Monday, June 11, 2007


Sanjiv, if by any chance you are reading this I need to get a hold of you. Send me an email.

Traditionally when doctors go through residency they work 36hr shifts and put in 100 or more hours per week at the hospital. The idea is to train the mind to deal with stressful situations in extreme conditions. Sleep deprivation is used to accomplish this. It also benefits the hospital since when a position is salaried, long hours mean good business. In recent years the trend has been to reduce this to more reasonable hours, with 80hr work week limits and 10hrs off mandated between shifts that don't last more than 24hrs. Will this result in better doctors, well studies say yes and also that there will be less hospital accidents. This is a good thing for patients.

The question is how does this relate to life and work on Devon? Well we live where we work and have been doing something like 100hr weeks for the last two or three. I think everyone has now realized that this is not possible to do for the long term and hopefully we will fall into a more manageable schedule. Here we also have the blessing/curse of 24hr sunlight so there are not any real cues that it is time to sleep and this too has an effect. We even have one study, Project C.A.S.P.E.R. , run by Dr. Marc O'griofa of the University of Limerick (Marc is also one of our Flight Surgeons), that is looking at us for just this kind of information. CASPER flew for the first time on the ISS last year.

To give everyone a break we take every Sunday off and also today was designated a sleep-in day when we will start at noon. I hope this will be enough of a break for everyone. That combined with a new schedule that should allow for more time to do reports and take care of personal correspondence should get us back to peak output. Of course there is still a lot of work to do, we just need to manage our time and try to get back to a more normal schedule. None of us here want to be MD's and we all feel for them too. Sleep tight readers, but before you do take a look at these:

Another Columbia inukskuk

Nadav, our intrepid swimming photographer

Playa Patti on FMARS Fjord

James enjoys the bikini clad sunbathers at Playa Patti,
they are hidden by the fog rolling in across the fjord


PauloutWest said...

"Sleep Data, Sleep"

Dad said...

Jim, Now,you know why I asked the question about the sun setting. Welcome to my world, you'll never forget it. But you see the problem and you are prepared to work with it. I like the pictures, especially the Fog Bank, off in the distance. They do move around, so be careful. Keep on having fun. Always, Dad

James Harris said...

Yea that fog does move. I was commander on that EVA and called a halt to it about 10 minutes after that picture was taken. As it rolled in on us it dropped visibility to less than 500 meters. We were getting up above it by then though so it was only that bad for a few minutes.

Claudia said...

Hey there,
I am feeling for ya, cause I been exhausted this week as well. Reason, Vacation Bible School. As director, not much sleep. but it was a success, I wonder when they come out with a space mission VBS that would be really cool. They have special Agents. Well now that it is over, summer has actually begin for us. Which means hanging by the pool, trying to get a tan maybe. Anika has been bugging me to go swimming for a long time.
Talk to you soon.