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oweno18

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I am currently a resident in PM&R and new to SDN, enjoying residency but ready to be done. Although I can see myself being an attending, I'm also exploring other options after residency. I'm wondering if any of you know about non-physician jobs for people who finish a PM&R residency. I've looked over general options, like people going into pharmceutical jobs, or administration, or insurance, but they don't specifically apply to PM&R training. I'd be interested to hear if any other are considering this option or know of others who have.
 

paindefender

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I am currently a resident in PM&R and new to SDN, enjoying residency but ready to be done. Although I can see myself being an attending, I'm also exploring other options after residency. I'm wondering if any of you know about non-physician jobs for people who finish a PM&R residency. I've looked over general options, like people going into pharmceutical jobs, or administration, or insurance, but they don't specifically apply to PM&R training. I'd be interested to hear if any other are considering this option or know of others who have.
What about Taco Bell?
 

Llenroc

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You can always be a professional foley catheter inserter. Some might say you're "overqualified", but if you go to enough interviews you should find a position somewhere.
 
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PMR 4 MSK

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What about Taco Bell?
oweno - ignore this troll. He's still mad because a physiatrist stole his girlfriend and kicked sand in his face...
 

oweno18

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Anyone with a serious answer? I'm not keen on Taco Bell or Foley catheter insertion. Definitely not going to pay the student loans and the mortgage.
 

WaterAvatar

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I think the lack of responses should say something. I can easily point out a few non-physician jobs that Internal Medicine can do, but find this question difficult when pertaining to PMR.

heck.. I'm even getting worried about Rheumatology, Physical Therapy, Neurology, and Geriatric Medicine encroaching on what PMR does. Everytime there is some MSK issue in our hospital, PMR is never the consult that 100% of the physicans think to call for... they call for an ortho consult.

sorry to be a downer... just worries me too much.
 

PMR 4 MSK

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There are things you can do, but you are going to want to be a doctor for a while first to get some real world experience. Otherwiase, in the corporate world, your MD is no better than a BS, no matter what field you went in to.

You could go in to a purely research-oriented position somewhere, but you'll either need experience or work for the experience before anyone will be serious about hiring you for it. In general, MD's aren't the best at bench research.

You can get into administration, but you'll want to get an MBA or similar if you are serious about it - many can be done on-line and many are medicine-specific. Again, most will want you to have experience.

You can hire yourself out to insurance companies and lawyers as a peer reviewer or expert witness - but again, you'll want a few years of attending before anyone will take you seriously, or the other side's lawyer will chew you up.

Otherwise check out the SEAK website - they offer seminars on alternatives to regular employment for physicians. I've never taken any of their courses, but they mail them out all the time. They seem reasonable.
 

tchoupdoc

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I am currently a resident in PM&R and new to SDN, enjoying residency but ready to be done. Although I can see myself being an attending, I'm also exploring other options after residency. I'm wondering if any of you know about non-physician jobs for people who finish a PM&R residency. I've looked over general options, like people going into pharmceutical jobs, or administration, or insurance, but they don't specifically apply to PM&R training. I'd be interested to hear if any other are considering this option or know of others who have.
BC/BS of TN once offered me work reviewing cases for disability insurance (didn't know they offered that.) strictly paperwork, no patient contact at all. They said they had 2 pmr docs already who were overworked, meaning that the demand specifically for pmr was there. However, he did say that they liked their reviewers to have some clinical experience.

Don't know what your debt load is like, but I think this would be a tough time to find a job with medicine's stability and income. Good luck and keep us updated.
 

oweno18

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Thanks for all of your input. I know it hard to do anything but medicine when we have all of this training behind us, but it's always worth a thought and nice to think outside of the box sometimes. I'll let you know if something interesting pops up.
 

ShrikeMD

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Thanks for all of your input. I know it hard to do anything but medicine when we have all of this training behind us, but it's always worth a thought and nice to think outside of the box sometimes. I'll let you know if something interesting pops up.
My advice:
Finish your residency training. Identify some areas of PM&R that you find professionally satisfying and put your mind to being the best, most knowledgeable clinician/practitioner you can be. You may find that you like the field enough to forego these career alternatives. If not, your clinical experience would enhance your suitability for at least a few of these non-clinical jobs.
 

ShrikeMD

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There are things you can do, but you are going to want to be a doctor for a while first to get some real world experience. Otherwiase, in the corporate world, your MD is no better than a BS, no matter what field you went in to.

You could go in to a purely research-oriented position somewhere, but you'll either need experience or work for the experience before anyone will be serious about hiring you for it. In general, MD's aren't the best at bench research.

You can get into administration, but you'll want to get an MBA or similar if you are serious about it - many can be done on-line and many are medicine-specific. Again, most will want you to have experience.

You can hire yourself out to insurance companies and lawyers as a peer reviewer or expert witness - but again, you'll want a few years of attending before anyone will take you seriously, or the other side's lawyer will chew you up.

Otherwise check out the SEAK website - they offer seminars on alternatives to regular employment for physicians. I've never taken any of their courses, but they mail them out all the time. They seem reasonable.
Amen.
 

brimcmike

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Any guesses as to Alex's breed (avatar)?
I was a Military Working Dog Handler/Kennelmaster in the Marine Corps for 10 years, before this incarnation. I don't recognize the appearance as any AKC-recognized breed, but there are plenty of other countries and kennel clubs on the planet. Restricting to the usual suspects, and going by the ears, facial shape, mask markings and what of the coat I can see, I say, a scent hound of some sort and German Shepherd mix.
 

PMR 4 MSK

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I was a Military Working Dog Handler/Kennelmaster in the Marine Corps for 10 years, before this incarnation. I don't recognize the appearance as any AKC-recognized breed, but there are plenty of other countries and kennel clubs on the planet. Restricting to the usual suspects, and going by the ears, facial shape, mask markings and what of the coat I can see, I say, a scent hound of some sort and German Shepherd mix.
The most common suggestions (after "what the heck kinda dog is that?")are huskie, german shepherd, australian shepherd, beagle and bassett (short legs).
 
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Llenroc

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You could be a guy that bootlegs movies and then sells them to 8th graders whose parents won't let them watch an R-rated feature. It's a pretty sweet lifestyle if Seinfeld is to be believed. :laugh:
 

oweno18

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You could be a guy that bootlegs movies and then sells them to 8th graders whose parents won't let them watch an R-rated feature. It's a pretty sweet lifestyle if Seinfeld is to be believed. :laugh:
Ah, Seinfeld. If only life could be that funny and my apartment be that large.

No, seriously, I see what you all are saying. I really just need to find my niche and get some experience. It just seems daunting at times. We're in training for so long.
 

Vacant

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I am currently a resident in PM&R and new to SDN, enjoying residency but ready to be done. Although I can see myself being an attending, I'm also exploring other options after residency. I'm wondering if any of you know about non-physician jobs for people who finish a PM&R residency. I've looked over general options, like people going into pharmceutical jobs, or administration, or insurance, but they don't specifically apply to PM&R training. I'd be interested to hear if any other are considering this option or know of others who have.
May I ask what it is that makes you look for alternatives? What aspects in PM&R are turning you off? I ask because I just found out about this specialty and am very excited about it.
 

Vacant

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heck.. I'm even getting worried about Rheumatology, Physical Therapy, Neurology, and Geriatric Medicine encroaching on what PMR does. Everytime there is some MSK issue in our hospital, PMR is never the consult that 100% of the physicans think to call for... they call for an ortho consult.

sorry to be a downer... just worries me too much.
Is this a real threat or issue for practicing physiatrists?
Thank you for your elaboration.
 

PMR 4 MSK

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Is this a real threat or issue for practicing physiatrists?
Thank you for your elaboration.
I call PM&R thr "unknown specialty." Not only do very few lay people know we exist, few doctor know either we exist or what we do. It's an ongoing marketing issue.

Very often, inpt or outpt, a pt will have a MSK problem, PCP will refer to ortho, ortho says its not surgical and refers to rheum, rheum says not RA, refers to neuro, who refers to neurosurg, etc. Or any combo thereof. Often the chain of consults could have been avoided with referral to PM&R. At least in my area, it's improving.

I recently had a pt referred to me for EMG for RLE. I found an L5 radic and ordered an MRI of her L-spine. She says "Shouldn't I see a Neurologist?" I told her I could treat the problem and had her make the appt for the MRI and a f/u with me. She called back that day to ask for a referral to a neurologist. I refused on the basis I will not refer a pt out for something I treat, plus the neurologists around me don't treat this. She was free to seek out an opinion elsewhere. She never came back.

We get this periodically. People don't understand what we do. We work on it on a national and a local level. It comes with the territory.
 

drusso

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I call PM&R thr "unknown specialty." Not only do very few lay people know we exist, few doctor know either we exist or what we do. It's an ongoing marketing issue.

Very often, inpt or outpt, a pt will have a MSK problem, PCP will refer to ortho, ortho says its not surgical and refers to rheum, rheum says not RA, refers to neuro, who refers to neurosurg, etc. Or any combo thereof. Often the chain of consults could have been avoided with referral to PM&R. At least in my area, it's improving.

I recently had a pt referred to me for EMG for RLE. I found an L5 radic and ordered an MRI of her L-spine. She says "Shouldn't I see a Neurologist?" I told her I could treat the problem and had her make the appt for the MRI and a f/u with me. She called back that day to ask for a referral to a neurologist. I refused on the basis I will not refer a pt out for something I treat, plus the neurologists around me don't treat this. She was free to seek out an opinion elsewhere. She never came back.

We get this periodically. People don't understand what we do. We work on it on a national and a local level. It comes with the territory.
I've experienced this too once or twice. For some reason when I use the label "pain doctor" this isn't an issue.
 

DrMarchMadness

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I call PM&R thr "unknown specialty." Not only do very few lay people know we exist, few doctor know either we exist or what we do. It's an ongoing marketing issue.

Very often, inpt or outpt, a pt will have a MSK problem, PCP will refer to ortho, ortho says its not surgical and refers to rheum, rheum says not RA, refers to neuro, who refers to neurosurg, etc. Or any combo thereof. Often the chain of consults could have been avoided with referral to PM&R. At least in my area, it's improving.

I recently had a pt referred to me for EMG for RLE. I found an L5 radic and ordered an MRI of her L-spine. She says "Shouldn't I see a Neurologist?" I told her I could treat the problem and had her make the appt for the MRI and a f/u with me. She called back that day to ask for a referral to a neurologist. I refused on the basis I will not refer a pt out for something I treat, plus the neurologists around me don't treat this. She was free to seek out an opinion elsewhere. She never came back.

We get this periodically. People don't understand what we do. We work on it on a national and a local level. It comes with the territory.
Did you take the time out to explain your specialty, and why you were the best person in your area to treat her?
 

DrMarchMadness

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You could be a guy that bootlegs movies and then sells them to 8th graders whose parents won't let them watch an R-rated feature. It's a pretty sweet lifestyle if Seinfeld is to be believed. :laugh:
The guy on Seinfeld's name was Brody, I believe.
 
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Did you take the time out to explain your specialty, and why you were the best person in your area to treat her?
To the degree I could. She didn't get it, or maybe just had already been told by someone (I imagine an aunt or someone) "you need to see a neurologist."
 

SSdoc33

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To the degree I could. She didn't get it, or maybe just had already been told by someone (I imagine an aunt or someone) "you need to see a neurologist."

that really is a shame. i routinely see patients with radics treated by neurologists with topamax and lamictal. i saw one on sinemet. WHAT???????!!!!!!! also, it is very rare that i see a patient with a spine complaint who has also seen a neurologist and there is not an EMG performed. they just don't do a good job with this, esp where i practice.
 

PMR 4 MSK

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that really is a shame. i routinely see patients with radics treated by neurologists with topamax and lamictal. i saw one on sinemet. WHAT???????!!!!!!! also, it is very rare that i see a patient with a spine complaint who has also seen a neurologist and there is not an EMG performed. they just don't do a good job with this, esp where i practice.
Around here, if you have a complaint below the foramen magnum, and you see a neurologist, I think they write the order for themselves to do a 4-limb EMG before they walk in to the exam room. Above FM = EEG + MRI. Always.
 

oweno18

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May I ask what it is that makes you look for alternatives? What aspects in PM&R are turning you off? I ask because I just found out about this specialty and am very excited about it.
There's no one thing, but sometimes I worry about family life. I see that no job in medicine is 9 to 5, and days are NEVER predictable. It's not PM&R specific. If I'm on inpatient, someone could have chest pain at 5:30PM and need to be transferred out and I know I'll be late for dinner at 6PM planned a week in advance -- or not. Or, I could have an outpatient schedule with my last pt at 4PM but need to spend two hours catching up on paperwork if the clinic is busy and everyone shows up -- or not. I feel there are days when I never see the sun. Overall, PM&R is less malignant than many other specialties and I do enjoy it, but being in health care is a sacrifice. We give up time with family, time to ourselves, and even caring for family and ourselves to care for strangers. Dental appts, doctor appts, haircuts, the bridal shower for our best friend, Christmas, or birthday of an eldery relative get pushed aside for our patients. Sometimes it eats at me, gnaws, embittering my days. Other times, it's not so hard. I suppose with any job, in any field, people always have ups and downs.

I like to think outside of the box, so considering something innovative for a career besides medicine is interesting. I like a lot of different things, but not really good/top-notch at any one thing. I can sing, but I sure wouldn't start singing at weddings or try out for American Idol. :)
 

PMR 4 MSK

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There's no one thing, but sometimes I worry about family life. I see that no job in medicine is 9 to 5, and days are NEVER predictable. It's not PM&R specific. If I'm on inpatient, someone could have chest pain at 5:30PM and need to be transferred out and I know I'll be late for dinner at 6PM planned a week in advance -- or not. Or, I could have an outpatient schedule with my last pt at 4PM but need to spend two hours catching up on paperwork if the clinic is busy and everyone shows up -- or not. I feel there are days when I never see the sun. Overall, PM&R is less malignant than many other specialties and I do enjoy it, but being in health care is a sacrifice. We give up time with family, time to ourselves, and even caring for family and ourselves to care for strangers. Dental appts, doctor appts, haircuts, the bridal shower for our best friend, Christmas, or birthday of an eldery relative get pushed aside for our patients. Sometimes it eats at me, gnaws, embittering my days. Other times, it's not so hard. I suppose with any job, in any field, people always have ups and downs.

I like to think outside of the box, so considering something innovative for a career besides medicine is interesting. I like a lot of different things, but not really good/top-notch at any one thing. I can sing, but I sure wouldn't start singing at weddings or try out for American Idol. :)
You are feeling your own brain's backlash against you for the sacrifices you have made for the career.

Think of it this way - you could have graduated high school and gotten a job - something relatively brain-numbing and poor-paying, but you wanted something more.

After graduating college, you could have taken a job at some corporation, with a decent income, climb the corporate ladder, live 9-5 with health and dental insurance and 2 weeks vacation per year. But you wanted something more.

You chose medicine, and she's a bi-tch of a mistress. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with our careers and the choices we made. Our spouses don't always understand when we miss that 6 pm dinner for a patient we could have put off, but felt the need to help someone when we could, and sacrafice family for medicine. Our kids don't understand why we can't make every concert, recital or party. Our relatives and friends may resent us for not always being there for them, because they will never understand why we do what we do, and most of them could never do it.

Medicine is one of the highest callings you can do. It is only for the select few with the desire, drive, pasion, intelligence and fortitude to be accepted into it and survive the training. The training is hard, and life after training may not be much easier.

But there is nothing in the world that can compare to either saving a life, or salvaging one. Simply improving someone's quality of life will get you through while the rest of the world tries to beat you down.

PM&R offers the opportunity to imporve QOL and salvage lives, but rarely save them. We may get less respect from our collegues in other specialties, but I guarantee, most Physiatrists get more respect and thanks from their patients that most fields. We get paid well (if we do it right), and we have a good lifestyle, if we so choose (I just started taking off every Friday - 4-day work-weeks from now on...!).

But the trade-off is we deal with many patients that either other fields can't help, or don't want to. We treat the untreatable.

Stay with it, find your passion, see what trips your trigger, choose whatever cliche you want. Something drew you into this field. Find it again.
 

Kinjal350z

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You are feeling your own brain's backlash against you for the sacrifices you have made for the career.

Think of it this way - you could have graduated high school and gotten a job - something relatively brain-numbing and poor-paying, but you wanted something more.

After graduating college, you could have taken a job at some corporation, with a decent income, climb the corporate ladder, live 9-5 with health and dental insurance and 2 weeks vacation per year. But you wanted something more.

You chose medicine, and she's a bi-tch of a mistress. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with our careers and the choices we made. Our spouses don't always understand when we miss that 6 pm dinner for a patient we could have put off, but felt the need to help someone when we could, and sacrafice family for medicine. Our kids don't understand why we can't make every concert, recital or party. Our relatives and friends may resent us for not always being there for them, because they will never understand why we do what we do, and most of them could never do it.

Medicine is one of the highest callings you can do. It is only for the select few with the desire, drive, pasion, intelligence and fortitude to be accepted into it and survive the training. The training is hard, and life after training may not be much easier.

But there is nothing in the world that can compare to either saving a life, or salvaging one. Simply improving someone's quality of life will get you through while the rest of the world tries to beat you down.

PM&R offers the opportunity to imporve QOL and salvage lives, but rarely save them. We may get less respect from our collegues in other specialties, but I guarantee, most Physiatrists get more respect and thanks from their patients that most fields. We get paid well (if we do it right), and we have a good lifestyle, if we so choose (I just started taking off every Friday - 4-day work-weeks from now on...!).

But the trade-off is we deal with many patients that either other fields can't help, or don't want to. We treat the untreatable.

Stay with it, find your passion, see what trips your trigger, choose whatever cliche you want. Something drew you into this field. Find it again.
great post!
 

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This is a great thread. Clinicians from all specialties have been found to be dissatisfied with the field of medicine for a variety of reasons. Many physicians will likely consider non-clinical jobs at some time, whether that is an extremely serious thought or not.

MDJoeKim probably had the best advice up there.. get experience and meet people. Without those two, especially *experience* doors remain closed. By experience I mean clinical, and administrative (especially if you want to do non-clinical).

Keep in mind, non-clinical job does not mean its any easier of a job. Administration or business can be very demanding, if not more demanding. The pressure to keep your job for one, and two, business goes on even after 8-5, just like medicine!
 

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I would initiate contact with Dr. Joseph Kim. He has a great blog as well as a social network site for non-clinical, non-traditional routes for MD's.

PM him, his screename is mdjkim.

There are endless opportunities for MD's, in particular for those who are board eligible or certified, having successfully completed a residency program.

If wealth is at the core of this interest, I will tell you that there is money to be made in medicine, even PMR. You just have to be a bit creative and driven. Think outside the box.
 

oweno18

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This is a great thread. Clinicians from all specialties have been found to be dissatisfied with the field of medicine for a variety of reasons. Many physicians will likely consider non-clinical jobs at some time, whether that is an extremely serious thought or not.

MDJoeKim probably had the best advice up there.. get experience and meet people. Without those two, especially *experience* doors remain closed. By experience I mean clinical, and administrative (especially if you want to do non-clinical).

Keep in mind, non-clinical job does not mean its any easier of a job. Administration or business can be very demanding, if not more demanding. The pressure to keep your job for one, and two, business goes on even after 8-5, just like medicine!
I've definitely considered this, too. I know ANY job could be just as challenging, if not harder. I do appreciate the guidance though, and will get that wonderful experience to fully round out my education. I can't make a decision without being fully informed.
 

oweno18

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I would initiate contact with Dr. Joseph Kim. He has a great blog as well as a social network site for non-clinical, non-traditional routes for MD's.

PM him, his screename is mdjkim.

There are endless opportunities for MD's, in particular for those who are board eligible or certified, having successfully completed a residency program.

If wealth is at the core of this interest, I will tell you that there is money to be made in medicine, even PMR. You just have to be a bit creative and driven. Think outside the box.
I did check out his website, and will look into it more in time. It is heartening to know that everyone feels this way at some point. It's just not something that everyone wants to admit, at least verbally. I often see if written on the faces of my fellow residents, after a bad day.
 
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