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doctor's hours?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by TIGER0780, Apr 28, 2000.

  1. TIGER0780

    TIGER0780 New Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Pensacola, FL US
    I'm a undergraduate who just recently decided to switch to pre-med. I want to pursue medicine, but I've heard so much about the long hours that doctors work that it's beginning to scare me. I really want to be a physician, but I also want to have a family and be there for my children. I was hoping that maybe someone could give me an idea of what a doctor's life is really like and what areas of medicine would be best.
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  3. surgery

    surgery Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Scared tiger,

    The best field of medicine for easy life is no medicine.

    I know you are too young to imagine, there are tremendous amount of responsibility and liablity in medicine. If you want an easy life and be rich, look elsewhere!!

    Or, if you are still confused, Las Vegas could be a good place to start.
  4. dthankins

    dthankins Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Dallas, Texas, USA

    Hours vary among specialties. I have heard all sorts of stats on hours so it is hard to know for sure.

    On place that gives a lot of info on various specialties is

    Some specialties such as Dermatology have pretty normal hours. The bad part is that dermatology is only available to the brightest -- everyone wants those good hours so this is a very competitive residency to get.

    I think the estimates from are about right for practicing docs, but are quite low for residents -- residents work like dogs! New York State law requires that residents not work more than 80 hrs/wk and no more than 24 hrs in one shift. Surgeons there claim that they are unable to adequately train future surgeons with residents working less than 100 hrs/wk! Remember though that surgery is one of the roughest.

    Also read some books for info on life as a med student/resident. I read "Learning how to play God" and "House of God". Remember, however, that these books are written by docs that trained a long time ago so hopefully things are not as bad as these books suggest.

    One more thing....It will be hard, but do not listen to people and their war stories....stories are often exaggerated students are notorious for "Oh please feel sorry for me because I have to work so hard...I am sure that no one else could possibly handle this so you should give up now!" Anything worth anything is going to require hard work so be ready!

    [email protected]
  5. Carbon Klein

    Carbon Klein Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Many primary docs have relatively stable hours (eg. Family practitioner). Many of the surgeons have long hours. It really depends on what you like. The hours can be long or short, depending on what's important to you. If you feel that your family comes before your career, then you can certainly tailor a career around your family.

  6. chicago md

    chicago md New Member

    Apr 28, 2000
    chicago, IL USA
    The work hours for residents varies greatly from specialty to specialty. I am at a major university so I work with residents in all specialties. People always say the IM residents don't work that many hours, but they still work 80+ hours. The pathology, optho, and dermatology residents work far fewer hours. I am in surgery so there are many weeks where I work more than 120 hours and some weeks I work 90-100 hours. Community based programs usually have better hours, but not all the time. Hope this helps.

  7. Carp

    Carp Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    When i was in high school looking at colleges and trying to decide if i wanted to be a musician or not my band teacher told me that the only people who should be musicians are people who could not be talked out of it. Coming from a medical family, i think medicine is very much that way. If long hours COULD scare you off then you probably shouldn't do it. Even famliy practice docs with decent hours have to have a certain level of intensity to be really good at their jobs. A kind of intensity that would make long hours a RELATIVELY small concern. Concerns such as hours, mean attendings, too much school etc. should really not be the focus of your decision on whether to pursue medicine or not. On the other hand, you can, and will, find plenty of people who'll tell you i'm nuts. Get an extracurricular medical gig (ER, EMT, hospice, etc.) and see if it really turns you on.

  8. whynotme?

    whynotme? Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I have always heard that if it was easy- everybody would do it! Try to think more about what you will be accomplishing (quality)vs. the amount of hours you will put in ( quantity)....I can understand your concern with the hours, but after residency- you should have SOME control over the situation [​IMG]

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