Timeout Cage

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The timeout cage is a cage into which a misbehaving health care professional, usually a neophyte intern, is placed for indefinite period of time, with the locking of the cage being performed by a superior, either a nurse, resident, or attending on service.[1] The timeout cage is a form of behavioral modification with the hope that this form of punishment leads to the cessation of any ill-performed deeds, like ordering 1,000 units of insulin or checking serial chloride levels.


The timeout cage is located either in the dialysis unit or the nurses station for all to see.

Types of Cages

The size of the timeout cage can vary depending on the budget allotted to the residency program on intern cages. A typical timeout cage is 4' x 4' x 6', though some "malignant" programs make malcontent interns bend to their will by placing them into 2' x 2' x 2' cages. Most timeout cages have some sort of bedding or sheets at the bottom with access to water and occasional "doggy" treats. This may seem like deplorable conditions, but they are in fact an upgrade from the standard hospital call room.[2]


There are several indications for placing an intern into the timeout cage:

  1. Caught using copy-and-paste
  2. Caught using cut-and-paste
  3. Failure to complete daily progress note by end of month
  4. Failure to pre-pre-round, pre-round, work round, round, post-round, and post-post-round on any given day
  5. Failure to urinate or defecate in the bathroom or outdoors like all the other potty-trained residents
  6. Not answering three consecutive questions from the supervising attending correctly
  7. Not return a page within 15 seconds

Related Reading


  1. Intern Put Into Timeout Cage to Think About What She Did (Gomerblog)
  2. Call Room Bears Striking Resemblance to Medieval Dungeon (Gomerblog)

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