metroparks are great too.
Your favorite spots for a quick bite around the hospital: Wolfgang, Falaffel Cafe, Ninja City.
Brunch: Lucky’s in Tremont neighborhood.
Dinner with friends: Felice in Larchmere neighborhood.
To impress a date: The Greenhouse Tavern.
A night on the town: The Ohio City neighborhood.

Cope with sleep deprivation: Get sleep as much as possible whenever possible even if it is unexpected random naps.
Stay on top of discharge summaries: Do them the day of discharge so you don’t fall behind and get overloaded or forget to do one.
Get out of the hospital on time: Ask for help! You are never alone, there is always someone else in the hospital who is willing and eager to help you out if you need it. Just ask and make sure to stay organized so you can keep track of everything you need to do.
Avoid burnout: Take time for yourself to spend with family, friends, significant others and to do the things you like!

East Side or West Side: East side
Staying in or going out: Go out (especially outside since you will spend many hours in the hospital)
UH or VA: Both are great for different reasons. I really enjoy the subspecialty services at UH so you can get specific training from experts; the autonomy and excellent teaching attendings for general medicine at the VA are great too.
Grand Rounds or M&M: I'd have to say Grand Rounds. I really enjoy learning about cutting-edge medical topics from true experts.
Lease or buy a car in Cleveland: You will need a car to get around Cleveland. Buying or leasing are both good options. I happen to own. It does get snowy here so keep that in mind while car shopping.
Own or rent a house in Cleveland: Houses are very affordable here and there are several excellent loan options if you're looking to buy around the medical campus. I would definitely consider buying if you can afford it. I ended up renting as I wasn't sure what area of Cleveland to purchase in. There are many affordable rental options as well!

On my bucket list to travel as much as possible.
I can’t live without pocket medicine - its my security blanket.
Fun fact most people don’t know about me is I brew my own beer.
When I’m not on call you will find me likely outdoors hiking, biking, or kayaking with my wife and dog in one of the many parks around Cleveland.