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Gen Surg life

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by NDESTRUKT, Mar 24, 2007.


    NDESTRUKT Fadeproof 10+ Year Member

    Is the life of a gen surg really that bad? I mean I'm not talking about trauma surgeon but just the private practice or HMO gen surg. It seems to me like they may work weekends but it's only rounding on patients in the morning (done by noon).

    My experience with my gen surg rotation so far seriously doesn't seem that bad. I mean yeah they have to wake up really early (4 am sometimes) but they get home around dinner time and they work weekends but again, get home by 1 usually.

    Obvs if you're on call you'll be busy, but it sure seems better than OB.
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  3. Pir8DeacDoc

    Pir8DeacDoc Cerumen Extractor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2004
    Just keep in mind that working a lot when you're in your mid to late 20's is one thing but doing that when you're 50 is something all together different. Plus what can become a real drag is doing it over and over again. A month or two as a student doesn't mimic a residency/practice. Unline other residencies, there are no outpatient/clinic months where you come in at 9 and are out by 5. Each and every rotation as a gen surg resident starts early and can often end late, and this doesn't take into account call. Just my impression as a resident, I don't know so much about my attendings but I've often seen them in the hospital at hours I wouldn't necessarily want to keep at their age.
  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Chief Administrator Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    The lifestyle varies depending on your environment.

    Private practice surgeons who admit to hospitals without residents, often find themselves pretty busy the nights they are on call - not only for calls from the ER, but - remember all those 2:00 am calls you get for Tylenol? - the attending gets them. When I was a resident we rotated at a local community hospital - some nights they didn't have resident coverage - an attending showed me his pager; even on nights with resident coverage, some of the nurses will still page the attending directly, at all hours, for the same stupid stuff. If you cover or admit to more than one hospital, it can be really painful.

    Rounds on the weekends take a variable amount of time - again, depending on inpatient census and the number of hospitals you have to travel to.

    The best situation is to practice at a hospital with an acute/emergency general surgery service, so you truly only do elective cases. If you do mostly outpatient or short-stay type of cases, the affect on your life will be minimal (provided you don't have to cover your partner's Whipple's, etc. on the weekends).
  5. emlopez2

    emlopez2 7+ Year Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Im not a general surgeon nor have I done a surgey rotation yet, but I can give you some insight on a general surgeons life from their kid's point of view. Basically most of his career he was in in private practice, but there was 2 yrs where he worked for the hospital and basically worked more and got paid less. I suggest private practice at least after you've got your feet wet within the field. As a private practice general surgeon he worked pretty regularly and we saw him quite a bit. Mondays he'd do office work, Tuesday surgeries all day long, and the rest of the week more or less seeing people in his office and being home by 6. Weekends rounding and home by 12. He definately had time for us as when we were young he'd coach our baseball team and almost always attended our (5 kids) sporting events during the school year. Yeah sure he had to take his fair share of call being there only 3 general surgeons in town and no residents, but I dont recall it being a devastating burden. I think of a lot of it has to do with the location and hospital that you work at. From what i have said thus far it more or less describes a general surgeons life in a more rural setting. From what I have heard from the general surgeons around NYC it definately doesn't seem as appealing as of a career.

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