Which has a better lifestyle in your opinion?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Amadeus, Sep 15, 2001.

  1. Amadeus

    Amadeus Member

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    Provided you find both subjects equally enjoyable and lifestyle is the only issue you are now considering which specialty grants the best lifestyle:

    Anesthesiology vs Radiology?
     
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  3. platinumdoc

    platinumdoc Member

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    Being a physician in general has a great lifestyle, compared to other professions. It is a matter of what one likes and dislikes about a specialty that makes the perfect fit, eh?
     
  4. daveshnave

    daveshnave Senior Member

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    Considering ONLY lifestyle, I'd say radiology is much nicer. Anesthesiology can have some crazy call schedules, and I believe radiology call is much more benign. I also think that radiologists tend to work less hours in general relative to anesthesiologists. HOWEVER, lifestyle alone should not be the only factor in this choice, but all else being equal... Anyone else more qualified than me have anything to add?
     
  5. jimjones

    jimjones Senior Member

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    suggestion... go to medcareers under the AMCAS 'info for medical students' section. click on medcareers and look at the specialty stats. They have had members of each specialty rate various qualities, one of which is leisure time, another is schedule, so this should be a good way for you to comare the two, right from the horse's mouth.

    Jim Jones, Ukiah CA.
     
  6. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    You must differentiate between lifestyle in residency and after residency. In residency, from what I have read, radiology has better call schedules (q5-q15) depending on the program and the year. However, you must keep in mind that radiology residents at many programs stay up the whole night reading studies, doing ultrasounds, doing angios, etc. Although I'll admit I don't know as much about anesthesia residencies, they seem to be more often on call, but with more opportunity to sleep when there.

    After residency, radiology in private practice is becoming more and more a 24hr specialty. Partners in a group often have to cover the hospital and will get consulted to read studies. This is being made easier with teleradiology, but is still a night of broken sleep. Academic radiologists for the most part do not get disturbed much when on call b/c the residents handle almost everything.

    In terms of anesthesia attendings, I have heard that it is longer hours than in residency. Often they manage several patients and oversee residents and CRNAs. Again, someone else might offer better details on this topic.

    So, all in all, I think radiology and anesthesia lifestyles are similar. Rads is changing and becoming harder, but at the same time is improving with telerads. There is, of course, the exception of interventional radiology, which is generally longer hours and you must come to the hospital. Although I can't specifically answer your question, I hope this info helps you decide.

    Another thing to think about is what you enjoy doing. Rads and Anes. are much different. One is into diagnosis and figuring things out (and procedures in IR). Anesthesia is all about small procedures, physiology, and pain management. Think about what aspects excite you before you decide.
     
  7. platinumdoc

    platinumdoc Member

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    My whole point in being nondescript is that these are two entirely different specialties. It is a matter of what you want to do on a daily basis. Do not pick a specialty solely on the basis of lifestyle. If that is the case, you may want to look into Preventive Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Pathology or Dermatology.

    I realize that picking a specialty is the most important, yet difficult, decisions to make. Talk to other physicians who practice in the field of interest.
     
  8. Amadeus

    Amadeus Member

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    Like I said, provided both fields are equally enjoyable with everything boiling down to which field offers the better lifestyle. I am well aware that there are fields with better lifestyle but they're not as enjoyable to me.
     
  9. cchoukal

    cchoukal Senior Member
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    Amadeus, don't feel bad thinking in terms of lifestyle issues. I think the sanest people in medicine think this way. Something to consider, though, is the increasing role of nurse anesthitists (sp?) in anesthesiology care. The US gov't is trying to, and studying the impact of, give NAs more authority in this type of care, and the early study results seemed to show that morbidity and mortality were not affected when NAs managed the care. What this probably means is that Medicare will probably stop paying for as much anesthesiologists' care, and since Medicare, to a degree, sets the tone for other HMOs, you can bet that demand for anesthesiologists will decrease. Just my 2 cents...
     
  10. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    That whole topic of nurse anesthetists is an interesting one. Some of the anesthesia residents who were on ICU during my ICU rotation this past month discussed it a bit with me (even though I have no interest in anesthesia -- but the lifestyle sure is tempting!). Apparently, there was a study that recently came out that compared outcomes of patients in the OR under the care of nurse anesthetists vs. those under the care of anesthesiologists. They actually found that the patients under the care of nurse anesthetists had increased mortality compared to the other group. These results spearheaded a big movement in California to try to ban NA's from managing cases in the OR. That fell through, and I believe the rule now is that NA's may practice under the supervision of anesthesiologists. I'm not sure what that translates to in a practical sense, but I've heard that the push to expand the role of NA's has died down.

    As far as what context I've seen NA's work in -- I've only seen them in the ORs of Kaiser Santa Clara (big HMO hospital), not in the other hospitals that I've rotated through. At Kaiser they do the "bread-and-butter" cases independent of an anesthesiologist. So they do the anesthesia for the hernias, appendectomies, gallbladders, I&D's, etc. Basically the "low-risk" procedures. There are anesthesiologists around, but they are never in the room during those cases. The anesthesiologists do the more complicated cases -- all the peds surgery cases, the thoracic cases, the bowel resections, etc. I don't think even Kaiser, which is famed for trying to skimp as much as possible, has considered expanding the role of NA's to these more complicated cases.

    As far as the demand for anesthesiologists decreasing -- I don't think that will happen soon. Right now, it's a wide open field with plenty of jobs, and *great* pay. There are also alot of other career options within anesthesia including pain mangement and critical care (although you can do critical care subspecialization from almost any specialty). Granted, the job market will likely change again in 5 years or so, but who can predict what will happen? :)

    Gee -- I think I almost convinced myself to go into anesthesia! ;)
     

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