Have an interest in both OR and pain management - is gas a good choice for me?

von Matterhorn

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This past year I have felt more conflicted than ever between FM and gas. I know it's strange to deliberate between them, but they both appeal to me.

FM - I enjoy continuity of care as that's always what I envisioned for myself in becoming a doctor. Diversity in patient population can be appealing. I have always considered myself a 'jack of all trades' kind of guy and enjoy knowing a little about a lot of things.

The downside for me in FM is that the pay is substandard, and it appears difficult to make much more than ~~250k. I never wanted to go into medicine for the money, but my 400k in student loans and growing, along with a HCOL area my family wants to live in, is making the relatively lower salary become more daunting. It's also a bit of a sobering prospect to imagine going through all of this hell that med school has been, and residency likely will be, and then to be capped at ~~250k salary that really isn't anything extraordinary here.

Gas - I really enjoyed my rotation. I thought the gas residents I worked with had an unmatched knowledge base of physio that intrigued me. The work and problems encountered were interesting and very thought-provoking. Almost all residents had a very relaxed demeanor that I thought I meshed well with. I also like that there are a multitude of fellowships as pain management (and to a lesser degree, CCM) are something I have a lot of interest in. If I went the FM route, I would probably wind up doing a lot of self-educating on working with pain patients.

My ideal vision for the future would maybe work ~~2 days a week in the OR doing cases, and then ~~2-3 days in a pain clinic working with patients. Gas seems to fit the bill nicely, but the sheer lack of competitiveness for this residency is making me feel like everyone else knows something I don't. It just seems strange that a specialty that takes 4 years to complete, offers a ton of different practice options, and can feasibly earn 400k+/year should be insanely competitive.
 

Gern Blansten

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Mike Rowe famously said, "Look to see where everyone else is going and head the other way." I did that when the bottom fell out of anesthesiology in the mid 90's. It scared me quite a bit to do it, but this was the field I wanted to do. It has worked out quite well. No guarantees and the problems are different, but it is often wise to go where others are not.
 
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You need a higher paying specialty, hence FM is out. I would advise you to focus on the pain route as soon as you are accepted for anesthesiology. If you enjoy FM, you are not made for anesthesiology, especially when you describe it as "thought provoking". Anesthesiology, like surgery, is not for thinkers. Just my 2 cents.
 
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Shimmy8

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I f******* hate it when people call it "gas."

Anesthesiology. It's not that hard to say or spell.

It's a gd board certified specialty for physicians. I literally lose respect for people around me who call it that, especially a student who knows nothing.
 

Psai

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I f******* hate it when people call it "gas."

Anesthesiology. It's not that hard to say or spell.

It's a gd board certified specialty for physicians. I literally lose respect for people around me who call it that, especially a student who knows nothing.
I kinda like it because it's one syllable instead of 6. It's like when people say "ent" or "gi" instead of "otolaryngology" or "gastroenterology"

Also it's something that we use that no one else does.
 

bashwell

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I f******* hate it when people call it "gas."

Anesthesiology. It's not that hard to say or spell.

It's a gd board certified specialty for physicians. I literally lose respect for people around me who call it that, especially a student who knows nothing.
I think you're being too harsh. It's not the student's fault if they honestly don't know.
 
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von Matterhorn

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Mike Rowe famously said, "Look to see where everyone else is going and head the other way." I did that when the bottom fell out of anesthesiology in the mid 90's. It scared me quite a bit to do it, but this was the field I wanted to do. It has worked out quite well. No guarantees and the problems are different, but it is often wise to go where others are not.
I like that, thanks. I guess the crna debacle has instilled fear in others, but it's a non-issue to me for the most part.

You need a higher paying specialty, hence FM is out. I would advise you to focus on the pain route as soon as you are accepted for anesthesiology. If you enjoy FM, you are not made for anesthesiology, especially when you describe it as "thought provoking". Anesthesiology, like surgery, is not for thinkers. Just my 2 cents.
I think you're reading into one benign sentence a bit too much. I enjoyed my rotation and have another one scheduled. Given how few of my rotations I actually enjoyed, I'll take that as a win for my interest in gas. Of course there is a lot of 'doing' rather than sitting around thinking, but I enjoyed all aspects of it that I saw and performed.

I f******* hate it when people call it "gas."

Anesthesiology. It's not that hard to say or spell.

It's a gd board certified specialty for physicians. I literally lose respect for people around me who call it that, especially a student who knows nothing.
I'll be sure to lose sleep over your loss of respect for me tonight. Similarly, I'm sure you'll lose sleep over the fact that you come off like an arrogant tool who walks around thinking they're better than 'a student who knows nothing'. I'll be sure to continue calling it gas, though, just as I use hx and abx and a million other abbreviations to save time.
 

FFP

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I think you're reading into one benign sentence a bit too much. I enjoyed my rotation and have another one scheduled. Given how few of my rotations I actually enjoyed, I'll take that as a win for my interest in gas. Of course there is a lot of 'doing' rather than sitting around thinking, but I enjoyed all aspects of it that I saw and performed.
OK. You have been warned about the specialty. Good luck.
I'll be sure to lose sleep over your loss of respect for me tonight. Similarly, I'm sure you'll lose sleep over the fact that you come off like an arrogant tool who walks around thinking they're better than 'a student who knows nothing'. I'll be sure to continue calling it gas, though, just as I use hx and abx and a million other abbreviations to save time.
You have just proven his point. And mine. As an anesthesiologist, you are not allowed to have an ego. If you want to be treated with respect, find a different specialty. Many of the people who are unhappy in this specialty would put lack of respect in their top 3 problems. But if you think you have a thick skin, keep digging.
 
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von Matterhorn

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You have just proven his point. And mine. As an anesthesiologist, you are not allowed to have an ego. If you want to be treated with respect, find a different specialty.
'Cannot have an ego' while the attending in question talks down to a medical student 'who knows nothing' for their choice in using 'gas' as an abbreviation in an online forum. Gee, nothing egotistical about that. I'm not here to pick fights, so continue to think whatever you want, no skin off of my nose.
 
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FFP

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'Cannot have an ego' while the attending in question talks down to a medical student 'who knows nothing' for their choice in using 'gas' as an abbreviation in an online forum. Gee, nothing egotistical about that. I'm not here to pick fights, so continue to think whatever you want, no skin off of my nose.
I am just trying to be helpful here. What he did was minor compared to how you will be treated on a regular basis, and not only as a resident. At least he's an attending, not the cleaning crew. If you want to do "gas", leave your ego at the door.

Just food for thought. Again, I am not saying FM is better overall (although you are a doctor there), just that pain may make you happier than anything else in anesthesiology, provided you actually get into a pain fellowship and you like psych and the DEA, or being a used car salesman (for the procedural part).

Whatever you choose, just make sure you know what you get yourself into.
 
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Shimmy8

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You think that's a talking down to??? Hahaah Christ. You literally don't know what you don't know.

It's a message board. For discussion. It's a pet peeve of mine. I hate it. Sure it's inconsequential, but hey we're on anesthesiology message board.

And I truly do not give a **** what you do, just trying to give you a little info that some folks who have worked very, very hard aren't exactly thrilled with it being called gas. Plus it makes you sound like an idiot, tbh. So by all means, proceed.
 
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