Alternatives to working in ER

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by Blackbrim, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Blackbrim

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    As an EM trained physician if you woke up one day and decided never to work in a hospital ER (but didn't necessarily decide to stop practicing medicine) what would be your best alternatives for a job?
     
  2. SoCuteMD

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    Urgent care. Cruise ship medicine (the pay is terrible from what I hear, though).

    People often seem to think that you could become a primary care physician but I strongly (STRONGLY) disagree with that idea and think it's disrespectful to people trained in primary care to think we can do so without doing a primary care residency.
     
  3. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon
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    It's not just a question of disagreement -- it's not possible unless you did EM/IM or EM/FP.
     
  4. Hallm_7

    Hallm_7 Senior Member
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    This is actually incorrect. There was a thread about this recently, specifically in regards to going into primary care. Legally you can practice primary care if you want, and there are examples of EM people doing that. Whether or not its a good idea is another topic entirely (there are good arguments on both sides IMO), but it is definitely, 100% possible if you wanted. Techincally all you have to do is a single year of post-graduate training (in anything) to be fully licensed to practice as a physician. Finding a job in major population centers will be difficult, but in rural areas where there are very few PCPs you can get a job easily. In a community near where I grew up there are general surgeons who do primary care in additon to their small-town surgery practice, so EM docs can definitely do it.

    Besides that there are several options. You could go into EMS with very minimal time in the ED. You could do occupational medicine. You could do urgent care. You can work for a large primary care group and just take acute care visits. With another year of training you could go into critical care and work in an ICU setting. You could go into the business aspect of medicine. I have a friend who is an upper managment type for a clinical lab company who says he has salespeople who make more than the PCPs they sell to. I guarentee you could get a job as an MD with a company like that since they typically hire college grads with no knowledge about medical care. You could get into hospital management after working a few years and never look back. And, of course, you could teach at a college level pretty easily if you wanted. And don't forget about opening a cosmetic business that does Botox, collagen injections, and hair removal combined with facials, pedicures, and the obligatory suntan bed. The list goes on and on.

    MDs in any specialty have tremendous options in practice style if they choose to stay in medicine, and we have a huge variety of options if someone desires to leave medicine altogether. For whatever reason these options are not talked about, so many people don't realize they have these options and they lead miserable lives. And miserable people make for very poor clinicians.
     
  5. Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
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    Well said. And although it might be unseemly to mention it, there's always the insurance companies. I know an MD who got tired of seeing patients, went back to his computer-nerd roots, and got into data analysis for a ginormous insurance company. I like to think that since he knows how things actually work, he can make them slightly less evil as he's crunching numbers and trying to track patterns of usage.

    A couple of Canadian docs went and founded a videogame company, so there's always the entrepeneurship thing. The MD carries a lot of cache outside the medical world too, and there doesn't seem to be much limit on where it can take people, if they have a plan.
     

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