Work Hours question

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by Shishka, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. Shishka

    Shishka Member
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    Hi, I don't see a post-residency forum for my question, so I figured that residents may be able to give me the most informed answer.

    As I understand, residents work about 80 hours a week, but how many hours a week do you work on average after you're done with residency? I've heard that doctors work on average 60 hours/week. Is this accurate? And if so, do doctors HAVE to work so many hours? Considering how much pay per hour a doctor gets, could one work say 40 hrs/week or maybe even 30 hrs/week as long as one is satisfied with relatively lower pay (which should still be good pay)?

    I am currently interviewing at med schools, by the way, and it looks like I might get in, but I've always been troubled by the prospect of having my personal life suffer as a doctor, not because I'm lazy, but because my family will always be more important for me than my profession.
     
  2. mosche

    mosche Senior Member
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    Hey Shishka, welcome and good luck with your med. school admissions process -- hopefully it will be nothing more than a pleasant memory in a couple of months.

    To answer your question, "YES" it is definately possible to work fewer hours with less money (though still comparatively high when compared to the rest of the world). I know several physicians who make a very good salary working a limited schedule. Further, when you get into med. school, you will discover that there are some specialties that work a very average schedule -- at least compared to other medical specialties. Further, there are even a few residecies that work 50ish hours/week.

    Finally, I applaud your dedication to family -- whatever that family may be. As long as you keep your perspective, you will have little problem making it work!

    Hope this helps,
    Mosche
     
  3. Shishka

    Shishka Member
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    Thank you for the info/advice, it is definately helpful.

    This concern of mine makes me seriously consider becoming a PA instead. Besides the fact that there is less schooling and less debt from schooling, they can make $70-90k/year working <40 hrs/week, plus don't have to factor in malpractice insurance. I'm not a materialistic person, I just want to ensure a comfortable level of financial security for my family while helping those in need thru the practice of medicine.

    However, although I don't really care about the prestige of being a doctor, I think I would be bothered by not being in control of my patients' treatment. I could do more as a doctor, and would like to, yet I'm torn because from what I know it feels like my life as one would be more dedicated to strangers than family. But what you say gives me some hope.

    I'm guessing those residencies/specialties with average work hours also happen to be those hardest to get into, like Derm and Rad?
     
  4. mosche

    mosche Senior Member
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    There are several that are not too competitive: anasthesia, psych., pathology(huge learning curve during residency), PM&R, and even Family Medicine as you know. The thing is this: DO WHAT YOU LOVE, then even your work will be a time of pleasure. Don't choose any specialty, even medicine in general, because of a perceived standard of living. As I learned prior to med. school, oftentimes you spend more time with the folks with whom you work than you do with friends/family. Therefore, make sure that you love your job and the types of people with whom you'll be working. Otherwise, you'll be miserable and even your family won't want you around! :laugh:
     

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