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Anyone finish a fellowship, and then go back to general outpatient pediatrics?

The Dudemeister

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Jul 13, 2014
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Just curious. I am going to finish my fellowship next year (in an ICU based pediatrics fellowship) and I LIKE it, but don't LOVE my specialty. I also refuse to move cities for a job and there's just no jobs here right now. I'm already board certified in gen peds, and am debating getting an outpatient pediatrician job, working 9-5, never working 36hr shifts, seeing my family more, etc...

Anyone finish a fellowship, just not LOVE it enough to continue and decide to go back to outpatient pediatrics? What were your experiences like explaining that in interviews? Were people hesitant to hire you since you spent 3 years not practicing regular pediatrics at the time you tried to go back? Or were generally supportive since you're already board certified and it's not like you were doing nothing medically related for 3 years?

I'll for sure finish my fellowship and get my board certification in my specialty just in case I change my mind later since Im already 2/3 done, but I feel like I might just need to follow my heart here and choose family over job.
 
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SurfingDoctor

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Yes, it happens more frequently then you think. I actually had a co-fellow who quit fellowship 4 months before she was supposed to graduate. I thought it would have been better to just complete it cause you never know... but she was done right then and there. There was also a fellow in the program I’m in now, before I was an attending and they reportedly went to go get dinner during call, walked to a local Kinkos and faxes back a resignation letter and doesn’t return. Obviously those are extreme examples, but sometimes you realize that your life course needs an abrupt change. We’ve had 3 attendings (all less than retirement age) in my group leave patient care all together within in the past year.
 
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Goneril

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I have a friend that went into General Peds for those same reasons. She fell out of love with her field but she was also limited by geography. I don't think she regrets her decision.
 

mvenus929

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The one other person who went into my field from residency dropped out of fellowship after a year and is working as a general pediatrician where her boyfriend/fiance lives. I think a combination of factors led to that decision, but especially burnout in the first year of fellowship (they were very heavy clinical) and being away from her boyfriend/fiance during that time. She seems more or less happy now.

I also know some faculty who have gone through fellowship and work part time in their specialty area and part time in general pediatrics (for varying reasons, including to keep up their general pediatrics skills/knowledge). They also seem happy with that split.
 

PTPoeny

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In residency one of our specialist attendings left after 10 years of practice to go be a general pediatrician and he is very happy. I also know a PICU attending that half retired to part time outpatient work a few years before retirement age. They both found jobs so I think you will be able to find a job.
 

BigRedBeta

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One of my best friends in residency who absolutely loved the NICU from the very first moments of residency through fellowship and early attending life stopped to move back to Gen Peds due to family considerations. I get the sense that while they miss the highs in the unit, not having to deal with lows is a significant silver lining in addition to the better work/life balance.
 

hlancaster

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Dudemeister, I'm curious is it more the job availability or the hours that you don't like?

My perception of the limited job availability/location constraints for peds subspecialists is what ultimately has me not applying to fellowship this year.

As far as ICU jobs goes, it seems like NICU has more job availability than PICU just based on my job searches on the AAP website and recruitment emails. Are you finishing up PICU or NICU? (also, I respect if you don't want to share--no pressure)
 

peds4good

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May 10, 2021
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Bump. Dudemeister, would you be willing to give an update? What did you end up doing, and did you learn anything valuable in the process? I know several fellows (myself included) who are at least peripherally considering this option for a variety of reasons (job market, family, lifestyle, compensation, etc etc). Would love to hear any perspectives you gained over the last year (or if anyone else has a perspective). Thanks!
 
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Stitch

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OP, are you in PICU or NICU? Some other options besides general peds are urgent care or newborn nursery/neonatal hospitalist
I I've been discouraging graduates from going into nursery or neonatal hospitalist jobs. A number of my friends who did this are finding that it's a role being taken by NPs. In academic centers these jobs are a bit more protected but at more community hospitals the physicians tend to be treated like NPs by the administration.
 
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Oso

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I I've been discouraging graduates from going into nursery or neonatal hospitalist jobs. A number of my friends who did this are finding that it's a role being taken by NPs. In academic centers these jobs are a bit more protected but at more community hospitals the physicians tend to be treated like NPs by the administration.
Well that’s a bummer
 
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