TripleDegree

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here's my deal, i'll be 42 when i finish up med school - and I don't want to be hitting 50 when I'm ready to practice. Hence I am considering either EM or Anesthesia. Not that these are bad specialities at all.

Anyhow, my question's is EM a good specialty for the non-trad? Does it burn you out quicker? Considering I need to practice until I'm 65 to make this whole thing worthwhile, is EM a feasible way to go?

Feedback would be appreciated.
 

Febrifuge

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Assuming I go to med school, I would be be 41 when I finish, and I work part-time in an ED now as I get ready. EM is not for anyone, young, old, or otherwise, who does not like EM. The the people who burn out are usually people who picked it for another reason.

On the other hand, people who truly like it seem to like it for reasons that are nicely resistant to fatigue. Personality-wise, some of the 50ish attendings I know are shockingly similar to my buddies the punk-ass residents.

Volunteer in an ED, or if you have some basic-level cert (like EMT), get a part-time gig like mine. You'll know within a week if you are an EM person.
 

Sessamoid

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EM and anesthesia are pretty different work environments. What about your personality made you narrow it down to those two specialties?
 
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TripleDegree

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Sessamoid said:
EM and anesthesia are pretty different work environments. What about your personality made you narrow it down to those two specialties?
I could go into my reasons ad nauseum, but for the purposes of not distracting this thread, I will refrain. I am really interested in knowing whether or not EM is a viable specialization for those of us who are a "little older". So far, I haven't heard from some of those regulars in this forum who are full of good insights.

So please pour out your advice. An EP-to-be needs you!
 

mikecwru

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TripleDegree said:
I could go into my reasons ad nauseum, but for the purposes of not distracting this thread, I will refrain. I am really interested in knowing whether or not EM is a viable specialization for those of us who are a "little older". So far, I haven't heard from some of those regulars in this forum who are full of good insights.

So please pour out your advice. An EP-to-be needs you!
You've already had the advice that's needed. You need to soul-search and find out if you actually enjoy this specialty. You will be miserable otherwise. Do not pick EM because of "lifestyle issues" until you thoroughly research them. Working nights, holidays, and swing shifts for the rest of your career is not a lifestyle choice. You can't undo you age, so just pick the specialty you enjoy the most. If it comforts you, you do see EPs working actively into their 60s.

The short answer, yes, it's viable.

mike
 
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TripleDegree

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mikecwru said:
If it comforts you, you do see EPs working actively into their 60s.



mike
Thats the sentence I was looking for.

I'm not going into this for "lifestyle" in fact I never even mentioned that word! And yes, I have volunteered over a 1000 hours at the local ED, so I know fully well what to expect. I was just curious about what it meant for the non-trad - because you have to be realistic, if I'm graduating medical school at 42, I just CANNOT choose a 10 year fellowship because I "enjoy it" , coz that is just plain stupid.

Thanks everyone for your feedback.
 

Jeff698

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I'll be 41 when I finish my EM residency (assuming I match next month). This was an issue I worried about before applying to medical school. For me, I knew I wanted to do EM or not be a doctor.

Being 'sensitized' to this issue, I paid attention to the apparent ages of EM faculty at the places I rotated and interviewed. I saw more than a few that looked to be in their 60s. I think you'll be fine, just be sure it is what you love doing and age won't be an issue.

Take care and good luck,
Jeff
 

flighterdoc

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TripleDegree said:
I could go into my reasons ad nauseum, but for the purposes of not distracting this thread, I will refrain. I am really interested in knowing whether or not EM is a viable specialization for those of us who are a "little older". So far, I haven't heard from some of those regulars in this forum who are full of good insights.

So please pour out your advice. An EP-to-be needs you!
I will be 53 when I graduate, and I'm planning on EM (of course, it seems that people change their intended specialty in med school). That would mean I'll be 56 finishing residency. Right now I can't imagine anything that would require more than a 3 year residency for me.

I'd say it's a good field, IF you can handle the shift hours. You WILL be working nites, weekends, holidays, etc.

If that doesn't sound appealing or at least tolerable, find another specialty. Right off the bat, gas sounds like it would require people who are particularly "morning" people for all those 6 AM surgeries. I'm not a morning person :)

If you're looking for family stability, look at IM or one of it's subspecialties, FP, Peds or Psych, I'd say. Maybe path? Diag rads sounds like a bad idea (being outsourced), and interventional rads has the same sched as surgery (24x7).
 

NinerNiner999

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Something else to keep in mind is that shift work can be a plus if you ever choose to work part time or cut down your hours. A buddy of mine is finishing his EM residency and just took a job making 110k for 5 shifts per month. The field is what you make of it, and only you know your limitations. Residency is not easy, and you will find you work twice the hours and shifts you will in private practice. Ultimately, if you like it, I don't think any schedule will keep you from pursuing the career. I've worked with a couple of attendings in their late 50s/early 60s and they don't show any signs of slowing down. Do your own thing and be happy!
 
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TripleDegree

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flighterdoc said:
I will be 53 when I graduate, and I'm planning on EM (of course, it seems that people change their intended specialty in med school). That would mean I'll be 56 finishing residency. Right now I can't imagine anything that would require more than a 3 year residency for me.

I'd say it's a good field, IF you can handle the shift hours. You WILL be working nites, weekends, holidays, etc.

If that doesn't sound appealing or at least tolerable, find another specialty. Right off the bat, gas sounds like it would require people who are particularly "morning" people for all those 6 AM surgeries. I'm not a morning person :)

If you're looking for family stability, look at IM or one of it's subspecialties, FP, Peds or Psych, I'd say. Maybe path? Diag rads sounds like a bad idea (being outsourced), and interventional rads has the same sched as surgery (24x7).

People like you are the reason why I keep my dreaming of becoming a doctor alive. What were you in your prevoius life??

I'm not a morning person either, I'm perfectly happy with shifts, I would love the opportunity to increase/decrease my compensation by adjusting how much I work, and by being a clinician, I am a doctor in the true sense of the word - not someone sitting in a dark room with a computer screen, or someone who looks at skin the whole day long.

Another quick question - what is the malpractice lawsuit situation like for EM docs? Has it ever been a huge concern, like it is for OBGYN or surgery?
 

bcrosspac

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TripleDegree said:
People like you are the reason why I keep my dreaming of becoming a doctor alive. What were you in your prevoius life??

I'm not a morning person either, I'm perfectly happy with shifts, I would love the opportunity to increase/decrease my compensation by adjusting how much I work, and by being a clinician, I am a doctor in the true sense of the word - not someone sitting in a dark room with a computer screen, or someone who looks at skin the whole day long.

Another quick question - what is the malpractice lawsuit situation like for EM docs? Has it ever been a huge concern, like it is for OBGYN or surgery?
I was 44 out of medical school and I couldn't imagine a better field for us "old farts" to practice in. There is a great variety of practice environments from a busy urban level I trauma center to a rural ED where you work 24 hour shifts and see 10 patients in that time. You also can work in an urgent care setting. I will be 47 when I am done with residency and hope to be able to work for a good 20 years when I am done. Besides the $200,000+ in student loans and the need to put 2 kids through college, I really love it.
 
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TripleDegree

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bcrosspac said:
I was 44 out of medical school and I couldn't imagine a better field for us "old farts" to practice in. There is a great variety of practice environments from a busy urban level I trauma center to a rural ED where you work 24 hour shifts and see 10 patients in that time. You also can work in an urgent care setting. I will be 47 when I am done with residency and hope to be able to work for a good 20 years when I am done. Besides the $200,000+ in student loans and the need to put 2 kids through college, I really love it.

would love to talk to you more about this. any way i can pm/email/call you?