elzocalo

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is 4 weeks the norm for vacation time? diagnostic radiologists seem to get double that :(. oh well not gona make or break my decision just want a heads up ahead of time. seems like lifestyle is great in rad onc but not so much in terms of vacation time and one would prolly feel guilty in rad onc leaving your patients for too long anyway. i dunno.
 

Gfunk6

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In residency Rad Onc >> Radiology in terms of lifestyle. In practice Radiology > Rad Onc. Of course vacation is negotiable depending on your practice setting, but when you see your patients directly leaving clinic for weeks at a time is inadvisable.
 

radonc

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In residency Rad Onc >> Radiology in terms of lifestyle. In practice Radiology > Rad Onc. Of course vacation is negotiable depending on your practice setting, but when you see your patients directly leaving clinic for weeks at a time is inadvisable.
yes, in radiation oncology, the vacation (on the avg) tends to be less than radiology after residency. however, the vacation is still greater (again, on avg) than most specialties.

people in academics get 4-6 wks vaca, privates prob get 6-8. the leave required to attend/present at conferences is prob 2+ weeks in academics, whereas in private its usually 1.
 
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elzocalo

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is it unheard of/inappropriate in rad onc to get 3-6 months off? this is the field i love but because of a 2nd career ill probably have this limitation and obviously want to/will avoid selling out to radiology... ive heard of one rad onc that was offered 3 month vacation time so i think it's possible...? you guys ever heard of rad oncs that only work 6-9months per year?
 

radonc

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is it unheard of/inappropriate in rad onc to get 3-6 months off? this is the field i love but because of a 2nd career ill probably have this limitation and obviously want to/will avoid selling out to radiology... ive heard of one rad onc that was offered 3 month vacation time so i think it's possible...? you guys ever heard of rad oncs that only work 6-9months per year?
you should prob stick to rads...
 

medgator

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Rad onc has a lot more continuity of care with direct patient contact compared to rads, and as such, it's harder to take long blocks off at a time I'd imagine (although I am not in practice yet).

You have to see patients in follow-up and on-treatment. In a big rad onc group, you could probably get coverage while you were away for a week here or there, but that's about it I'd imagine.

Rads lends itself better to locums and short stints, as far as I can tell. You read the studies and move on.
 

MHotep

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Just be mindful that a lot of radiology jobs, especially when you begin working, can require a lot of night shifts...A LOT!!! Reading studies = $$$. So they want people reading 24/7, which means that you will be reading from 7pm to 7am quite often. That lifestyle sucks.
 

p53

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PLEASE DO NOT GO INTO RADIATION ONCOLOGY IF YOU ARE SEEKING EXTENDED VACATION TIME!!! YOUR PATIENTS NEED YOU!!!

If you want extended vacation time go into radiology.

http://www.radworking.com/radiology-jobs/437161.html

http://www.radworking.com/jobs/radiology-jobs.html

Everyone here is right. Even when salary goes down for radiology and radiation oncology. The lifestyle will be much better for radiology. Plus, you can subspecialize in MSK outpatient imaging and get 12-16 weeks off a year with ZERO call.

Why do you think all of the Gunners in radiology residency are gunning for a Muscularskeletal fellowship? MSK is the dermatology of radiology subspecialties! It has low malpractice, cush hours (M-F 9to5), and 3-4 months of vacation a year. Plus, you can work for professional teams as their official radiologist and read all of their studies. I know one guy that works for the Philadelphia Eagles and reads all of the MR studies for the Eagles Ortho group and travels with the team.

Even if Radiology salary hits $300-$350 it will always have these long vacation times.

Plus if you want to make beaucoup bucks you can pick up extra night shifts.

Also, some East Coast groups own houses in hawaii and rotate partners for 4 week blocks to Hawaii. This allows the group to have overnight reads from Hawaii for two weeks and two weeks of "free vacation" in Hawaii. This is known as inhouse nighthawk because of the time difference. Plus the partners get to stay in Hawaii!

Rad Onc will never have one of these situations.

Bottomline: These are cancer patients that need regular followups. Don't go into this specialty for the wrong reasons. You will hate yourself and will be doing your future patients a great disservice.

WANT LIFESTYLE with no long term patient responsibility? Go Anesthesiology, Radiology, or Dermatology.
 
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SimulD

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A little judgmental??

Anyway... from my brief foray into all of this, I'm getting that 4 weeks is standard for entry level academic, and a bit more for private. It seems the highest I've heard for private (partner level) is ~12 weeks. I don't think that is common or expected. I'm getting the feeling 8 weeks is the average 'high-end' vacation.

It's a lifestyle field, but not in the same way as other specialties are. You can definitely catch most of your kids soccer games and none of your dinner reservations will be delayed, but monthlong adventures to the South Pacific are less possible.

No worries - you'll figure it out - when you get a whiff of this field, if you like it as much as many of us do, you won't mind "only" 4-6 weeks of vacation. If not, I'm sure you'll find a specialty that suits you better.

-S
 

Zap

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Agreed. I've heard of a number of private rad onc practices with >8 weeks of vacation per year. In some, partners work 4 days per week plus have sizable vacations on top of that. But there are many more things that go into finding a good practice to join than the # of weeks of vacation, so I would not weigh this too heavily at this juncture in your decision making.

If we end up with a single payer system 10 years from now, chances are good that in addition to incomes, vacation time, work hours, etc. will become much more similar between various specialties. Therefore, pick the field that you like better, not the one that has the best vacation. Otherwise you could find yourself bored out of your mind with only 4 weeks of vacation at the end of a very long and painful road.
 

G'ville Nole

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As a newly minted private doc, I get 6 weeks vacation. Maybe it's a by-product of my being hard-wired to work my tail off in med school/residency, but I'm thinking "6 weeks? That's one week off every other month! How on earth am I going to fit that in?"

Vacation time is nice and all, and I'm a big proponent of enjoying life to the fullest outside of medicine. But if you're basing a decision of what field to go into on how much time you can be absent from it, doesn't that strike you as a bit of a problem? Shouldn't you like the field enough that you don't need 12 weeks away from it to be fulfilled?
 

clintpark

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It's very difficult for medical students to have enough exposure about subspecialty fields like radiation oncology. Truth is many, including myself, decide partly based on lifestyle, positive/negative interactions with those already in the field, etc. and not purely on the love for the work.

For those who are already in the field to say one has to make the decision without considering lifestyle is, I think, not completely being honest with the process they went through to get there.

I think it's absolutely fair, actually necessary, that you consider lifestyle. However, I advise that you separate lifestyle inherent to the field (e.g. Radiation oncologists will not work on weekends and will not take in-house calls. Surgeons' and anesthesiologists' days will begin much earlier. ER docs will work long overnight shifts with long gaps inbetween.) from lifestyle that could change based on whim of the medical system and politics (pay, vacation, etc.) and put more weight on the former.
 
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