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modern ER burnout

drboris

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I was shadwing an FP today, who is a very established and well respected physician and who used to run an ER for 8 years, and he told me that he burned out. After I explained that new ER docs are actually ER trained and know what they are getting into, he told me that there is no one his age, 56, that still works in an ER. In other words, he said that even with the cush working hours of new ER docs, he thinks burnout is inherent in emergency medicine. He used to work in a suburban ER and he still burned out.

Now, since I actually have an interest in ER medicine, I want to know all of your opinions....med students, residents, and actual ER docs.

What do you guys think about this?
 

mikecwru

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Originally posted by drboris
I was shadwing an FP today, who is a very established and well respected physician and who used to run an ER for 8 years, and he told me that he burned out. After I explained that new ER docs are actually ER trained and know what they are getting into, he told me that there is no one his age, 56, that still works in an ER. In other words, he said that even with the cush working hours of new ER docs, he thinks burnout is inherent in emergency medicine. He used to work in a suburban ER and he still burned out.

Now, since I actually have an interest in ER medicine, I want to know all of your opinions....med students, residents, and actual ER docs.

What do you guys think about this?

I've seen several ER physicians in their 50s still going strong. I haven't personally met anyone in their 60s yet, but that's probably related to the relative newness of the specialty.

You have to really ask yourself about burnout: so what? If you really want to go into EM, would you forsake EM for that chance that you may burnout in 5, 10, 20+ years? I personally would rather take my chances and cross that bridge when/if I come to it.

mike
 
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drboris

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I agree with you guys that it is better to go into a specialty that you like and risk burning out.

However, what are you going to do if and when you burn out? In reality, you need to have some sort of backup plan.

Do these older docs still work full time, or do they work part time in the ER as well as somewhere else?
 

EMT036

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At my hospital, we have several docs that are over 50. One of them is nicknamed the "Ironman" because of the number and length of the shifts he still takes.
Most of the newer docs already seem burned out and don't want to work anymore.
 

DrQuinn

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We have several attendings in their 50s who have been doing EM for like 20+ years, still going strong and doing night shifts too.

I'd rather be burnt out from the ED that bored stiff rounding all day or adjusting someone's antidepressant or BP med.

Q, DO
 

beyond all hope

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Most ER docs I know already have a plan of what they want to do when they get tired of medicine. Short attention span comes with the job. Some say they'll go to law school, open a restaurant, go back for a PhD, retire early, etc.

My problem is I have too many things I want to do and not enough time to do them. I'm pretty sure I'll never stay in the same field long enough to burn out.
 

12R34Y

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agreeing with many of the above posts.........i personally have worked with 3 EM docs at one suburban ED that were all over the age of 50.

did their EM residencies in the early 70's!!

they say they still love it.

later
 

southerndoc

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Keep in mind that even though EM might have less physicians in their 50's and 60's when compared to other specialties, it may be that EM physicians are more likely to retire early. Many EM physicians will choose to retire early, so they quit because they want to, not because they are burned out.
 

GCS:3

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Originally posted by beyond all hope
Most ER docs I know already have a plan of what they want to do when they get tired of medicine. Short attention span comes with the job. Some say they'll go to law school, open a restaurant, go back for a PhD, retire early, etc.

Yep. What he said... :)
 
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