Overnight Pages

The night is dark and full of terrors.

The Red Woman, A Song of Ice and Fire

Thank you for electing a rotation on night medicine! Night medicine is, in general, unpredictable. However, there are certain things that come up again and again that can be intimidating for medical students who do not have years of clinical experience to fall back on. I made this website to provide a framework for you as you think about the complicated patients we will see. This site covers only the basics—patient care is complicated—but it will hopefully at least give you a starting point. Feel free to browse in advance so that you can confidently care for your patients when we encounter these common overnight situations. At the very least, look at the Presenting Patients entry so we are on the same page about the expected oral presentation format.

The Zebra Farm section is currently a work in progress, but it highlights interesting cases and discussions of difficult clinical situations that come up on this rotation. The ICU Topics section provides a quick practical review of how to manage decompensating patients as they transition to the care of an intensivist. Use the menu to navigate.

If you see something on the site that you disagree with or you find an error, please bring it to my attention so we can discuss.

This website/blog is for education purposes only and should not be misconstrued as medical advice. All opinions expressed are my own and should not be interpreted as opinions/beliefs of any hospital, healthcare system, or medical training institution.

Rotation Expectations

  • Develop a reasonable initial evaluation and treatment plan for patients admitted through the emergency department.

  • Address acute medical problems that arise in already hospitalized patients.

  • Identify and initiate management of immediately life-threatening medical problems.

  • Communicate effectively with nurses, emergency medicine providers, and other hospital staff members.

  • If you have any other specific personal objectives, please let me know ASAP.

About the Author

I work as a night-shift hospitalist (“nocturnist”) in the Swedish hospital system. Within medicine, my main interests are seeing medical students succeed and fostering a collegial work culture. Outside of medicine, I’m passionate about backpacking, international travel, astrophotography, and spending time with my corgi.

Image credit: Eric Tanenbaum.

Page Last Updated: July 19, 2022

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Headshot of Eric Tanenbaum, MD · Assistant Professor, WSU College of Medicine; Nocturnist, Swedish Hospital Medicine
Eric Tanenbaum
MD · Assistant Professor, WSU College of Medicine; Nocturnist, Swedish Hospital Medicine
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