1. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

EM Docs, What would you have done instead?

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by lemmonhead, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. lemmonhead

    lemmonhead Your ego is not your amigo
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Medical Student (Accepted)
    What would you have done if you didn't become an EM doc?

    I'm reapplying to medical school and EM is really the only thing I can see myself doing. I realize I will probably change my mind but humor me :)
     
    ANNANAGAR likes this.
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Mr Cousins

    Mr Cousins Confidential Informant
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    9
    Status:
    Medical Student, Resident [Any Field]
    High school biology teacher.

    Or marry rich.
     
    lemontilt and witzelsucht like this.
  4. Greenbbs

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    39
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Travel Photographer or astronomer....
     
    AlgernonMed likes this.
  5. Doctor4Life1769

    Doctor4Life1769 **tr0llin, ridin dirty**
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    34,260
    Likes Received:
    901
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
  6. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST
    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Messages:
    19,274
    Likes Received:
    3,688
    Firefighter or state trooper (NOT local police).
     
  7. Arcan57

    Arcan57 Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2003
    Messages:
    2,804
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    Status:
    Attending Physician
  8. Birdstrike

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,599
    Likes Received:
    3,208
  9. Daiphon

    Daiphon Semper Ubi Sub Ubi
    Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    987
    Likes Received:
    259
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Lego Master Builder
     
  10. Mr. Hat

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    921
    Likes Received:
    816
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Lion hunter
     
    Birdstrike likes this.
  11. BoardingDoc

    BoardingDoc Don't worry. I've got my towel.
    Physician 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Messages:
    960
    Likes Received:
    1,337
    Status:
    Attending Physician
  12. LaBusqueda

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    16
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physics/academics
     
    witzelsucht and TimesNewRoman like this.
  13. Perrin

    Perrin sittin in the morning sun
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    3,284
    Likes Received:
    1,184
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Locomotive engineer
     
  14. bashwell

    Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,934
    Likes Received:
    1,929
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I probably would've (should've?) stayed in computer science.
    Really make sure you're at least ok with a career in medicine before you reapply. I know it's easier said than done. Medicine may sound prestigious and all, but there's so much you have to be willing to put up with to get through it all. From med school to residency to even as an attending. It might be worth it to you, but it might not. Just make sure you can jump into it with your eyes as wide open as possible. I know it's not entirely possible. But at least try to do a bit more to learn what medicine is really like than the average applicant seems to do to find out as much as is possible for someone not yet in medicine if it's really for you. That should be one of your main goals right now.

    Just an idea or two to get you started:
    • Obviously shadow as much as you can. Not just one or two physicians but try to see different specialties if at all possible. Ask about pros and cons of their specialty if it's not overstepping boundaries to do so.
    • Read PandaBear's past (now archived on SDN) posts. Read @Birdstrike for cautionary tales but at the same times inspiring stories in EM. Read @emergentmd for someone who has done really well in EM and still recommends it. There are many other wonderful, knowledgeable, experienced, helpful people here like @The White Coat Investor, @emd123, etc. I think it's worth reading "101 Things You Wish You Knew Before Starting Med School", although keep in mind not everyone will be on board with everything Hoover has said. But I think he does make several points well worth considering.
    • Check out websites by emergency physicians in other parts of the world. See how they practice EM. In my opinion EM has a lot of international camaraderie too, which is also nice. For example, see here. The reason I recommend this is because it's often enlightening to compare how EM is in one nation or medical system to the system you know best (i.e. the US system) to cast light back on the system you know best. It's sort of like when you travel abroad, then you come back home, and you see home in a different light or perspective. Just my opinion though.
     
    #13 bashwell, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  15. Fox800

    Fox800 That drug that starts with "d"...
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    862
    Likes Received:
    578
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
  16. TooMuchResearch

    TooMuchResearch i'm goin' to Kathmandu...
    Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    4,751
    Likes Received:
    1,134
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    The question wasn't "what do you do in addition to EM." :winkemoticon:
     
    frosted_flake likes this.
  17. lemmonhead

    lemmonhead Your ego is not your amigo
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Medical Student (Accepted)
    Thanks for your response. I was asking because I've just read so much about how unhappy and disgruntled doctors are and am starting to have second thoughts. I did a post-bacc and will be 29 when I start, if I get in this cycle. I'm not really hung up on the prestige element. I just want to do something I will enjoy.... Being a doc is something I have thought I wanted to do for a long time but am starting to have second thoughts given everything I've read. Although I realize there are people who are disgruntled in every field.

    I will be starting as a scribe in the ED next week. Hopefully that will give me some solid exposure.
     
    bashwell likes this.
  18. Birdstrike

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,599
    Likes Received:
    3,208
    In all seriousness, I think it's more about finding the right fit for yourself personally. There's a huge difference in, for example, dermatology versus neurosurgery versus EM. They're all doctors but are so different they're completely different jobs. I think if you go into medicine with proper expectations and eyes wide open about where the bright spots are and where burnout territory is, you have a better short at finding the right fit for you. I'm pretty happy being a "doctor" but it took a lot of growing up, being honest with myself and making some drastic course corrections along the way when needed. I'm finally very content, and very happy and have an absolutely great job, as an Emergency Physician practicing an EM subspecialty yet I no longer work in an Emergency Department and have Dermatologist-like hours. It's been a rough road, but like most things worth a lot, it took quite a bit of fighting, scrapping and clawing to achieve.
     
    #17 Birdstrike, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
    bashwell likes this.
  19. Arcan57

    Arcan57 Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2003
    Messages:
    2,804
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Like Bird, I'm concerned about the "only see myself as an EP" comment. It's pretty unlikely that your idea of what an EP does and what we actually do are the same thing (think all those Internet memes about "what I do"). I wouldn't be terribly concerned about your age (other than the salad days of bouncing back from night shifts quickly are going to be shorter) but I would have a rock solid understanding of what you are looking for out of a career in medicine and also why you wouldn't be satisfied doing anything else.
     
    bashwell likes this.
  20. lemmonhead

    lemmonhead Your ego is not your amigo
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Medical Student (Accepted)
    I will be starting as a scribe next week so I'll definitely get a better idea of the day to day. I'm looking forward to this as I think it will help me decide either way.

    In your opinion, what are the things that one should be looking to get out of a career in medicine? I realize the answers to this probably vary dramatically but I'm sure some answers are better than others.
     
  21. Arcan57

    Arcan57 Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2003
    Messages:
    2,804
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    It's a question you need to answer for yourself. Once you have your answer, we could offer some (possibly valid) feedback regarding the chance that you'll find those things in medicine. I was looking for a way to directly contribute to society that paid better than a teacher with a bonus of being able to understand how the human body works. At this point in my career, I'd say the first two objectives have been fully met. The last I realize is something of a fools errand, but at least I've learned to tell interesting stories to impress the laypeople.
     
  22. Angry Birds

    Angry Birds Angry Troll
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    1,436
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Professor. (Working toward that goal though.)
     
  23. lemmonhead

    lemmonhead Your ego is not your amigo
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Medical Student (Accepted)
    Fair enough. Here goes.

    In addition to having a general interest in the body, these are the things I have decided are important to me in my work and in roughly this order...

    A career which provides social value. I worked for two years it a start-up and found the constant clamoring for dollars and requests to solve pretty meaningless problems draining.

    Immediate gratification from solving fairly well defined problems. I lose interest if a problem if it is not resolved within a few days.

    An outlet for the sensitive/compassionate/empathetic sides of my personality. The business world is, generally, also a terrible place for a person with these qualities.

    Opportunities to work independently with relative autonomy. I can work as part of a team and do enjoy it but I would rather call upon someone when I need help with something.

    Variety in my day to day work. While I see the value of routine in daily living, I do not necessarily value it in my work as I get bored with repetitive tasks.

    Opportunities to teach. I taught in China and enjoyed it immensely. However, I prefer to work with small groups or one on one with students.

    A job where I am physically active. Sitting at a desk all day is the pits.

    Job security. Being unemployed sucks.


    Things I want but am concerned that a career in medicine may not provide/would make me a bad fit…

    Flexibility. I realize this may not come until much later but it is important to me that I have it at some point in my life. As @bashwell mentions, you have to but in the time to get what you want.

    Edit: @Birdstrike

    That is pretty much it at this point. Feedback welcome.
     
    #22 lemmonhead, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
    eqkc and racerwad like this.
  24. Angry Birds

    Angry Birds Angry Troll
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    1,436
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    It's very rare that a pre-med ever says anything reasonable on this forum, so you may be the first. Your description of what you want sounds very well reasoned and thought out. All the reasons you give--and the wants you have--are definitely a good fit for Emergency Medicine.

    I also worked for a start up before and I realized I couldn't dedicate my life to making a doodad (sp?). Even I founded facebook I wouldn't have been satisfied with that. It seems menial to me. (I say this even though I realize his world impact is way greater than mine, but still, at the end of the day he created a website that wastes people's time and invades their privacy.)

    Sorry for typos. Using phone to type.
     
    lemmonhead likes this.
  25. lemmonhead

    lemmonhead Your ego is not your amigo
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Medical Student (Accepted)
    Thanks for the feedback. Good to hear I'm on the right track. Still looking forward to doing some more shadowing. I think I'm just a little pissed off from having to rewrite all these f****ing secondaries. Hoops on hoops on hoops.

    Totally agree with you on the founding of FB. While one could argue FB offers some social value, http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-04/27/facebook-google-nepal-earthquake-emergency-response, it is generally a time suck. And the number of worthless apps being created in Silicon Valley right now is astonishing.

    On a separate note, you didn't happen to develop Angry Birds did you?


     
    #24 lemmonhead, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  26. Angry Birds

    Angry Birds Angry Troll
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    1,436
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Haha! I wish I created Angry Birds!!!
     
  27. CraftyMed

    CraftyMed Crafty in the ED
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    27
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Zamboni driver.
     
    frosted_flake likes this.
  28. WilcoWorld

    WilcoWorld Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,880
    Likes Received:
    1,485
    Yeah, Dentisrty has been looking pretty good to me too...
     
  29. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST
    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Messages:
    19,274
    Likes Received:
    3,688
    I've said I wish I liked teeth, because I would have done D-school, then endodontics, and then make $$...$$$....$$$$. Unfortunately, I just find it SO tragically boring, and I can't get over it.
     
    bashwell and WilcoWorld like this.
  30. emd123

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Messages:
    3,875
    Likes Received:
    1,173
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Lion hunter is so "last week." I say move forward as a Giraffe hunter.
     
    bashwell likes this.
  31. RustedFox

    RustedFox We're all stars now. In the GOAT RODEO.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    3,554
    Likes Received:
    2,476
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    This Bashwell guy is all-right. Its nice to have another "good regular" poster on here.

    Good thread on the whole, too.

    Other jobs/careers I have considered:

    1.) OTR trucker (I love seeing America by the roadways... hate the idea of developing five or so DVTs).
    2.) Geologist.
    3.) Biology Professor.
    4.) Local golf club pro (need to improve my game; but it can be done).
    5.) For a bit in college there I considered journalist (then I sobered up).
     
    bashwell likes this.
  32. Birdstrike

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,599
    Likes Received:
    3,208
    Unicorn hunter
     
  33. Birdstrike

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,599
    Likes Received:
    3,208
    Alejandro and Fox800 like this.
  34. TimesNewRoman

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,090
    Likes Received:
    1,633
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Physics professor
     
  35. EMedGrrl

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    23
    Wedding planner.

    Health-care liaison (now that I know medical lingo and the system - charge rich people lots of $$$ to help them navigate the system, and use their $$$ to take on some pro-bono clients who really need the help. Kinda like Robin Hood). ;)

    Be homeless in a nice (warm) city, wander around to medical conferences and eat free food. You could pull it off pretty easily, with at least one decent set of clothes, the right demeanor, and access to a shower.
     
    Apollyon likes this.
  36. Birdstrike

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,599
    Likes Received:
    3,208
    Trump-hair stylist!
     
  37. lemmonhead

    lemmonhead Your ego is not your amigo
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Medical Student (Accepted)
    I really appreciate your responses. Your thoughts have definitely given me more to chew on. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I have been slammed with secondaries, scribe training and work.

    A few things...
    I recently began scribing and it occurred to me that it seems a fool’s errand to try and decide what I want to do now in medicine. Being present for various consults has made me curious about the variety of other specialties available. I am also planning to speak with PAs, NPs, and RNs to get a better sense of where I might fit. Since coming to this conclusion I feel much more relaxed.

    Regarding the liability issue and the stress associated with this aspect of the profession, I do find it concerning and is something I will look into further. Do you find that this would be reason enough to avoid/leave the profession?

    Does the fact that you too are sensitive impact your work dramatically or has training taught you when to employ sensitivity and when to be, as you say, thick skinned? Would perhaps choose a different career/different specialty?

    When I say variety, I should have clarified that I did not simply mean procedurally/diagnostically. In addition to those things I meant the variety of people you encounter on a daily basis and also the opportunities for different job functions, like teaching. When I meant I like teaching one -on-one I was thinking more along the lines of resident/attending interaction.

    And thanks to everyone else for the feedback! You have all been very helpful.
     
  38. Backpack234

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    10
    Now I'm curious, what did you end up doing after er residency that's not in an er?
     
  39. Daiphon

    Daiphon Semper Ubi Sub Ubi
    Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    987
    Likes Received:
    259
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Good luck getting *that* out of the bird... this forum has been trying for years.
     
  40. Birdstrike

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,599
    Likes Received:
    3,208
    I did a fellowship in a subspecialty of EM that allows me to not have to work in an emergency department if I don't want to. So I'm still in EM (sort of) but not in an "ER" anymore. But I have the option to do as much, or as little EM as I want to, since I've maintained my EM boards along with the subspecialty boards. It's made me much happier with much greater job satisfaction with the ability to control my life and hours and be rested all the time without constant shift-work circadian-rhythm dysphoria. I'm going to post something more specific about this soon, but it's nothing ground breaking, earth shattering or anything others haven't done. The only reason I haven't been more specific was due to anonymity during the early stages of leaving my last job, the fellowship interview process, job interviews and transition period, etc, but I'm beyond all that now and I don't really care much about that anymore.
     
    #39 Birdstrike, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  41. bravotwozero

    bravotwozero Chronically ambitious
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    500
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    High School Gym teacher.
     
    Birdstrike likes this.
  42. Petypet

    Physician 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    782
    Likes Received:
    689
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field], Post Doc
    High school science teacher + golf coach
     
    Mr Cousins likes this.
  43. RustedFox

    RustedFox We're all stars now. In the GOAT RODEO.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    3,554
    Likes Received:
    2,476
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I'm in on this one, too.
     
  44. Groove

    Groove Member
    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,264
    Likes Received:
    478
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    photographer for National Geographic
     
    AlgernonMed likes this.
  45. Birdstrike

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,599
    Likes Received:
    3,208
    Lol
     
    #44 Birdstrike, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
    Groove likes this.
  46. Backpack234

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thanks for the reply. I've always been on the fence about the benefits of doing fellowships in EM. It always seemed to me like they will just decrease your salary and only give you the benefit of applying for a teaching job in that area. It's good to hear it worked out for someone. I'm looking forward to to that post.
     
  47. Alejandro

    Alejandro Resident - AKA Pro Goober
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    219
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Well, I think many EM folks say that you need to figure out your get-out strategy, or to diversify interests. Yeah you might take a pay cut, but from what I've been told, your ability to do the nights, and tolerate the crazy high volume days usually will go down over time, so in EM there is a strong interest to diversify your interests so you can do other things that aren't as intense and still make a living. It's like diversifying your assets on your financial portfolio, to an extent.

    Also, EM people have ADHD on the whole...we constantly need something new to focus on anyway, so that's another reason why fellowships may be pursued.

    Granted I'm not an attending or resident here, but that's what I've been told.

    If I wasn't going medicine, I'd either be an architect, or go into tech. Being a teacher would be fun too.
     
  48. EDParallax

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    17
    Graphic designer.
     
  49. Perrin

    Perrin sittin in the morning sun
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    3,284
    Likes Received:
    1,184
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I doubt the EM personality would translate well into architecture. I tried it for 4 years and ended up hating it in the end. Maybe if press ganey gets you excited, because archs are whores for the client's desires.
     
  50. Birdstrike

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,599
    Likes Received:
    3,208
    Lol

    If Press Ganey gets you...lol

    If Press Ganey gets you excited...lol

    If Press Ganey gets you excited you should...lol. Forget it, I can't....lol


    .




    .






    Just listen to Astral Weeks by Van Morrison, okay. That'll make everything better.
     
    #49 Birdstrike, Aug 17, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015

Share This Page