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Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by hotdogz, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. hotdogz

    hotdogz Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Hi all, I haven't posted in a while, but am soon coming to an important decision which I would appreciate your nonmalignant opinion on. So I was one of those guys who really wanted anesthesia (life, money, like everyone mostly everyone else), didnt match in 2 matches, but luckily found something at the lowest tier program. It's not what I thought it was and I really underestimated the stress level... I was ready to quit within the first 2 months. However, I've stuck it out 9 months so far, tolerating it more, and have a good 3 months outside rotation coming up. I still know for a fact, that I will not continue with anesthesia for the rest of my life. I'd say 10 years tops. I even posted before how my uncle who is a GI guy would hire me to do his scopes, which I am strongly considering.
    I think just evaluating this whole residency, medicine thing, reading the state of affairs in the field, liability, stress, quality of life, I feel that I will be leaving sooner than 10 years. I can tell you that I feel the adrenaline pumping, palpitations, during certain situations. Healthwise, I don't think I can sustain this career forever. I also feel I missed out on a lot of things in life from this whole medicine gig. I can't say I love anesthesia, I look at it as a ways to pay the bills, probably as I would any job. therefore, I wanted to ask you guys if you know of people who have dropped out of medicine and pursued other careers, either medicine related or not. I am clueless on how to start and who to pursue. I guess I first have to realize what else I like or could see myself doing. I'm thinking consulting, finance, or pharm industry. If any of you have suggestions, stories, ideas, please share. I'm not knocking the field, I'm just realizing I want to get out of the clinical medicine (anesthesiology) sector.
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  3. kiernin

    kiernin Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 30, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My fiance is a stock analyst. His company and probably most other investment banks have hired MDs as analysts covering biotech and medical device stocks. I think it would be hard to get a job without knowing someone though; it's a pretty insular industry. Also, the minute you leave medicine, your degree loses its cachet. You are not a doctor anymore, you're just that guy who happened to go to medical school before getting this job. I know my finance interviewed a candidate from a top tier medical school who had decided to forgo residency and one of the reasons they decided not to make her an offer was that the email address she was using was [email protected], which they thought was snooty and condescending.

    I would say consulting would be easier to break into as the big companies tend to hire a lot more people. Both banking and consulting can be very stressful, have bad hours (though no call), and can be very unfulfilling in ways that medicine is not. They can be financially rewarding, though. Have you worked in another industry before? Of course it's a personal decision, but after working in corporate America for 5 years before med school and having watched my fiance suffer through the misery of investment banking (yeah he gets paid a lot, but boy, does he pay the price for it), I have to say that I believe a terrible day in medicine is better than a good day at a corporate job... but I hope it works out for you.
  4. mille125

    mille125 7+ Year Member

    Dec 8, 2006

    i agree with this post....nothing else to add...good luck
  5. opa beleza?

    opa beleza? Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 21, 2005
    There are a ton of ways to get rich, and even more to make a decent living outside of medicine. Unfortunatley you have been spending all your time on medical education at the expense of your financial education -- that is your first step -- get a good financial education (not formal, not worth the tuition). Read. Learn how to make money and how to make money without working -- passively. Passive income will give you the ability to whatever you want in life -- even a chance to figure out what it is you want. Medicine is a great field, but if it aint yer gig, don't waste another minute in it, it is a crappy way to make money if you do not love it intrinsically. Good luck.
  6. objdoc

    objdoc ASA Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 22, 2006
  7. TIVA

    TIVA Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 7, 2006
    You know, it's easy for us anonymous types to give you all sorts of advice ... some of it useful, most of it garbage that we wouldn't even give to our own families. Please allow me to give you some advice if you were my kid brother or sister ...

    You've made your bed, now sleep in it.

    It's too late for you to back out. You're already a doctor, and if you back out now, you are no more or less qualified to flip burgers or deliver papers or clean hotel rooms than anyone else. And you are definitely not qualified to be a business executive, accontant, investment banker, etc.

    You've spent your whole life dedicated to medicine and now you are finding it's not exactly what you expected it to be. Don't worry. That's exactly how everyone feels. But instead of trying to find a career that attracts you or fascinates you or catches your imagination, you need to learn to love medicine. It's an acquired taste. You have to learn to love it. You have to make medicine your hobby. Make it your goal in life to be the best doctor. If you make it your mission to be the best anesthesiologist you can be, then you will start to love medicine (again?).

    Right now, it just seems like you're burned out and tired of the 70+ hour work weeks at minimum wage. You're disillusioned and fatigued. Join the club, so are we. Put your head down and finish the next 2 more years, and then welcome to the land of $200+ starting salaries.

    I used to think if I spent as much time doing something else as I do medicine, that I'd be a millionaire. Wrong!! Out in the real world, I'd have to be a completely different type of person -- cut-throat competitive, aggressive, and butt-kissing. And thank God I don't have to fight for my sustenance like that.

    In sum, learn to love it, and work hard to be the best at it (i.e. looking forward to the toughest cases, asking lots of questions, willing to stay late to finish your own cases, constantly trying to improve your techniques, and being happy to teach your juniors, even if it means coming home 30 minutes or more later).
  8. mille125

    mille125 7+ Year Member

    Dec 8, 2006

    I totally disagree with this post but I do find it humorous. Do not give this bad advice to your siblings. TIVA, there are quite a few people who have successfully made a career change from medicine. Many work for pharmaceutical companies or other medical industries. I do agree that the original poster has invested many years into his medical education. But to suggest that it is impossible to change careers or that he is not qualified to "flip burgers" is absurd. He could go back and get an MBA or become a CPA with a few more years of training.

    I totally disagree with forcing yourself to like your profession. You will find that no matter how large the paycheck, you will live a sad remorseful life if you adopt this attitude. I agree that there are times when many of us have bad days. I, myself, have never given serious thought to changing careers. The original poster has. I believe that he does not expect it to be an easy road or transition. However, if he is truly that unhappy, he should consider a career change.

    TIVA, I am sure that you make a fine anesthesiologist. I am glad that you did not choose to be a career counselor..
  9. amyl

    amyl ASA Member 10+ Year Member

    The grass is always greener, Look before you leap. excess cliches but true. There are bad parts to every just have to figure out what bad parts bother you the least. one of my friends is a rep. she sells hip replacement parts etc. she makes more than many docs... usually about 250. she doesn't have to take call at all, her schedule is very flexible but it revolves around the docs... what she does have to do: kiss but. she is great at it and it doesn' t bother her at second nature to her to convincingly sincerely blow sunshine up their #@*! and tell them how great they are, go to all their parties and drive visiting docs around and generally be part of the entourage. she has to go to conferences, babysit wives, go to strip clubs, smoke cigars, lie to the wives and extra girlfriends about where their husbands are and what or who they are doing. i could never kiss butt like that, i could never stroke egos like that, i could never lie outright to people. be careful before anyone jumps ship... every career has its pitfalls and problems.

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