Discussion in 'Family Medicine' started by smileyriles, Jul 24, 2003.

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  1. smileyriles

    smileyriles Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2003
    Hello Doctors!

    As a bright individual, and current highschool student I am trying to decide on a career choice. I have researched many industries and careers, deciding on the best one I have decided on medicine.

    I would just like to ask a couple of questions to current Doctors.

    1. If you were in my position would you still decide on a career in medicine? If yes why, and if not why, and what career would you cross over to?

    2. What are the hours like for an FP?

    3. What is a typical day like?

    4. Is the field emotionally satisfying and financially rewarding at the same time(even though I know medicine takes a significant amount of work and time).

    Thank you very much, your time and effort is greatly appreciated!
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  3. notjvarma

    notjvarma Chief Wahoo 7+ Year Member

    May 17, 2003
    Columbus... OH?
    You might want to look into shadowing a FP (your family doc perhaps?). That should answer most of your questions and perhaps you'll learn something along the way :)
  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Since you are looking for responses from physicians, I'll move your post to a physician's forum, rather than one designed for medical students.

    I will "warn" you however, that most of the respondents here are not out in practice but rather medical students or residents.
  5. hrusky17

    hrusky17 Member 7+ Year Member

    May 1, 2003
    i highly suggest you shadow a doctor in family practice. i did this just a couple days ago and i got a great feel for what it would be like to do his job. i didn't ask him how much he made but he worked 12 hour days and of 70-80hrs a week. when i followed him he saw two was a guy with poison ivy that had been treating it with something meant for lice and the other was some lady that couldn't figure out of to use an inhaler, which the doctor coined the term "dumbsh*t". he said it was a scientific term but i'm not so sure about that...
  6. Jim Henderson

    Jim Henderson 10+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 1999
    Q 1. If you were in my position would you still decide on a career in medicine? If yes why, and if not why, and what career would you cross over to?

    A I still don't know. Residency was brutal. While there are rewards daily, there are also bountiful frustrations. If I had it to do over again I may consider journalism, PhD in biology, or computer science.

    q What are the hours like for an FP?

    a they vary. I don't do much hospital work so, including paperwork and dictation, my hours are about 50 per week. I had many 100 hour weeks in residency.

    q What is a typical day like?
    a in residency it was nose to the grindstone and I often had 2-3 days without sleep. Now it's 8-5 then 1 hour of dictation and paperwork. I'm on call every-other week and get about 20 calls per week. It's nice now.

    q Is the field emotionally satisfying and financially rewarding at the same time(even though I know medicine takes a significant amount of work and time).
    a I make $120,000 per year, and have a ton of loans. I do ok, but am not wealthy. It's not emotionally satisfying, but more draining. Maybe it's just the stage I'm in. I help a lot of people, and many appreciate it. However, many people who consistantly seek healthcare are nuts.
  7. Lee

    Lee Sleestack Staff Member SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Dec 31, 1999
    1. Yes and No. Becoming a physician is one of the hardest things you can do. But once you make it, the rewards are worth it.

    However, my lifelong desire was to be a pilot, but I'm just colorblind enough to be disqualified from military and commercial aviation. I can still fly private planes, but only during the daytime. Pretty stupid FAA rules, but whatever.

    2. My hours are usually M-F 8:30 AM to 6 PM with a 2 hour lunch. But that 2 hour lunchtime is used doing phonecalls and following-up on labwork. I try to take a 1/2 day each week for my hobby, which is this site. What a nerd I am.

    3. I see about 25-30 patients a day. About 1/2 of these visits are for are simple things (sinus infections, suture removal, etc), 1/4 are moderately complex, and 1/4 are challenging (either from a paperwork standpoint or medically speaking). It's never dull.

    4. Yes. Love it. I'm starting my 4th year of practice and I really enjoy the patients that I take care of and my office environment.

    I am a partner in a small group of 3 docs, which gives me a lot of flexibility in how I operate my practice and what I expect of my staff. I think a small partnership is the best way to go for any primary care doc -- it gives you a lot of control while sharing fixed costs like rent, utilities and equipment.
  8. HappyFP

    HappyFP New Member

    Sep 9, 2003
    I can't think of any career with so much variety of options, so much capacity to impact people's lives (including my own), so much challenge and a steady pay-check to boot. I get to teach every day, learn every day, grow every day. I haven't had a boring day at work EVER.
    I felt some burn-out a few years ago as I adjusted to the weighty responsibility of being intimately involved in people's lives as great illness, devastating diseases, unstable social situations and families tossed them like sticks in a storm.
    If you are unhappy as a doctor it is best to look inward rather than at your career choice for explanations.
    The possibilities are limitless.
    Clinical practice
    Family therapy
    and on and on

    I'm glad you've decided to join our ranks.
    You may regret it for moments during your training and early career, but I have been doing it for over a decade now and am deeply grateful for all that led me here.


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