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Are there any "lifestyle" specialties left?

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by IJL, May 17, 2012.

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  1. IJL

    IJL

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    I'll just throw it out there, I like to work as little as possible and make as much money as possible (who doesn't, right?)

    I know I will get berated on SDN for making a post like this, so bring it on. I will work hard when I have to, and I always know my sh*t, so that is not an issue. I just don't want to be working my life away without enjoying it (being an MD will not be my life, I consider it a job).

    Checking through the typical "lifestyle" specialties forums on this site, Rads claims they are absolutely not a lifestyle specialty, same with Optho and Anesthesiology. I guess derm is the exception, but it seems incredibly hard to get in to.

    So is there anything left out there for the "lazy" :rolleyes: greedy people out there?!
  2. D elegans

    D elegans 2 1 5

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    You can be as lazy as you want in many specialties if you take the corresponding decrease in salary. There's no magic bullet; there will be a tradeoff
  3. ckdgusdl88

    ckdgusdl88

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    I hear Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation can be lucrative if you open up your own rehab center. It's basically a very laid back specialty where PTs do all the manual labor. And PM&R is still easy to get into. It definitely isn't a prestigious specialty, but the OP never asked about that.
  4. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    Outpatient psych?
  5. wacritchlow

    wacritchlow

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    Why would you possibly go through all this stress, hard work, years of servitude, etc., for just a job? It sounds like you don't appreciate the privilege of becoming a physician. If you want "just a job" to make money, go to business or law school.

    I want a good lifestyle too- but I also realize that being a doctor will never be "just a job." That's sad.
  6. IJL

    IJL

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    Aaaaaand here they come
    gunnershow and aich like this.
  7. ckdgusdl88

    ckdgusdl88

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    You somehow think business or law will welcome new entrants to the trade with open arms, and award you with easy money. It isn't like that. Trust me: I've worked in a corporate law firm (not as an attorney) for a while.
  8. tonguetalker

    tonguetalker

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    I would think though, that to pull big money in business or law, you would have to put in an equal amount of work, if not more. Also without the reward of taking care of patients and healing. I think its possible to want money and to heal.
  9. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    Lol. Just stop.
  10. scootad.

    scootad. Senior Member

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    Allergy - man up for 3 years IM residency and make yourself competitive for the fellowship (not sure how competitive it is currently).

    PMR - but must genuinely like the field.

    Derm - insanely competitive

    Psych - but must genuinely like/tolerate the field
  11. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    Are there really any fields where you must not like and/or tolerate the field?
  12. IJL

    IJL

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    Are you not familiar with the myth amongst medical students that all "business people" and lawyers make $300k whilst working 30 hours a week with two rounds of golf thrown in there?

    Not to mention that it is a breeze to get into I-banking.
  13. scootad.

    scootad. Senior Member

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    Sure you must like/tolerate any job but thats exaggerated for psych because some people could never handle working with that patient population on a daily basis. Even for PMR, if you don't like the idea of working with debilitated populations or don't like neuro/msk anatomy/physiology that would be very problematic. Granted I don't know a whole lot about being an allergist, but I can imagine that as being a field one feels completely neutral about but still loving it because of the hours/low stress.
  14. greg1184

    greg1184

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    SDN tends to deal with extremes.

    The majority of radiology residents are happy. One weekend every 1.5-2 months. Relatively small amount of call.

    I think the point many of the rays people here are saying is that they are very busy during the time they are in service and call. So it is not cush in terms of you are sitting on your ass with alot of downtime. It is probably variable to the program and location they are in, but as a lifestyle I would take 1 weekend every couple of months over 6 day weeks any time. The only question you (and me, right now) should ask is if you would enjoy reading slides all day with limited patient management and interaction (except IR/breast).

    I would say Path has a relatively nice lifestyle as well. Same question, though.
  15. ckdgusdl88

    ckdgusdl88

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    I'd like to vouch again for PMR. Every specialty requires lots of knowledge. Currently, you do not need high grades to get into PMR. It is a great deal. People are starting to notice, and the cutlines go up every year.
  16. IJL

    IJL

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    What about rads future as far as outsourcing and computer reads? The guys in the radiology forum have me pretty concerned for the field going forward, which is really disappointing.
  17. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    I don't believe outsourcing will ever be near as much of an issue as everyone claims. Same way that CRNAs aren't a big deal outside of the gas forums, ODs aren't a massive problem for optho, or DNPs aren't a big deal outside the FM forums. Everyone complains the loudest on the Internet, but real life =/= the Internet. Just check out 4chan if you need any proof of that.

    What I would be worried about, however, is a realignment of compensation for most specialists and sub specialists. Rads makes, what, 3-4x what a PCP makes? and twice what a surgeon makes? I wouldn't expect those disparities to last too much longer. Nobody is gonna go broke, but I think you're gonna have to work A LOT harder to see the kind of salaries you see today, if you'll see them at all (there goes your lifestyle aspect).
  18. IJL

    IJL

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    Thanks for the good posts. Would you see compensation decreasing across the board though? Making gas, derm, etc all equally less of a lifestyle specialty?
  19. PeterPesto

    PeterPesto

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    Junior Associate at big law firm - 80 - 100 hour work week.
  20. greg1184

    greg1184

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    As the PD of my home program says: The only people who are concerned about outsourcing are medical students.

    Lawyers will never go for outsourcing, because no one can be held accountable then for readings.


    The more pressing issue in the future business is probably the commoditization of radiology, the costs of progressing technology and possibly the reduction of reimbursements.
  21. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    Well, keep in mind that "lifestyle" as the traditional definition doesn't always mean who makes the most money, otherwise you'd see spinal surgeons as a "lifestyle" specialty even though it's pretty much unanimously agreed that neurosurg's hours blow donkey dong.

    And while nobody can say for sure, I'd say with looming healthcare reform and uncertainty as to how exactly physicians will be paid in the future (bundled payments, reimbursements tied to "quality" measures, etc.) that likely everyone, with the possible exception of primary care, will see at least some sort of decrease in compensation. Really the only "safe" haven would be cash-oriented procedures such as cosmetic type stuff, but even then it's not a panacea. The plastic surgeon I shadowed almost went bankrupt in 2008, and he stil hasn't fully recovered from the economic downturn, so that avenue has risks as well. Plus, nearly every major city is inundated with cosmetics people and now you have PCPs doing Botox, so who knows how lucrative that will be going forward.

    That said, I still believe specialists will always make more than primary care doctors, and I think doctors will always make much more than the average person. The question will be, where do we land? I'd like to see us emulate a type of system like Canada, where there's a public option to insure everyone, and then those with the means can purchase supplemental insurance. Placates the hippies and still allows for physicians to be well remunerated.
  22. wacritchlow

    wacritchlow

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    Glad I could make you laugh.

    I realize that business and law aren't easy fields. I also realize that if you started in business when you were out of college, worked for the next four years (rather than going to more school) and worked for another 3-5 years (rather than being a bitch in residency) you'd be a lot farther ahead than most physicians, who only start making money when they're in their mid-30s.

    Point being, you're an idiot if you're going into medicine for the money. I want to make bank, just like everyone else. How much money I make will be a huge deal in my future decisions. But this is still more than just a job. I would say that if you're putting in 7-9 years of training for just a job, you're also an idiot.
  23. cowme

    cowme ACFAS Member

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    Outsourcing to foreign physicians will never happen. First of all, it would take a major paradigm shift to allow a non-licensed physician to practice medicine on US patients (and you aren't going to get a license to practice without at least a fellowship in America).

    And even if it were to happen, What would be a foreign rads incentive to thoroughly examine a study if they aren't being held legally accountable? And who is a patient going to sue if some Indian doctor missed the diagnosis that led to serous morbidity? They would sue the hospital that outsourced, and the hospital would lose far more money in the lawsuit than they would save by outsourcing.

    Regarding computers, they will definitely be able to read studies one day. But technology doesnt replace humans overnight. When the technology arrives, radiology productivity (and salary) will increase ten-fold for a generation until they are replaced by the machines.
  24. DOWay

    DOWay

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    Dermatology... but everything will change over time with reimbursements getting cut more and more. The cash procedures though, they'll always be "lifestyle'.
  25. Shnurek

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    I wanted to agree with you on this. You can even see it in the gender dynamics. Healthcare is becoming increasingly female dominated. MD/DO ~50% female, OD 65% female, Nursing 95% female because men like to go where the money is. One of the few fields where the majority of people in school are males are MBA, engineering, finance and Dentistry. Because financially those fields are better off. With healthcare becoming increasingly socialized the same entrepreneurial freedom that was once there will not exist in the future.
  26. wacritchlow

    wacritchlow

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    But hey, that's not why this guy made this post. I'll leave the discussion to allow everyone to recommend all the easy, cushy jobs in medicine that make you rich.
  27. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    Actually, dentistry is becoming more and more female. Most current dental schools have approximately a 50-50 breakdown of male to female ratio (similar to medical schools). But hey, don't let pesky things like "facts" get in the way of your posts.
  28. auburnO5

    auburnO5

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    Thank you.
  29. theseeker4

    theseeker4 MS 3

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    That sounds strangely like the general public's impression of doctors' lives....
  30. greg1184

    greg1184

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    My favorite layperson quote, especially when they are charging me money: "Don't worry, you are going to be a doctor. You will be rich."
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  31. AlexMorph

    AlexMorph

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    title recognition ... emergency medicine...

    good one!
  32. thomprya

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    Allergy is by far the most cush area of medicine I know. I have yet to meet an allergist that works five days a week. Both docs of mine work 4 and 3 day weeks. I figure they are probably in the 200-250 range for salary. IMO it really doesn't get much more cush then that. Get to make your money and have the time to spend it too, what a concept....
    vanfanal likes this.
  33. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    http://www.adea.org/publications/td...rst-Time Enrollees by Gender,2000 to 2011.pdf

    You are correct that it is becoming more female and right now it is 45% female and 55% male which is actually more balanced that I thought but everything I stated was correct. The majority is still male.
  34. CaptainSSO

    CaptainSSO

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    You're an idiot.
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  35. ColeMine

    ColeMine

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    I know a few people who have flexibility working emergency medicine. As D elegans said, there will be trade-offs.

    Regardless of how many times you hear people say it, I think that a lot of people head into medicine for the money. It's really crazy because there are a lot of other ways to make money out there that don't even require you to leave your house.

    For example, I know people who trade Forex all day. They run powerful computers that have six monitors and watch multiple currency patterns on them. Forex markets are open 24/7 so they can work whenever they want. The schedule is completely up to them. Some of them make a lot more than what those working in IM or peds do after all expenses are taken into account...and they do it in their pajamas.

    Obviously, there's not "currency training" college education out there so they have to figure it out as they go and I'm sure they lose a lot of money, but I don't know if they have to drop $100k or more in order to learn how to make $10,000 p/month.

    I think that people know that if you're not making $100k+ p/year, the idea of saving for the future, saving for college, having a nice house/car, and being able to give your family a better-than-average lifestyle is very difficult to achieve. They just don't know what type of things to do in order to make that kind of money but they DO know that doctors make that much so they decide that because they're book smart that they'll head in that direction and then do mental gymnastics trying to convince themselves that they are really in it because they "love medicine" when that's really not the case at all.
  36. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    Lol, oh ya?
  37. Horchow

    Horchow

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    you sound extremely silly and naive. anyone who says money does not factor into their decision to enter into medicine and even more so their specialization is lying - period. for many in medicine, it is the major factor along with the prestige associated with being a doctor. why do you think they try so hard to make sure that people have compassion, a desire to serve the undeserved and humility? it definitely isn't because medicine is overflowing with these types of individuals. people get in, get their degree and then do something to make money to pay down their debt in a reasonable amount of time and live the type of lifestyle the average person couldn't afford to live. plain and simple.

    people do unbelievable things "just for a job" every day. it is called making life decisions. where is a disdain smiley when i need one?
  38. kautionwirez

    kautionwirez Hadoken!

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    What about hospitalist as a lifestyle specialty? (if mentioned, did not read posts above atm)

    My friend's aunt is one and she travels every other week going to conferences and such, giving out presentations. She will, or has gone to every baseball stadium in the country.
  39. KnuxNole

    KnuxNole Sweets Addict

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    What's wrong with viewing medicine as simply a job? Because....it IS a job. You'll find that 90% of med students feel this way too. It's not like doctors out there walk around thinking they are answering a calling every waking second lol
  40. todds

    todds Member

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    Commenting on the bolded part - those two terms in my experience are contradictory. You cannot "know your stuff" and work as little as possible, especially in medicine. If you wanna be very good at what you do, you have to read as much as you can, read some more, and then some more while at the same time getting exposure to as many different types of experiences/cases as you can.

    The reason you will get negative comments from your peers is that people in medicine know that the lazy docs are the QUITE OFTEN the bad ones. They almost go hand in hand. If you don't work to master your craft and then continue to work, then you will not be good. This doesn't matter whether you're in Radiology, Derm whatever.

    The residents who will be goo Radiologists and Dermatologists when not working are in the library studying. They dont HAVE to, they need/want to, because they wanna be good. This is true for all specialties. Good surgeons stay late to hop on a procedure so they can get exposure/get better at it. Get medicine people want to read about all their patients and take on more patients to learn about them..

    You may never appreciate this if you want to be lazy in medicine, but i guarantee you your peers will.

    Having said that, there are specialties where you won't work AS much. But time and time again, you must do what you enjoy and then try to adjust the lifestyle of that specialty post residency accordingly. This is the only way you'll continue to improve as a doctor and the only way you'll enjoy life. You can work pretty much whatever hours you want in most specialties post residency
  41. VisionaryTics

    VisionaryTics Señor Member

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    Did you read that neurosurgery thread? Christ, those people are narcissists. I mean, thank God for that, that narcissism sustains them through 110-hour work weeks, but dear lord...
  42. todds

    todds Member

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    I think you can make time to spend your money, have a decent lifestyle and work >50 hours a week if you make a couple sacrifices in almost any specialty as long as you adjust your hours. For example, an academic cardiologist I work with set up his schedule like this:

    M 0700 - 2359 Works all day, takes call and finishes up academic work, consults on call
    T 0000 - 2300
    W OFF
    R 0800-1400
    F 0800-1400
    S OFF
    S OFF

    Works 52 hours a week + takes weekend call for the group every 4th weekend which requires roughly 10 hours for the weekend and home call. He sacrifices two days dedicating purely to work, but dedicates a full 3 days and 2 afternoons to himself and family. Then a couple office days for follow ups/consults. Picks up kids from school 3/5 days. Pretty good set up for a cardiologist while still working full time and not sacrificing money.

    I can imagine ER could do something like this as well taking back to back shifts couple days in a row then taking 5 days off
  43. High Roller

    High Roller

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    I don't know...you could always tap into the late night infomercial market. Seems like an untapped resource. I mean somebody's gotta take the torch and recommend innovative placebo pills that make your 'package' bigger and such.

    Ok...in all seriousness...for whatever reason theres a lot of defensive posters on the SDN specialty boards when you refer to their specialties as "lifestyle". I don't think its a completely accurate picture of whats out there. I'd make sure to talk to docs practicing in the community and get their perspective as well.

    I do agree with a lot of the previous input and would just add that I know a few EM docs practicing in the community who have pretty sweet lives. One of them is in a group where he claims to work 110 hours a month with a guaranteed consecutive 7 day period off every month. In a killer location too. Not a bad life. I'm sure theres tons of examples in almost every specialty.
  44. QuizzicalApe

    QuizzicalApe

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    It is a job. It's a cool job, the job that I want to do. That's about it. Other people are willing to go through the training and work for a job. There's no need to risk falling off your alabaster pedestal by peering down on the impure plebes.

    Not sure how the compensation is, but hopefully there are enough people interested in proctology that you can get someone to help dis-impact your head.
  45. thomprya

    thomprya

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    Interesting setup, that might be dependent on how busy your call is. I don't know if a surgeon could stay up two days straight and still operate at the 45th hour. Regardless, point received and that set up seems about as family friendly as I have seen for 50+ hrs a week
  46. wacritchlow

    wacritchlow

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    Cool story bro.
    Maybe you missed the part where I said "Point being, you're an idiot if you're going into medicine for the money. I want to make bank, just like everyone else. How much money I make will be a huge deal in my future decisions."
    Pardon my naiveté, but I still think that being a doctor is more than a job. I'm sorry you disagree.
  47. IJL

    IJL

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    This is all well and good, but I am likely just smarter than you ---> less time studying and reading for me. Sorry, just the way it is.
  48. KnuxNole

    KnuxNole Sweets Addict

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    I agree. You are NOT better than others or more meaningful if you believe this is "more" than a job. Whatever reasons you have for this are gonna not matter to people just as reasons for why this is ONLY a mere job won't matter to you..
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  49. link2swim06

    link2swim06 PGY-1

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    I read a stat once that 95% of people who try day trading / forex / etc will not only make $0, they will lose money. Conversely I doubt the 5% is just "luck" but it surely isn't an activity most people can pick up.

    There is no low hanging fruit left in this economy. Anything you get you either worked your ass for or have such a unique innate skill set you can succeed where almost everyone else will fail (i.e. forex trading). However, I would argue the vast majority of us fall into that first category.

    From purely a fiscal standpoint medicine is a very sure bet, there are no homeless physicians. Dare I say the median lifestyle is acceptable for most (vs other careers)?
  50. todds

    todds Member

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    lol what year are you? Wait until you get some real responsibility to even talk and you'll see just how little you know. We are not talking about studying for an exam or NBME shelf, we're talking about real studying, knowing your stuff so you don't hurt people or do unnecessary things for people.

    Sorry, your intelligence won't just download information to your brain, you actually have to work for it. Hope you dont fall too hard when your superiors will point out at some point how little you know.

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