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ER Docs

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exmissionary

I have found that many ER docs dislike their job and wish they could go back and transfer to a different specialty. This is my experience as I have been shadowing. What has your experience been?
 

crewmaster1

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I'm only a second year resident so I can't really comment, but you should realize that this probably isn't the best place to askthat question. It is pretty unlikely that an EM doc who hates thier job is going to be spending time contributing to a community like SDN. Shadowing docs is probably the best option to talk to a lot of different docs.
 

Hallm_7

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I have found that many ER docs dislike their job and wish they could go back and transfer to a different specialty. This is my experience as I have been shadowing. What has your experience been?

It's true that there are a number of unhappy ER docs, but from anecdotal evidence I would say it's a smaller percentage than most specialties. In my experience the happiest groups of physicians were ER docs, pathologists, and pediatricians. The least happy were definitely general surgeons and family medicine.

I think the reason you see more EPs leaving the emergency rooms is that the nature of the specialty affords tremendous flexibility in hours worked and in location of work. It is much easier for an EP to cut his or her shifts in half or cut them out entirely compared to a CT surgeon or cardiologist.
 
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deleted65604

I have found that many ER docs dislike their job and wish they could go back and transfer to a different specialty. This is my experience as I have been shadowing. What has your experience been?

I have found many more FP, and IM people who loathe their jobs and want to do EM.

Let's face it, all careers are tough and get old after a few decades.

If you are worried about burn-out, there isn't a single specialty out there that isn't affected.

My dad worked as a mechanic for 30 years and loathed every moment that he spent at that power-plant. He did it, not because he loved it, but because he had a family to feed.

There isn't a single job out there in the world that is perfect. In general, you are either overly stressed-out with your job, or you are bored.

I can honestly say that I think I have one of the best jobs in the world. I work 12 days a month, for 12 hours a day. I get a crap-load of money compared with most professions, and I have a better live style than 98% of america and 99.9% of people who have ever live on this planet.

People tend to be pretty ungrateful and unobservant of the unparalleled wealth that we have in this country.

You need more exposure to ER docs as well as all other specialties before you go making judgements like that.
 

Jeff698

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Jarabacoa summed up my feelings on this quite nicely.

I go from loving my job to hating my job within the span of about 15 minutes as I move for pleasant patient to soul-sucking patient. Overall, I think I have things pretty damn good and don't feel like I should be complaining at all.

I you were shadowing me, I think your impression of my job satisfaction would be variable depending on when you asked. Everyone has times they just want to jump off a cliff. We don't actually jump because we know that things get better. In EM, they get better pretty damn quickly.

Take care,
Jeff
 
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deleted65604

In general, ER is a fast fix. Most patients aren't that interesting. For example, I saw 4 post-thanksgiving gastroenteritis on shift the other day. They were all miserable, and dehydrated, and puking like mad. 90 minutes later, they were thanking me for how great they felt. You see 1-4 patients per shift that are vaguely interesting. You diagnos some fractures, splint them, and sew up some lacs, work-up some vague chest pain (and mostly find nothing, but admit most). You see some vague abdominal pain, that you usually find nothing on. You order some CTs that you are 90 % positive that you won't find anything, but you sleep better at night to make that 10% doubt go away. You are forced to slog through a lot of chronic pain BS. But, 1-2 times a day, you think, "that history is fascinating, this is going to be a cool work-up." You have 1-2 patients a month that you tell your colleagues about and show x-rays, CTs, EKGs, etc, that you all oooh and aaaah over. There is some patients who are very gratifying to treat, and there are 1/4 of patients that make you want to go in the back room and throw breakable objects around.

Sometimes you drive home thinking, "I suck! how could I have not thought of that." or "Crap! Why didn't I add a d-dimer on that patient." Other times, you drive home thinking, "I managed that (airway, surgical abdomen, difficult, unusual diagnosis, critically ill patient, etc.) patient rather well. I'm the bomb!"

All I know, is that the ER is about a gazillion times better than any clinic, or the OR.

You've got to experience them all to see what I mean.
 

WilcoWorld

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I gotta admit Jarabacoa - your posts are growing on me.
 

Old_Mil

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Let's face it, all careers are tough and get old after a few decades.

If you are worried about burn-out, there isn't a single specialty out there that isn't affected.

alg_favre-pass.jpg


Well, almost all careers...
 
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