gclax30

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I'm just wondering if it is possible to work "part time" hours as a physician (whatever that means ;) ). I realize it probably depends on your specialty of course, but I have been told different things. The general stereotype (mostly from the media) is that all doctors work a million hours a week, never see their families, all of their marriages go down the tubes, etc. But you're not a slave, you should be able to approach an employer with your availability and shift preferences, just like any other job correct? I'm only asking because I plan to start a family during or just after residency, and if I wanted to cut back on my hours once I finish and am a fully practicing physician to spend more time with my kids, I want to be able to do that. I plan to work hard of course, but practicing medicine will not be my entire life. Any suggestions?

Should I factor this into my choice of a specialty? I don't want to start pursuing something that won't give me this option later as a physician.

I will have significant student loan debt, as will my wife most likely, so perhaps part time work wouldn't be an option for several years until we get that under control? I don't mind driving a beat-up Honda to work every day either, I don't need the newest benz on the road to make me happy!

Sorry if this seems like a dumb post, I just don't know much about the doctor lifestyle and how easy it is to juggle everything at once. Any input would be much appreciated, thank you! :thumbup:
 

emack

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My mother's a radiologist. She works 3 days a week in hospital, plus she reads couriered films at home when she wants to. She also doesn't take any call. It's a sweet lifestyle-- she makes a lot less than other radiologists, because she works far less & pays a lot into a group practice from which she never gets anything, but she thinks it's worth it. Even when we (her kids) were little, she only worked 4 days a week, maybe 8 hours a day, and did as little call as she could get away with.

I think any of us has to be willing to work really hard at first (especially during residency), but after that you're free to do as you please. If you're in an in-demand specialty, it may be tempting to work your tail off, to help as many patients as possible (and rake in as much $$$ as possible), but you have the freedom to decide to do less than that. It may be difficult to get established someplace if you want to start making demands right away, but if (for example) you own your practice, then no one can make you work any more than you decide you have to in order to be happy & pay the bills.
 

mojojojo

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I worked at a pediatric ER with a number of part-time doctors.
 

Hurricane

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I did my outpatient medicine rotation at a practice with four women who each worked 1-4 days a week. All were married to physicians in more time-demanding specialties who made more and were the families' primary breadwinners, but they were happy with their lifestyle. I know someone who rotated at a ob/gyn practice with a similar setup.
 
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gclax30

gclax30

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Hey everyone, thanks for the input! I do appreciate it. My current interest is internal med and I've heard that internists are the first in and the last to leave. How does that jibe with the dedicated father/husband life I'm hoping to have post residency? I suppose I could work my butt off even more and try to land one of those "lifestyle" specialties, but I run the risk of 1.) Not getting in, 2.) Not liking it. ???
 

tupac_don

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gclax30 said:
Hey everyone, thanks for the input! I do appreciate it. My current interest is internal med and I've heard that internists are the first in and the last to leave. How does that jibe with the dedicated father/husband life I'm hoping to have post residency? I suppose I could work my butt off even more and try to land one of those "lifestyle" specialties, but I run the risk of 1.) Not getting in, 2.) Not liking it. ???
Not true. Yes internists do work very hard, that is a true statement. But many are now coming up with creative ways to have more time. It's pretty popular to work 7 on 7 off as an internist, there is of course variations of this, like 2 weeks on 2 weeks off, or 5 days on/5 days off. Usually it entails that during time that you are on, you are working say 10-12 hours per day and have to take a call week once a month. This also depends on number of physicians in your group. You also have other setups where when you work 2 weeks on, you take call and everything. Although its from home and residents do most of the work, attending only gets called in if there is a problem. It can be a brutal lifestyle when you are older, because of the nights and all. But do remember that you have a whole week or two to play around with and lead a normal lifestyle. It's kinda similar to ER, but ER is still better with shift work and payed better.

If you are looking for lifestyle, why not go be in FP. They have a pretty good lifestyle, granted it don't pay very much, about 120 grand per year. But that is a pretty good salary if you ask me. You can also consider, ER and anesthesia. Although these are competitive, they are not super competitive and both allow for decent lifestyles. If you honored these rotations in clinical, did ok (middle to top half of your class) in basic science years, and got 220+ on USMLE step I, you should be competitive, and should get a spot somewhere without too much trouble.
 

skypilot

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tupac_don said:
Not true. Yes internists do work very hard, that is a true statement. But many are now coming up with creative ways to have more time. It's pretty popular to work 7 on 7 off as an internist, there is of course variations of this, like 2 weeks on 2 weeks off, or 5 days on/5 days off. Usually it entails that during time that you are on, you are working say 10-12 hours per day and have to take a call week once a month. This also depends on number of physicians in your group. You also have other setups where when you work 2 weeks on, you take call and everything. Although its from home and residents do most of the work, attending only gets called in if there is a problem. It can be a brutal lifestyle when you are older, because of the nights and all. But do remember that you have a whole week or two to play around with and lead a normal lifestyle. It's kinda similar to ER, but ER is still better with shift work and payed better.

If you are looking for lifestyle, why not go be in FP. They have a pretty good lifestyle, granted it don't pay very much, about 120 grand per year. But that is a pretty good salary if you ask me. You can also consider, ER and anesthesia. Although these are competitive, they are not super competitive and both allow for decent lifestyles. If you honored these rotations in clinical, did ok (middle to top half of your class) in basic science years, and got 220+ on USMLE step I, you should be competitive, and should get a spot somewhere without too much trouble.
I think you could land a spot in Anesthesia or ER with lower stats than that as long as you are willing to go to a less desirable location.

Locum tenens is another option where you work on contract for 8 months and then take a couple of months off between contracts.

If you go into Surgery I would think it would be tough to have a flexible lifestyle until you are very senior in the group you are working in.
 

fantasty

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One of my small group professors was a pediatrician. She worked half time and was a single (divorced) mom with several kids at home, and she had plenty of time at home with her children in a comfortable lifestyle and had time to write and have outside activities.