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Specialties with the longest span

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by M.Furfur, May 27, 2008.

  1. M.Furfur

    M.Furfur 5+ Year Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    Which are the specialties with the longest practice span? Family? since you finish early and can work till you are really old? Radiology?
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  3. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    I would think it is more dependent on the individual rather than field.

    I know surgeons in their 80s who are still working and FPs retiring at 50. Most people probably work to the average retirement age or around 65.
  4. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky 10+ Year Member

    I've heard people say that over 50% of radiologists will never retire.
  5. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    I don't know of many pathologists who have willingly retired. Seems like most either die at the microscope or have an MI and are forced to quit. I know of one pathologist, not at my institution, who was in his late 60s and was asked to retire from an academic place, so he quit and got a private practice job.

    There are also a lot of people who "retire" but keep consulting or teaching until they have the second foot halfway into the grave, or until their ability to speak disappears.

    Personally, I don't get it. If I had enough money to retire comfortably, I would retire. But maybe when I reach 65 I will find that medicine still stimulates me a great deal and I can't quit. What it would hope is that it still stimulates me, but I also have better things to do with my time.

    Of course, when I am 65 all doctors will be making near minimum wage working on an assembly line at "diagnoses 'r' us," existing merely to sign off on a diagnosis that a computer or series of computers makes. Why would we even exist at all, you might ask? Because malpractice lawyers will need someone to sue, and those diagnosis-making robots will just be too tough to depose on a witness stand. So the system will make it so that physicians make just enough money to have it be worthwhile to continue working instead of quitting and becoming a legal assistant.

    You may ask, of course, why the legal assistant wouldn't be a robot too. That's a story for a different day.
  6. Doowai

    Doowai 2+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    I would guess psychiatrists - I would think you would have to be really gomered up to have to leave psychiatry(all you do is sit).

    But having said that, I had a psychiatrist living across the street from me growing up. In my teens I put in his yard and a garden for him. He got "disabled" and could not work. He lived in disability insurance for decades. His wife left him after about 20 years and he was apparently estranged from his kids. he ended up committing suicide. He was always working around his garden until he offed himself.

    I just cannot imagine being so disabled you could not do the daily functions of a psychiatrist. I have blown discs throughout my spine, etc - and it does not slow me down much. Came in 4th in a strong man competition a few weeks ago. I have a full thickness tear of my supraspinatus, partial of the subscap, torn labrum (per MRI), 2 spurs and still lift alot of weights. A weak mind is what leads to most disabilities.

    The surgery specialities would not take much to be disabled - even the development of a tremor. Or diminished vision. You have to function well.

    Family medicine - its just pen to paper to write prescriptions 80% of the time - again you would have to be pretty doinked up to not be able to do that work. You could even be fairly blind. Same with internal med. If you can hobble around, write somewhat legibly, and see with some accuracy - you should be able to be a FP until a few days after you die.
  7. docB

    docB Chronically painful Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV
    Nah, it'll be you path guys and rads slaving away at "Diagnoses 'R' Us." The rest of us will be pushing paper over at "Forms Filled Out 4 U."
  8. DrDre311

    DrDre311 Makaveli 2+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2008
    Most people have some degree of physiologic tremor. If you don't believe me, stand up, get a pen/pencil, hold it with 1 finger and a thumb by the eraser end, and try to hold the tip perfectly still with your hand at arm's length, slightly bent, and the tip of the pen a few millimeters away from a picture on your wall (reference point so you can see if you move)--don't support yourself, no touching anything. You should be able to do it, but most people will move a little bit if their forearms are not supported.

    I don't shake unless I've had 3 cups of Starbucks but not all surgeons are super rock-steady. I've worked with surgeons that had noticeable tremors and were still effective/efficient. As long as your hands do what you want them to, a slight tremor doesn't DQ you from surgery--maybe you shouldn't become a microsurgeon, because it does take steady hands to do microvascular anastamoses or nerve coaptations, but as long as you don't have some kind of uncontrollable coarse tremor, a little twitching doesn't mean you can't operate.
  9. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    I was tempted to comment in regards to your comments about FM and IM but actually the above statement, buried in the depths of your post, is the most contentious.

    Wow. If you really believe that, I would encourage you to spend some time with disabled people and tell them that if they weren't so weak they could walk/talk/feed themselves/get a job, etc.

    Remember we all have different experiences and reactions to those experiences. You may have succeeded very well in overcoming your injury but it would be arrogant to assume everyone would have the same outcome and to say they were weak if they were unable to be as successful as you were.

    Sorry about the soapbox, but this really got my dander up (as a non-disabled, healthy person who hopes if I ever become disabled that no one tells me its because I have a weak mind).
  10. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon Physician Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2004
    Left of Center
    One of my current inpatients mentioned that her outpatient psychiatrist is 87 y/o.
    Apparently a bit hard of hearing, though--which certainly could be a problem in our field!

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