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let's ignore everything else except for lifestyle issues (typical residency hrs, post-residency both academia vs. private, call/no call, vacation etc) between psych & anesthesia - are they about equal or is one clearly better than the other? thanks for your input, i was just curious about this.. these are things you dont/cant ask your attendings:eek:
 

peppy

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I think it's safe to say anesthesiology residency would be longer hours and more call than psych residency. Anesthesia residents do ICU and Surgery rotations, whereas Psych residents typically don't.

I don't know a whole lot of details about attendings' lifestyles, but some of the anesthesiologists I rotated with in med school did mention they received generous vacation time. I think it would be easier to take vacations in anesthesiology, where you don't really have continuity of care, than it would if you had a private psych practice where you have an established relationship with patients that expect to see you in particular on a regular basis.
Oh, and another important part of the lifestyle: Anesthesiologists get to wear scrubs. Man, you would save so much time for other activities if you never had to think much about what to wear to work. ;)

I know it sounds like a cliche, but it really is true that you should try to focus on doing what you enjoy. Do you like being in the OR? Do you like working with your hands? Do you like talking to patients or do you like them better when they're asleep? :)
If you are doing something you really enjoy, long hours do go by faster.
So far, I am finding that long hours in internship don't bother me nearly as much as they did during med school. For one thing, I am now actually doing useful work - it is kind of satisfying when you write an order and it actually gets done, rather than writing a note as a student only to have the resident repeat everything you did because what you did didn't count for anything. :) For another, getting paid to hang out in the hospital all day (and sometimes all night) is much nicer than having to pay tuition for the privilege. ;)
 

NJWxMan

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Anesthesiologists also have call. If your group is decent in size, it's not so bad, but in the end, you still end up doing epidurals at 3:35 AM on the OB floor. Most private psych attendings that I know have no call and simply give orders over the phone if they happen to get an admission overnight (which is unusual for their private patients).
 

OldPsychDoc

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Hmmm--working with psychotic, narcissistic people all day under depressing conditions?

No thanks, I'd rather do psychiatry! :smuggrin:
 

whopper

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There's a lot of variability with what you can do in psychiatry.

However in terms of hours, calls in the middle of the night, things outside of work--Psychiatry IMHO is easier, though of course its not like I am also an anesthesiologist & have first hand experience of that field.

You really have to do what you enjoy. This is a field you'll be working in for almost the rest of your life.
 

fMRI

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Hmmm--working with psychotic, narcissistic people all day under depressing conditions?

No thanks, I'd rather do psychiatry! :smuggrin:

OPD, :bow:

can I get this embroidered on all my scrub tops??

:whistle:
 
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let's ignore everything else except for lifestyle issues (typical residency hrs, post-residency both academia vs. private, call/no call, vacation etc) between psych & anesthesia - are they about equal or is one clearly better than the other? thanks for your input, i was just curious about this.. these are things you dont/cant ask your attendings:eek:
I know you said "let's ignore everything else except for lifestyle issues".....but I've got to say I can't think of anyone who would ever be deciding between psych and anesthesia......that would be like a moviegoer trying to decide between some artsy independent movie with subtitles and a hannah montana flick.
 

WhoisJohnGalt

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I know you said "let's ignore everything else except for lifestyle issues".....but I've got to say I can't think of anyone who would ever be deciding between psych and anesthesia......that would be like a moviegoer trying to decide between some artsy independent movie with subtitles and a hannah montana flick.
:thumbup: These two specialties are about as different as it gets...
 

diosa428

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I know you said "let's ignore everything else except for lifestyle issues".....but I've got to say I can't think of anyone who would ever be deciding between psych and anesthesia......that would be like a moviegoer trying to decide between some artsy independent movie with subtitles and a hannah montana flick.
People who are trying to decide between two totally different fields are often doing so because there are things they like about each field that are not available in the other, which actually makes the decision much more difficult than choosing between two similar fields, because you ultimately have to give up something you like. There are many people who enjoy several different aspects of medicine.
 

Red Beard

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I know you said "let's ignore everything else except for lifestyle issues".....but I've got to say I can't think of anyone who would ever be deciding between psych and anesthesia......that would be like a moviegoer trying to decide between some artsy independent movie with subtitles and a hannah montana flick.
I've seriously entertained both psych and anesthesia as career options. Never considered seeing a hannah montana flick though :p

The common ground in both fields in my mind is their relatively cerebral nature, and the rapidity with which you can see a significant response to your treatment (in the case of acute psychiatric care.)
 

lilzelda2

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I know you said "let's ignore everything else except for lifestyle issues".....but I've got to say I can't think of anyone who would ever be deciding between psych and anesthesia......that would be like a moviegoer trying to decide between some artsy independent movie with subtitles and a hannah montana flick.

I'm actually trying to decide right now if I want to do anesthesia or psych....I went into medical school wanting to be a psychiatrist, fell in love with medicine, acute care and now I'm torn...For gas I like doing procedures, physiology, and seeing my results...For psych I like the interaction with patients, being able to make a difference in someones life, and the research aspect...In both you can see results and there is the connection of pain medicine...

I know other people who are trying to choose between the two aswell, so its not as rare as u think.

For lifestyle I'm actually leaning towards psych..its 8-5, u can get a part-time gig if you want, and with healthcare reform the field might actually win as oppose to anesthesia...But I don't want to lose my medicine and thats one of the reasons I'm still on the fence
 

Messerschmitts

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Just wanted to chime in and say that many med students have 2 completely 'unrelated' specialties they try to decide between. I had a hard time between psych and OB/GYN. Now, aside from the stereotypical "pregnant women are crazy" jokes, mechanistically these two fields had very little in common. One was very hands-on, the other not. One had a brutal lifestyle, one did not. And so on. But dang did I have a hard time deciding.
 

billypilgrim37

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Just wanted to chime in and say that many med students have 2 completely 'unrelated' specialties they try to decide between. I had a hard time between psych and OB/GYN. Now, aside from the stereotypical "pregnant women are crazy" jokes, mechanistically these two fields had very little in common. One was very hands-on, the other not. One had a brutal lifestyle, one did not. And so on. But dang did I have a hard time deciding.
My debate at the end of second year was psych vs. OB, mostly because each field seemed well tuned with my pinko commie tendencies. I became disenchanted that the OBs I was working with were much more excited about getting back to the OR than they were about women's health policy, so interest quickly shifted to family med vs psych. As I planned to take a year off to do a policy degree, my interests shifted back towards epidemiology and clinical research, and after a few peds electives cemented that I liked kids and families, child psych made the most sense.

Tangential thinking is the norm when deciding on your specialty.
 

strangeglove

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Just wanted to chime in and say that many med students have 2 completely 'unrelated' specialties they try to decide between. I had a hard time between psych and OB/GYN. Now, aside from the stereotypical "pregnant women are crazy" jokes, mechanistically these two fields had very little in common. One was very hands-on, the other not. One had a brutal lifestyle, one did not. And so on. But dang did I have a hard time deciding.
Actually, a surprising number of psychiatrists have considered becoming surgeons and vice-versa. I think there are a number of similarities beyond the superficial level: the pace; the need to be on your toes in the moments that you are with your patients; the invasiveness (both surgeons and psychiatrists are interested in uncovering things that lie beneath the surface); the power you potentially have over your patients; the management of acutely dangerous situations. I suspect that most people decide based upon who they would rather spend their time with as colleagues.
 

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psych and anesthesia have pain medicine in common.

I liked both surgery and psych. I don't see why psych couldn't pick up a few procedures and learn to do them ourselves. For god's sake we could at least be doing our own LPs.

I think people are wrong when they assume that psychiatrists automatically "forget" their medicine. Sure maybe there is a risk of this, but never before have I found so many opportunities to address medical problems as on the inpatient psych ward. We get patients who have never been to doctors before, who use every illicit drug under the sun and suffer all their ill effects, and who, even if they do seek medical treatment, often don't get good care because they are unpleasant. Another thing I notice is irrational lists of home meds people are on. For these patients the psych ward may be their only visit to a doctor of any kind, so we have to be on our toes.
 

OldPsychDoc

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:whistle: "she has the best of both worlds" :whistle:
For resurrecting the thread merely to quote this line, thereby putting this danged song in my head this morning---I hereby sentence you to watch THIS on its opening day, surrounded by 11 & 12 year old fangirls.

Curse you, JGL9802!
 
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psych and anesthesia have pain medicine in common.

I liked both surgery and psych. I don't see why psych couldn't pick up a few procedures and learn to do them ourselves. For god's sake we could at least be doing our own LPs.
Why though? Is there an abnormally high number of LP consults at your inpatient sites? Most of the pts who need LPs are probably going to:

1) get them in the ED before any consult
2) be admitted to medicine or neuro since their is a compelling reason(fever, cn deficits, weakness, etc) for the LP and medicine or neuro will do it on their service

As a student I did 3.5 inpatient months. Census at any given time of about 40. Probably 400-500 total patients going through the units in some way during that time. Granted I missed a few days and can't account for every patient obviously, but never once did medicine or neuro need to come by and do an LP. Neuro came by for other stuff several times on consult obviously, but an LP wasn't going to be in the cards either way.

Besides, if the pt is altered with a + LP, they are going to be managed/transferred to a medicine or neuro floor anyways. To me it makes no sense for a non-procedural specialty to do their own LPs when:

1) I don't think the number will be high enough to justify it or provide us with as good of training in LP's as neuro or medicine. Yeah I realize it's not an insanely difficult to master procedure, but doing 70 is going to make one better prepared than doing 4

2) the problems with consulting neuro or medicine now to do LP's aren't/shouldn't be that big of a deal. On the list of complaints/issues em, neuro, and medicine have with psych, having to be consulted to do our LP's would be pretty far down the list.

3) more importantly, with MOST positive findings we LOSE those patients anyways. If the pt is found to have HSV encephalitis and the ED paged psych instead of neuro for whatever reason for the initial eval, they're going to neuro anyways. It's not like you're going to see IV acyclovir drips on a psych floor and the pt being managed by psych.
 

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Well I'm actually trying to decide between the two myself right now. I already completed an internship in IM and am currently working as a Flight Surgeon (primary care doc for pilots and aircrew) for the Navy. I'll be done with my military commitment in 2012, so I may have to apply this year for PGY2 positions that begin in 2012. I didn't want to do an IM internship but "the needs of the Navy." I had been thinking of Anesthesia for years but I've considered most fields. I never really considered Psych though until recently and it was like- WOW, why hadn't I considered this before? I liked Psych. I also think I may be able to open a solo practice and have much more autonomy than Anes would- but I could be wrong? I went through my med school year book and guess who went into Psych- a lot of cool, laid back, unpretentious people I liked!
Reason enough for me!

(I love my colleagues. :love:
Another reason I wouldn't do solo practice...but to each their own.)
 

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Doesn't psychiatry as a profession attract drunks, dreamers, and people with mental disorders into residencies?
 

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Med school in general tends to attract people with a fair amount of neuroticism and/or narcissism, especially at top programs. I'm not sure psychiatry has any more than the others. I think psychiatrists are sometimes more likely to talk about their own problems and try to analyze their co-workers. Determining whether that's a positive or negative is beyond my current capabilities.

And I think people with substance abuse are pretty well reresented across all specialty groups.

For the person above who liked anesthesia and psychiatry, I recently ran across an attending in the pain management program who after his psych residency did a fellowship in pain. Now, he sees patients in the chronic pain program in the morning and does nerve blocks, etc. in the afternoon. His job is my worst nightmare, but if you both specialties it might be a good fit and possibly lead to better reimbursement.
 

Little Bay

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I'm interested in Psych, EM and Pathology. What should I do?! How should I decide?!
The best advice I ever got: So you like many things - what can you not live without?

For me it was the unknowns, the puzzles... but this was Psych vs. Neuro.