Canadian residents please read!

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Spidey, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. Spidey

    Spidey Leorl's official stalker

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    Hello, hello

    OK, I'm just starting a premed program and I've been thinking *A LOT* about what specialty I want. Of course I won't really know until I've finished med school and had a chance to see it all first hand... however, that said... I've been really interested in getting into surgery(general surgery, possibly specializing in trauma surgery)... I mean I figure I've already got a god complex, so I might as well go that route right? (ha, kidding <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> )

    Surgery just really appeals to me... However... i've been reading tons of stuff about residency programs and such... and I've read everything I can get my hands on regarding the life of a surgeon... and I gotta say it really kind of scares me. I mean... I plan on being a doctor dedicated to my patients and my work, but... I want to have a social life... my friends are important to me, and I need to be able to hang with them. I could stand to work 50-60 hour weeks... and I would be willing to work more than that when I was needed... but i would hope that wouldnt happen too often. But from all i've read a surgeon works an average of 80 hours/week... and very often during residency a surgeon would work well over 100 hours/week!! 100/week for 5 years... I don't think i could do that, I need to have some semblance of a life outside of work. I'm not saying a social life is more important to me than my career would be, but i need to have some time to decompress... i would burn out if all i did was eat sleep and work.

    Soo, I know yer thinking, damn is this guy still yapping? Get to yer frickin question already. Ok, ok so here it is, jeesh don't be so impatient... I'm Canadian... are residencies the same in Canada as in the USA? As a surgery resident would i be getting more or less hours than an american? how many should I expect? I havent been able to find any information about Canadian residency or the canadian medical system in general really, so any websites u could point me to would be appreciated. What is life like as a Canadian surgeon? what kind of hours? What it boils down to is... Can Canadian Surgeons/residents have a life? Or is a surgeon's life his work?

    Thanks in advance
     
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  3. tussy

    tussy Senior Member

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    Hey premed,

    I'm a PGY1 general surgery resident in Halifax, Nova Scotia. You're right - general surgery residency is a lot of time. Some weeks i do spend &gt;100 hours in the hospital, but there are other weeks that are more normal. Call in most canadian programs is 1 in 4. There is some variation in programs across the country - both UBC and Memorial are 6 years in length (the others are all 5), and therefore might have slightly easier hours.

    In order to be a surgery resident, you have to love your work so much that you don't mind spending more hours in the hospital than you do at home. Despite not having much free time, most residents in my program have very active social lives (work hard, play hard). I try to get out at least once a week, get to the gym a few times a week, etc.

    You are very early in your career. Once you are in med school and doing clinical rotations you will learn whether or not you love surgery enough to sacrifice your free time for 5 years!!!

    Good luck, and if you have any more specific questions please ask.
     
  4. Spidey

    Spidey Leorl's official stalker

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    Hey Tussy, thanks much for the info! One more question for you though. Do you know what kind of hours to expect once you finish your residency? Aprox how many hours do you expect to work once you've finished your residency?
     
  5. tussy

    tussy Senior Member

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    Hey Dave,

    I did my premed at UNB Fredericton as well!

    I'm not sure what to expect for hours once residency is done - i plan to do a fellowship after residency, so it'll be about 6 or 7 years to know what it'll be like as a staff surgeon.

    It is certainly one of the busier specialties, but i'm sure you can tailor your practice to your lifestyle. It also depends on what field of surgery you're interested in. Trauma is very busy, breast surgery, plastics, ENT - all less busy.

    Good luck
     

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