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Ways to work part-time only X months/year?


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I haven't asked this to any staff because I feel like it'd get me weird looks. It might do so here as well. But regardless, has anyone heard of or seen any practice models, in any specialty, where the part-time practice is structured such that you work for a certain number of months per year and then are completely off for the other months? I've only ever seen staff taking weeks off at a time. Doing outpatient work and finding locums to cover for the months you are away seems to be the most plausible option, but I'm wondering if there are other ways to achieve this. Are there hospitals or clinics that will allow this kind of practice, and if so in what context? What's the reasonable limit if there are such practices, e.g. can you work for just half the year? Are there college rules against stuff like this for the sake of patient care?

I understand the question is vague and broad but I've never seen anyone do this across all the specialties I've been exposed to so I'm casting my net wide. Thanks!

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It would theoretically be possible in a shift-based practice where there are no issues with continuity of care (e.g. anesthesiology, ER). However, the hospital obviously needs to maintain adequate staffing year-round. It might be best in a job-share position, where two people each work half the year. Otherwise, an individual wishing to do this would need the permission of the group - I could see a part-time person working only the summer months, for example, or at other times of the year to fill in when more members of the group might wish to have time off than is normally permissible.

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1 hour ago, Hanmari said:

I haven't asked this to any staff because I feel like it'd get me weird looks. It might do so here as well. But regardless, has anyone heard of or seen any practice models, in any specialty, where the part-time practice is structured such that you work for a certain number of months per year and then are completely off for the other months? I've only ever seen staff taking weeks off at a time. Doing outpatient work and finding locums to cover for the months you are away seems to be the most plausible option, but I'm wondering if there are other ways to achieve this. Are there hospitals or clinics that will allow this kind of practice, and if so in what context? What's the reasonable limit if there are such practices, e.g. can you work for just half the year? Are there college rules against stuff like this for the sake of patient care?

I understand the question is vague and broad but I've never seen anyone do this across all the specialties I've been exposed to so I'm casting my net wide. Thanks!

Theres a few family practice positions ive come across over the last 2 years (almost all in underserved or  in rural places) where theres option for 1 month on, 1 month off.  When your "on" you still get protected weekends, but during the week you're theirs.  The most recent one of this I saw was based out of Alaska however.

As a pgy3, what field are you in? are you considering a lateral transfer situation to a more amicable field for your part-time goals?

 

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Hospitalist! I've seen quite a few schedules where people just sign up for weeks; some do every other week, some do one a month, some do two or 3 months straight and then take a long break. There's also cottage towns with way more residents in the summer that require additional physicians only during that time, and you can also cover medium-long term locums for a few months with no commitment after you're done.

This is all from a family perspective though, not sure what you're PGY3 in

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19 minutes ago, LittleDaisy said:

Cruise ship medicine, do they pay for your travel expenses as well? It sounds too good to be true lol! Feel free to PM me!

Don't know anything about it other than this article I found online:

https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/05/what-to-do-if-you-want-to-be-a-cruise-ship-doctor.html

I suppose it depends on how important it is to the OP to be in one place, building a career - or is the ability to design your own schedule more valuable.

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45 minutes ago, LittleDaisy said:

Cruise ship medicine, do they pay for your travel expenses as well? It sounds too good to be true lol! Feel free to PM me!

I did a fair amount of research a few months ago, and talked to 3 docs who did cruise ship medicine for 5-10 years earlier in their careers on big name ships. Definitely not that its all cracked out to be, good when you're young, single and want to travel around a lot. Not terrible from a monetary perspective, but definitely nothing like just practicing full-time FM. Just different, and different opportunities. Not lucrative, but an "experience" and adventure for some. 

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2 minutes ago, ploughboy said:

Stuck in the middle of the ocean on a ship full of decrepit octogenarians and limited medical resources at hand.  What could possibly go wrong?

Some of them apparently(per 1 doc i chatted with) have decent facilities, of course no CT scan, but X-ray, decently stocked "operating room" for minor procedures or emergent cases for stabilizaton and helivac. haha. But yes, not for the faint of heart - though 50% of cases are solved with ORS and Gravol.

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20 minutes ago, ploughboy said:

Stuck in the middle of the ocean on a ship full of decrepit octogenarians and limited medical resources at hand.  What could possibly go wrong?

It sounds like remote rural ED physician to me! I was mainly attracted by the fact that you are travelling at the same time. It sounds like a reasonable job when you have no commitment! :P 

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I agree with above that if you were emerg/anesthesiology etc with shift work and you found an employer that was okay with it, you could do it. For most other specialties in there regular practice, ethically you will have a responsibility to be available somewhat for your patients, unless you found a group practice that was chill with covering for you. I guess you could theoretically have a larger group practice where you rotated off months at at time? If you did family and exclusively did walk-in/urgent care/locums that would work too.

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Locums would be the easiest way. This could be easy depending on your speciality.

Doing this in a established position is more difficult. Most groups want people to split the workload and not have to cover each other for months at a time. Also dependent on your specialty. 

Cruise ship medicine is something I've heard good and bad things about. I feel like working locums and taking time off would be more lucrative and relaxing than being tied to a cruise ship work schedule. 

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On 11/10/2019 at 5:59 PM, blah1234 said:

Locums would be the easiest way. This could be easy depending on your speciality.

Doing this in a established position is more difficult. Most groups want people to split the workload and not have to cover each other for months at a time. Also dependent on your specialty. 

Cruise ship medicine is something I've heard good and bad things about. I feel like working locums and taking time off would be more lucrative and relaxing than being tied to a cruise ship work schedule. 

What specialties are easiest to find locum jobs in?

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  • 1 month later...

Yes ICU is structured this way. 
 

it’s a week model - you do X weeks a year (ie 6-18) and your base specialty the rest. 
 

if you wanted you could not do base speciality work and just work the ICU weeks and space them so as to get some time off  

 

I know a few that do 12 weeks a year and do two weeks a month x6 months and take the other 6 off 

 

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