Life as an IM doc

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by Halaljello, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. Halaljello

    Halaljello Hot Oil
    10+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2001
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    anyone care to give some info? how many hours a week do u work? pay? family life? nature of work? etc etc..
  2. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Membership Revoked
    Removed 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
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    Resident [Any Field]
    Hello Jello

    This is quite a question here.

    First of all, a physician who does a residency in internal medicine has much to choose from as far as fellowships and such so that they can specialize in one area of medicine.

    As you may know, internal medicine is basically like family practice minus the younger family pediatrics.

    I know several internists who focus primarily on geriatric patients, some primarily treat women, and others are in more specialized areas such as pulmonary medicine and such. Again, you can move into cardiology, pulmonary, rheumatology, and many many other areas.

    The lifestyle is what you make of it.

    Will you have your own practice? Work in a group practice? Hospital-based? Clinic?

    All of these things will factor into number of hours worked and pay.

    As far as a private practice setting, you are looking at hospital rounds in the morning (particularly your geriatric patients who can frequent the hospital several times a year), the office visits during the day. There is a great deal of paperwork that must be done as well, not to mention the business aspect with insurances.

    Oh..and don't forget the calls at home from pharmacies (some are open 24 hours), hospitals, and other physicians should your advice or presence be requested.

    Your take-home pay will be dependant on many things as well. You can set up a schedule, say closing your office on Fridays. You also need to take into consideration overhead costs on the building you are in. Being the only doc in a practice can hurt.

    Where are you practicing? City, small town, suburbs? Are you the only doc for a few miles, or are you competing against a dozen other physicians in one medical complex in the city?

    Do you have anything special that will set you apart? Does your office have special diagnostic equipment, do you use OMM in your practice, or maybe you took over an established practice, thereby "inheriting" a patient-base.

    Office staff and nurses cost money as well. What if you have a PA or a NP in your office...they will demand a bit more as well, but can decrease your workload.

    Are many of your patients well-off and pay cash (would be nice), or do you see mainly medicare and medicaid patients? Are you in a poor area where the government picks up the tab?

    Basically what all this means is that your job is what you make of it. It can be difficult going on vacation with your family, you need to find a covering physician. But, you have a profound relationship with your patients and many of them look to you as more than a doctor, but as a trusted friend and important figure in the community.

    All that being said, typical salaries are around $145,000 a year. $120,000 or so starting ot after residency. But again, this is relative on a number of situations.
  3. jdaasbo

    jdaasbo Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 1999
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    Check out:

    <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

    that is the website for the american college of physicians/american society of internal medicine. It is the accrediting body/college for internists. The osteopathic equivalent is the ACOI. I am not sure if they have a website.

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