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Which specialty is best suited for a doc who wants a family?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by jam128, Mar 27, 2002.

  1. jam128

    jam128 Junior Member
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    Hey everyone,

    I'm about to start med school in August, and am very excited about going. However, I'm engaged,
    and my fiancee is not in the health professions, but is going to school for computer networking.
    We're positive that we'll stay together during our schooling, however, I'm concerned about the
    number of hours spent away from my family after I graduate. I'm considering just going into
    family medicine, which has easier work hours than other specialties, so I'll be able to have kids
    and raise a family effectively. Though I love medicine, my priority is my family, and I'm slightly
    worried ad to how to juggle the two.

    Any advice?

    Thanks,
    jam128 :)
     
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  3. Cuts

    Cuts Member
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    Don't be mislead by the name "Family Practice." It's one of the ironies of medicine, but the easiest residencies to get that pay the lowest are NOT necessarily the least demanding on one's time, and FP is no exception to this. You want a life outside of being a doctor? Off the top of my head... Anesthesia, Rads, PM&R, Plastics (after residency of course), ENT, Optho, Derm, Patho, maybe ER. Avoid like the plague: Gen Surg or any surgical subspeciality, straight IM and most IM fellowships. FP probably lies somewhere in between, but go for more bang for your buck with the 1st list above. Good luck!
     
  4. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Membership Revoked
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    Dermatology. And you will have nice skin.
     
  5. abbeydesert

    abbeydesert Senior Member
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    Actually, you *can* have a life, even as a FP or internist- you just won't make as much money as you would if you worked your butt off. You could take a salaried or part-time hourly position in an institutional setting. For example, I have an internist friend who works at a college clinic- she works 9-5, 5 days a week, no call, no managed care, all young, healthy patients, for 98K per year. I have another friend, a family physician, who works part-time in an ER for $95 an hour, which is not too shabby either. I wouldn't pick a specialty you hate just because you think the hours or the money will be better.
     
  6. JJ4

    JJ4 Senior Member
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    Interestingly, most of the dermatologists I know have the worst skin I've ever seen :D
     
  7. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Cuts:
    <strong>Don't be mislead by the name "Family Practice." It's one of the ironies of medicine, but the easiest residencies to get that pay the lowest are NOT necessarily the least demanding on one's time, and FP is no exception to this. You want a life outside of being a doctor? Off the top of my head... Anesthesia, Rads, PM&R, Plastics (after residency of course), ENT, Optho, Derm, Patho, maybe ER. Avoid like the plague: Gen Surg or any surgical subspeciality, straight IM and most IM fellowships. FP probably lies somewhere in between, but go for more bang for your buck with the 1st list above. Good luck!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I think this is distinctly bad advice.

    Any field of medicine can be conducive to haivng a family. The party line is that you can make as much money as you want if you're willing to burn the midnight oil and not have a life. Alternately, you can work many fewer hours, earn much less, and have plenty of time for extra pursuits with any specialty.

    The caveat to the above is that it's easier to do the latter in some specialties in medicine.

    Generally speaking, family practitioners, general internists, dermatologists, radiologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, gastroenterologists, rheumatologists, endocrinologists, pathologists, anesthesiologists and research-based physicians have good lifestyles if you use family time as the barometer. (This is not to say that everyone in these fields has the same abundance of free time.)

    Generally speaking, trauma surgeons, CT surgeons, cardiologists, general surgeons, OB/GYNs and emergency physicians can have pretty unpredictable lifestyles. (I add EM because of mid-day and nightime shift working.)

    Areas in the middle: otolaryngology, orthopedics, pediatrics, ophthalmology, urology, plastic surgery -- oh, hell, most surgical subspecialties.

    --

    I think dedication to family is a valid reason to make one person sway to or from certain fields of medicine. But, be honest with yourself. I don't think any amount of time with your family will make your work more enjoyable if you're uninterested in what you're doing.

    Decide on what you want to do and then make it happen for you. Residency will turn out to be a pretty inflexible period of your life, but you will have more flexibility afterwards.
     
  8. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by JJ4:
    <strong>Interestingly, most of the dermatologists I know have the worst skin I've ever seen :D </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Kind of like my orthodontist when I was back in grade school; his teeth were really f'ed up.
     
  9. Elliebelly

    Elliebelly Junior Member

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    Neutropeniaboy - are you the otolaryngology guru? I know you consider ENT more family-friendly than gen. surgery, but what is the training like? I know its one year prelim. surgery and then four years ENT, so of course the first year would suck [email protected]@, but what about after that? Any ENT info would be much appreciated.
     
  10. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Elliebelly:
    <strong>Neutropeniaboy - are you the otolaryngology guru? I know you consider ENT more family-friendly than gen. surgery, but what is the training like? I know its one year prelim. surgery and then four years ENT, so of course the first year would suck [email protected]@, but what about after that? Any ENT info would be much appreciated.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I don't know about "guru," but I am going into otolaryngology and have worked in the field for about 6 years.

    The message I sent isn't any different regarding otolaryngology; the private practice otolaryngologist or academic otolaryngologist can be extremely busy (to the point of no personal life) if s/he wants to be that way. Sometimes it ends up being that way, unfortunately.

    Residencies in otolaryngology vary. There are some programs where the residents get into the hospital at 6:30 and go home at 5:00 or 6:00 and take home call all four years. Still others out there require you to get in at 5:00 to 5:30 and don't let out unti 9 or 10 at night. Even more unpredictable is the service you happen to be on. (Some programs actually have services; some don't.)

    I wouldn't say that every preliminary year automatically sucks. Where I'm headed there's more call during the first year of ENT than during the prelim surgery year (so the books say...). How's that for bad mojo?

    I think a lot of people have this opinion that otolaryngology is a "cush" residency; in fact it's generally not. The residents work very hard and handle often times complex surgical cases. Otolaryngology gives the opinion of being "cush" because the hours are generally better and in most places the attendings treat the residents with a lot more respect.

    But, if you take ENT wrapped up in a nutshell, it probably does offer the average guy and gal a better lifestyle with a little bit more pay. (You also get to play with neat little instruments :) )

    Check it out for yourself. It's an excellent field with lots of nerdy rich people.
     
  11. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Elliebelly:
    </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">UNC 2006, eh?

    Great ENT department.
     
  12. Elliebelly

    Elliebelly Junior Member

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    mmm... nerdy rich people...yummy...

    Thanks for the information, neutro, I appreciate it. Of course I have PLENTY of time to think about these things, but otolaryngology is so appealing to me these days. Maybe I'll get lucky and can do some research at UNC with their team. Funny, I actually wrote my vision statement on wanting to become a plastic surgeon and do facial reconstructive work, although I knew that with a family a general surgery residency and plastics fellowship would probably be out of the question. I hadn't even considered otolaryngology - I don't think I even knew what it was at that point! The variety of procedures just amaze me, and I think intellectually it would be satisfying as well. But I figure if I think I may be aiming for such a competitive specialty, I should try to get my ducks in a row early in med school. Thanks for the heads up!
     
  13. atropine22

    atropine22 Junior Member

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    You're overlooking one specialty, Pathology. For the most part 40-60 hour work weeks. Practically no "on-call." Decent salary too.
     
  14. droliver

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I'm not sure I would always put ENT or plastic surgery into easy lifestyle categories after training. ENT's in practice usually make most of their living thru high volume procedural stuff (tubes & tonsils) with some of the more complex stuff (head/neck CA)in the mix. The ones I know really hustle all over town and work 50-60 hrs/wk to keep the machine going. The same is true for the overwhelming majority of Plastic Surgeons, with many working up to 70 hrs+ a week.

    During training, I think ENT is usually far and away the easiest of the training years among the surgical specialties with the exception of some of the few places that do the complex reconstructions
     
  15. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by atropine22:
    <strong>You're overlooking one specialty, Pathology. For the most part 40-60 hour work weeks. Practically no "on-call." Decent salary too.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Decent? I think 300,000 starting (fellowship trained) is pretty decent...or maybe even a touch on the incredible side.
     
  16. atropine22

    atropine22 Junior Member

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    Firebird,

    I was not aware that it was that common for a Pathologists salary to be that high, but only strengthens my point.
     
  17. DOnut

    DOnut Senior Member
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    damn firebird what city are you living in so I can move there. Last I checked the national average for Pathology was approx. 150K
     
  18. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member
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    Those figures were quoted by Great Pumpkin, the SDN pathology resident. He seems to be extremely reliable.
     
  19. jam128

    jam128 Junior Member
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    Sorry for sounding stupid, but...

    WHAT IS "ENT?"
     
  20. MedPuck

    MedPuck Made
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    Ear Nose Throat. Otolaryngologist (sp??) <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  21. johnM

    johnM Senior Member
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    ear, nose, throat
     
  22. jam128

    jam128 Junior Member
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    Thanks MedPuck and John.

    I'm not in med school yet, but I'm going to start in august. I'm also engaged, which is the reason for my concern as far as what residency/specialty is family friendly.

    Thanks for all your suggestions and help. <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> :)

    I would appreciate anymore comments.

    jenny
     
  23. TweetiePie

    TweetiePie Senior Member
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    hi jenny,
    i pmed u
     
  24. beamiestface

    beamiestface Member
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    Where do neurology and psychiatry fit in?
     

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