Anyone switch from EM to DR/IR and regret it?

g3tb0mbed

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Hello,

Currently a 3rd year trying to decide which specialty to go into. Ive narrowed it down to EM and radiology (likely IR but enjoy DR too). I am drawn to the pace and personalities of the ER but also enjoy the relatively fixed schedule of radiology along with the breadth of knowledge that must be maintained to be a good radiologist. Just wondering if there was anyone here who switched from EM and has any regrets, or maybe thought it was a great decision for them. Thanks
 
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ineedhelpplse

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I'm between these two also so I thought I'd add what's going through my mind in case it might help (or not).

I was strongly leaning towards ER but after doing some research during the lockdown, where I have nothing better to do, I've seen a lot of negative predictions on the future job market and I don't think EM will be in a good spot in 10-15 years. Rads seems like a better option logically to me: IR/INR option if don't like DR as much, more normal work hours, not as physically tiring, 1 on/2 off option, work at home option.

I do have the same concerns as you though I feel like EM is a naturally better fit for me and I heard that rads hours/call can be a lot
 
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zero0

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Idk but after a week of intern year I'm glad I'll be doing something where I'll be sitting all day. This crap is surprisingly physically draining
 
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GoPelicans

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Go with your perceived likeness of a specialty, worrying about job market, prestige, salary, etc can make you end up doing something you hate. You'll never end up hating your life because you make $300k instead of $400k but you will hate doing a job that doesn't fit your personality.
 
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recycledpaper

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EM if you like to depend on the radiologist to make the diagnosis. Radiology if you want to be the one making the diagnosis.

All jokes aside, all you have to ask yourself is what specialty can you see yourself doing at the age of 50 and still be happy doing it?
 
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Hello,

Currently a 3rd year trying to decide which specialty to go into. Ive narrowed it down to EM and radiology (likely IR but enjoy DR too). I am drawn to the pace and personalities of the ER but also enjoy the relatively fixed schedule of radiology along with the breadth of knowledge that must be maintained to be a good radiologist. Just wondering if there was anyone here who switched from EM and has any regrets, or maybe thought it was a great decision for them. Thanks

EM here... Rads and EM are two diametrically different specialties and in theory it shouldn't be that hard to figure out which one you are drawn to. The harsh reality is that you are going to get sick of whichever one you choose after about 10 years. Then you tolerate it for about another 5 or 10 years, and then you hate it until you retire. Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. The EM golden years are going by the wayside and we are seeing an influx of applicants/graduating residents and a drop in salaries. Meanwhile, EM gets more metric based with increasing hospital/employer pressures to "move the meat" and you quickly feel like a "triage doctor" many days. That being said, it's great for ADD docs and great for passing the time as it's a multitaskers wet dream. Lots of relatively fast procedures that give you immediate gratification. The ability to have first crack at diagnosing undifferentiated patients. Then again, little respect among the hospital staff and a brutal schedule. The schedule can be very stressful, not only for you, but for loved ones as well.

I've always enjoyed radiology but doubted that I was competitive enough to apply to it back as a medical student (IMG). I still preferred EM, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I secretly envy many of the diagnostic rads guys. Who knows though, maybe they envy those of us actually treating patients at the bedside though I feel they would probably change their mind after trading places for a couple of weeks. Keep in mind, you still get to do a fair amount of radiology interpretation in EM. Plain films are typically not formally read during the night, most of us who were trained in the past 15 years get fairly decent to excellent ultrasound experience and the whole secret to getting better at reading CTs is to try to interpret it yourself, read the radiologist's report, then go back and see what you missed. I've done that my entire career and although I might be a piss poor formal radiologist, I can do a fairly decent job on most scans and enjoy having the radiologists teach me a few things when they call.

In a perfect world, I'd like to have EM for the first half of my career and radiology for the second half but that's wishful thinking. Without a doubt, you can practice longer as a radiologist compared to an EM doc. There's no doubt about that. Good luck.
 
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