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Podiatry Work hours and schedule compared to other medical specialties/fields

MedKid8399

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I am an incoming student at NYCPM and curious about the schedule of a podiatrist, whether surgical or more conservative care, compared to other medical specialties. I am excited about learning the material and eventually practicing and treating patients.

Notoriously, when one researches med school and many of the specialties, students and doctors often discuss the difficulty in maintaining balance with their hobbies/family/outside passions. I understand some specialties are less time consuming than others (family med versus neurosurgery).I feel like I have not received a clear cut answer on this and so, residents and podiatrists in this profession, how do you view your schedules? What are your typical hours and call? Do you believe there are specialities in med school that could provide similar hours and flexibility? Do you have time to get away, time for family, time to pursue hobbies/passions outside of your profession?

Thanks for your feedback and information.
 

DYK343

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My schedule sucks. Prior to covid I hit 80hrs a week some weeks but every week was at least 60hrs. I suppose I could be less busy if I wanted but that hospital never stops calling.

Covid has been a nice break as I have not had nearly as much work.
 
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josebiwasabi

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I average about 50 hours per week. Probably around 60 if I am on call.

I could be less busy but I am heavily production based so if I see fewer patients I make less. I'm finishing my first year in practice so right now I am just trying to see as many as possible to grow my practice.
 
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sunnypod

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I do not take call, see about 20-25 patient a day (4 days a week), and do about one surgery a week. I get paid on production. If I wanted to see consults at the hospital I could, but thankfully the owner of our practice lets us choose. It is not worth it to me. Seeing patients in the office is much more profitable. I have been in the same practice for 4 years since I got out of residency and so far have only worked ( amputations that couldn't wait) a handful of weekends.
 
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Scrantonicity

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As an associate, I work about 35-40 hours a week. I see 40-50 patients a day, with one day of surgery. I still go to clinic after surgery and see about 15-20 patients. I'm pretty quick when I see patients, so I get a lot of computer time...I work on notes here and there off of work hours sometimes, so I guess you could add that. (maybe an hour a day?)

I have a lot of time with my family, weekends are free for me 90% of the time. I have 3 or 4 hobbies that I switch between depending on my passion (usually 2 at a time).

I have the usual complaints an associate has (feeling *slightly* under compensated, somewhat micromanaged, etc.), but I can't complain too much. It's a pretty good life.
 
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MedKid8399

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As an associate, I work about 35-40 hours a week. I see 40-50 patients a day, with one day of surgery. I still go to clinic after surgery and see about 15-20 patients. I'm pretty quick when I see patients, so I get a lot of computer time...I work on notes here and there off of work hours sometimes, so I guess you could add that. (maybe an hour a day?)

I have a lot of time with my family, weekends are free for me 90% of the time. I have 3 or 4 hobbies that I switch between depending on my passion (usually 2 at a time).

I have the usual complaints an associate has (feeling *slightly* under compensated, somewhat micromanaged, etc.), but I can't complain too much. It's a pretty good life.
That's great to hear. I guess there can be a stark contrast in hours worked, based on loans, personality, environment. Between you working 35-40 and one of the commenters in this thread working 80 hours a week. That seems almost like residency hours schedule in med school.
 

MedKid8399

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I do not take call, see about 20-25 patient a day (4 days a week), and do about one surgery a week. I get paid on production. If I wanted to see consults at the hospital I could, but thankfully the owner of our practice lets us choose. It is not worth it to me. Seeing patients in the office is much more profitable. I have been in the same practice for 4 years since I got out of residency and so far have only worked ( amputations that couldn't wait) a handful of weekends.
Thanks for the reply. That seems like a nice variety. Do podiatrist tend to try to open their own practice after several years?
 

MedKid8399

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I average about 50 hours per week. Probably around 60 if I am on call.

I could be less busy but I am heavily production based so if I see fewer patients I make less. I'm finishing my first year in practice so right now I am just trying to see as many as possible to grow my practice.
Thanks for the info. I've seen different info regarding whether podiatrists tend to open their own practices or join ortho specialty practices, or go to hospitals. Would you happen to know if any of these pathways is more popular compared to another?
 

DYK343

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Totally understandable, better to pay loans off as quickly as possible. But make sure to take a few breaks here and there!
I think it really boils down to what type of provider you want to be. If you want the big cases and be involved in the local community you're going to work A LOT. If you want to work 9-5 in private practice and fix a bunion or two a week this can also be done.
 
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CutsWithFury

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I think it really boils down to what type of provider you want to be. If you want the big cases and be involved in the local community you're going to work A LOT. If you want to work 9-5 in private practice and fix a bunion or two a week this can also be done.

Agreed. Before COVID-19 I was doing as many community events as possible. I was already getting internal referrals from our PCPs and emergency department but going out into the community really ramped up my volume significantly. If you put in the time you can get patients.
 
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CutsWithFury

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Do you have an estimate on how many podiatrists are performing surgeries in the hospital as opposed to outpatient? As well as the competitiveness in joining an orthopedic group?

All podiatrists do surgeries in hospitals. Some affiliated with surgery centers. Podiatrists joining LARGE ortho groups is on the down trend. Some DPMs will join small ortho groups (4-7 docs).

DPMs joining hospital systems is on the uptrend. Too much money to be made to deny it
 
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Scrantonicity

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Do you have an estimate on how many podiatrists are performing surgeries in the hospital as opposed to outpatient? As well as the competitiveness in joining an orthopedic group?

There are some podiatrists that have a "surgery suite" in their office, where they might perform minor surgeries. Most anything requiring more than just local anesthesia they take to the hospital or a surgery center.

Orthopedic group just depends on the region. Some groups of orthopods know very little of our training (and aren't interested in finding out), so they're not even looking at pods joining them. Others are actively seeking pods, but they don't exactly put out the word in the usual places. As far as I can tell, it's not exactly "competitive" as much as it's just luck of the draw--just making the right connection with the right people.

Like CutsWithFury says, the trend of DPMs joining hospitals is going up...and that's as it should be. A good hospital job is pretty much the coveted pod position at this point (for the newly trained at least).
 
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CutsWithFury

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Could you expand on that? Sorry I’m not sure what you mean.

Participating in community events such as 5k races or other community events. Prior to COVID-19 I would do at least 1-2 events a month (on Saturdays).

I did that for a solid 2.5 years. It helps get your name out there.
 
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heybrother

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Its a solid strategy. A - he's out there meeting people. B- he's out meeting who are ambulatory. It creates a selection bias for people who are healthy enough to leave their house. More likely to be younger and active.

I worked with someone once who used to say we should spend more time visiting endocrinology practices. It might be the right thing to do, but you are going to get a different clientele from that. But remember - most podiatry pre-pods are still saying things like "Podiatry will always be ok because so many people have diabetes". Riggghhhhttttttt.
 
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OblivionGD

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All podiatrists do surgeries in hospitals. Some affiliated with surgery centers. Podiatrists joining LARGE ortho groups is on the down trend. Some DPMs will join small ortho groups (4-7 docs).

DPMs joining hospital systems is on the uptrend. Too much money to be made to deny it


I am genuinely curious. Would you rank a hospital system job as "better" or "more desirable" than an orthro group position (be it large or small).
 

heybrother

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Having an orthopedics/hospital job in general assures you adequate starting pay/benefits. However, the real question after will be scope, job expectations, etc.

I've met some people who were hospital (and even orthopedic) employed and they only did forefoot, plantar fasciitis, ingrowns, diabetic care - and they were really, really, really happy. But some people wouldn't be happy with that. Consider a practice where you aren't referred rearfoot ie. sprains/fractures. However, rearfoot cases are still going to walk in the door ie. higher grade PTTD. What if you were expected to refer that on? Would that bother you?

Everyone has different expectations. We speak in generalities on here. You'll have to find what works for you.
 
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OblivionGD

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Having an orthopedics/hospital job in general assures you adequate starting pay/benefits. However, the real question after will be scope, job expectations, etc.

I've met some people who were hospital (and even orthopedic) employed and they only did forefoot, plantar fasciitis, ingrowns, diabetic care - and they were really, really, really happy. But some people wouldn't be happy with that. Consider a practice where you aren't referred rearfoot ie. sprains/fractures. However, rearfoot cases are still going to walk in the door ie. higher grade PTTD. What if you were expected to refer that on? Would that bother you?

Everyone has different expectations. We speak in generalities on here. You'll have to find what works for you.

I understand what you mean. I appreciate the insight since I did not imagine that to be the case. Definitely hard to imagine if I'd be ok doing that, especially since I feel the most important skills we learn can decay so easily if not constantly practiced, especially post residency.
 

CutsWithFury

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I understand what you mean. I appreciate the insight since I did not imagine that to be the case. Definitely hard to imagine if I'd be ok doing that, especially since I feel the most important skills we learn can decay so easily if not constantly practiced, especially post residency.

Your experience and expectations in school and residency training or not going to be the same while practicing.

You go through all this too notch education and training only to be shut down by an ortho who doesn’t like podiatry. Or worse...the DPM on the credentialing board for the hospital, that you want to do your cases at, makes your life a living hell to get privileges for the cases you were trained to do.

Adjustments.JPG
 
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MedKid8399

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Your experience and expectations in school and residency training or not going to be the same while practicing.

You go through all this too notch education and training only to be shut down by an ortho who doesn’t like podiatry. Or worse...the DPM on the credentialing board for the hospital, that you want to do your cases at, makes your life a living hell to get privileges for the cases you were trained to do.

View attachment 311899
Based on your "podiatry hell" name and your comment, you do not seem to be too satisfied with your current situation?
 

PTPuser

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Having an orthopedics/hospital job in general assures you adequate starting pay/benefits. However, the real question after will be scope, job expectations, etc.

I've met some people who were hospital (and even orthopedic) employed and they only did forefoot, plantar fasciitis, ingrowns, diabetic care - and they were really, really, really happy. But some people wouldn't be happy with that. Consider a practice where you aren't referred rearfoot ie. sprains/fractures. However, rearfoot cases are still going to walk in the door ie. higher grade PTTD. What if you were expected to refer that on? Would that bother you?

Everyone has different expectations. We speak in generalities on here. You'll have to find what works for you.

This is exactly what I am seeing in my hometown area NE. The PP guys are basically doing whatever comes through their doors and the hospital group / ortho podiatry practice folks are limited and have no choice but to give away certain surgeries / procedure to ortho F/A in the group.

Like you've mentioned, I don't think I'll be happy like that.

I.e. one of the pod I spoke to really wanted to get involved in podoplastic cases but they were always given to plastic guys in the area, but plastic doesn't want to do it. So this pod left the associate position and said F*** it, I'm gonna open my own shop.
 
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Redsting

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I work in a clinic owned by the hospital. I work 4 days a week, rarely round on weekends. I am available to the ER anytime, but actually go in maybe 3 times a year. The big trauma gets sent out. I work 40 (occasionally up to 50) hours a week in those 4 days depending on how much surgery or travel time that week. I would love be a little busier and get more RVUs but small area means I am limited. Work like balance is great.
 
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