Requesting DPH

If you require DPH at ANY time, please page the chief on call at p24433

In case you were wondering, DPH stands for “designated pinch hitter” and is our sick-call pool to cover for illnesses and emergencies of all kinds.

The residency is not able to guarantee DPH coverage for professional or personal events unrelated to the residency (e.g. fellowship interviews, job interviews, presentations at academic meetings, weddings …). If you have further questions, please contact the chief on call.

DPH Block

When you are on a DPH block, you should have your pager on you at all times (signed in as “out of hospital, page emergency only” or have it signed out to a cell phone so that the chief on call can reach you) and you should be within 30-45 minutes of the hospital. The chiefs do their best to give you fair warning via email though there will, of course, be times when needs arise more urgently in which case you will be paged. Interns and juniors will NOT, in general, have clinic during their DPH blocks. Seniors will have clinic during their blocks. A few details regarding the block:

  • Each day of DPH is a 24-hour shift and runs from 7am to 7am the next day. Therefore, on the last day of your DPH block, you must be available to do a night shift if necessary (i.e. you should not plan to be able to take a flight out of Boston at 8 pm on the last day of the DPH rotation if you are going to vacation). This also applies if you are trading for a single day of coverage.
  • If you are needed for a shift but cannot be reached or are unavailable (for reasons other than would usually be acceptable for utilization of DPH), you will be asked to pay back three 24-hour periods of time for each shift for which you were unavailable.
  • Even if you have never been to the VA or Faulkner, you will be expected to be able to go over there. All residents are required to be credentialed at the VA and if you are not credentialed due to not filling out the paperwork and are asked to work a shift at the VA, you will be asked to pay back two 24-hour periods of time for each shift for which you were unavailable.
  • You will have at least 1 day off/week averaged over a block to meet ACGME requirements. In reality, most DPH blocks average more than 1 day off/week.
  • Specific days off cannot be guaranteed – therefore, if you have something important during DPH and need a guaranteed day off, then you should trade your DPH day away. For example, you should not schedule Step 3 or routine/non-urgent appointments during your DPH block. Also, please take into account that you may be called to cover a night shift when making any plans for the following day.
  • If you trade away parts of your DPH time, please note that you cannot trade time in aliquots of less than 12 hours.
  • When the phys is either in clinic or unable to work his/her shift, the first call for coverage will be the resident assigned as Senior Sick.