The deep end refers to the deep end of the pool, assuming the pool has different depths as you progress along its length. Therefore, when brand-new July 1st interns are thrown into the deep end, they are physically being thrown into the deepest part of the swimming pool.
As part of a yearly tradition, July 1st interns mark the beginning of their "year of horror" by being thrown into either one of two places: the fire or the deep end. Back in the 1970s, most if not all residency programs were mandated to toss interns into one or the other, per ACGME guidelines. With greater concerns about fire causing burnout over the past decade, the ACGME has changed their recommendations, stating that interns should be tossed into the fire first and then, if things get too hot, to then toss them into the deep end to cool off and, hopefully, not drown.
How Deep is the Deep End?
For the Olympics, the deep end is about 9 feet deep in swimming pools and 10 feet in diving pools. That does not apply to July interns. In fact, they probably wouldn’t want to know that the deep end in health care swimming pools is about 500-feet deep.
Can Interns Wear Life Vests in the Deep End?
What if Interns Don’t Know How to Swim?
They shouldn’t have joined health care; it's all about sinking or swimming.