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Which residency offer the best work life balance?


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Apparently people like derm for that reason. FM can actually have a ton of hours if you work rurally. Most clinic based specialties can be easily tailored to whatever workweek you want. Just pick one where you don't have to provide on call service or there aren't alot of emergencies. Compensation is pretty much tied to how much you work since most specialists are fee for service so if you want to work less, expect to make less than your colleagues. Not that $$$ is the most important thing though, just food for thought. 

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46 minutes ago, DocBrown95 said:

Apparently people like derm for that reason. FM can actually have a ton of hours if you work rurally. Most clinic based specialties can be easily tailored to whatever workweek you want. Just pick one where you don't have to provide on call service or there aren't alot of emergencies. Compensation is pretty much tied to how much you work since most specialists are fee for service so if you want to work less, expect to make less than your colleagues. Not that $$$ is the most important thing though, just food for thought. 

The thing about derm that most people miss is that you spend all the time you're not in the hospital studying because there are a ton of diseases you might never see during residency but are still fair game for Royal College/US boards.

I think PM&R has a great lifestyle once you're on-service, as does PHPM, pathology (not surg- or heme-path though), ID (if you can survive IM), rad-onc, med micro, genetics all have great hours during residency with minimal in-hospital call. Basically, as long as the specialty doesn't have emergencies, the lifestyle will probably be pretty good :p

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1 hour ago, insomnias said:

The thing about derm that most people miss is that you spend all the time you're not in the hospital studying because there are a ton of diseases you might never see during residency but are still fair game for Royal College/US boards.

I think the original question was about after-residency life :)

But re: Derm doing lots of "reading" for the zebras...exactly what they want you to think ;)   But in serious, this is partly true - my colleague did both Canadian and US boards in the not so distant past.  But also had much more time outside of studying compared to IM and radiology residents..knowing the weird and wonderful's is apart of most Royal College exams I would imagine.   

Its interesting that the mantra that "Derm have easy hospital hours...because they are always reading outside of the hospital" is so universal, as if internal medicine residents with their intense call obligations  aren't also somehow trying to squeeze all of internal medicine in their brains as well :P 

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In many specialties, how much you work somewhat depends on you.  Basically any specialty that can be done in an outpatient clinic is pretty tailor-able to your preference in terms of either working your butt off or working much less.

Many psychiatrists work part time in the community and don't do any call, but the obvious flipside is that you don't make as much, and we are on the low end of the pay ladder anyway.

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9 hours ago, insomnias said:

The thing about derm that most people miss is that you spend all the time you're not in the hospital studying because there are a ton of diseases you might never see during residency but are still fair game for Royal College/US boards.

I think PM&R has a great lifestyle once you're on-service, as does PHPM, pathology (not surg- or heme-path though), ID (if you can survive IM), rad-onc, med micro, genetics all have great hours during residency with minimal in-hospital call. Basically, as long as the specialty doesn't have emergencies, the lifestyle will probably be pretty good :p

This is true, and from what I've seen from academic derms, they still work 5 day work weeks (3 days clinic, and spend the other 2 days doing paperwork and research).

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I think the overall question should be which specialty will allow you to achieve your life goals. Time off is one consideration as I believe a lot of people have lives outside of medicine. Compensation is another depending on how extravagant a lifestyle you want. Some people have material possession goals that may be harder to achieve in certain specialties. Finally, the most important consideration is interest. 40 hours in something you hate will seem a lot longer than 60 hours in something you love. It's not hard to find people who hate their jobs in medicine despite everything looking rosy from the outside. As an example, I would personally find Derm awful as I hate skin pathology but I probably would be fine with PHPM as I always enjoyed system level problems in medicine.

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5 minutes ago, medisforme said:

Re: Derm residency.  My understanding is that it is heavily IM based for first 1-2 years and you work like a dog until you actually start your derm rotations.

IM and select IM subspecialties, surgery, peds, path...and a bit of derm in the first 2 years. 

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10 hours ago, JohnGrisham said:

I think the original question was about after-residency life :)

But re: Derm doing lots of "reading" for the zebras...exactly what they want you to think ;)   But in serious, this is partly true - my colleague did both Canadian and US boards in the not so distant past.  But also had much more time outside of studying compared to IM and radiology residents..knowing the weird and wonderful's is apart of most Royal College exams I would imagine.   

Its interesting that the mantra that "Derm have easy hospital hours...because they are always reading outside of the hospital" is so universal, as if internal medicine residents with their intense call obligations  aren't also somehow trying to squeeze all of internal medicine in their brains as well :P 

The difference is that in IM 90% of your reading will be related to things you’ve at least heard of during medical school, whereas in derm 90% of your readings are on things you never knew existed. 

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14 hours ago, insomnias said:

The thing about derm that most people miss is that you spend all the time you're not in the hospital studying because there are a ton of diseases you might never see during residency but are still fair game for Royal College/US boards.

I think PM&R has a great lifestyle once you're on-service, as does PHPM, pathology (not surg- or heme-path though), ID (if you can survive IM), rad-onc, med micro, genetics all have great hours during residency with minimal in-hospital call. Basically, as long as the specialty doesn't have emergencies, the lifestyle will probably be pretty good :p

Out of curiosity, why is it that you wouldn't consider heme-path to have a great lifestyle whereas say anatomical or general path does?

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