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Watching your future kids grow up?


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So I had the opportunity to talk to several med school students this weekend, as well as those in residency.

 

It was a great thing to do, as it put some sense of reality into my head.

Don't get me wrong, medicine is literally the only thing I want to do because I deeply enjoy the emotional satisfaction as well as mental challenge that comes with this profession, as well as several other things -- helping those in need, making important decisions, supporting patient and family, innovative research and etc.

 

However, when I heard about the lifestyle that MD's go through in residency, i was a bit shocked. From what I gather, these people work 100 hours a week, while sleeping 6 hours a night. Personally - I can't really do with so little sleep.

 

At one point - he raised a good question --- Don't you want to watch your future kids grow up? At that point i realized- I really do. And these 100 hour weeks will not be helping me do that.

 

So I started asking about specializations that will allow me to have a life sort of speak. And these are the only ones he mentioned: Family, Dermo, Opthamology, Radiology, anaesthesiology.

 

I guess my question is... Is it really worth it to give up the desire to have a great family life vs going with the profession you love?

 

ANd maybe this guy is exaggerating about how bad residency is?

 

I am seriously considering writing my DAT just because dentists seem to have more of a comfortable lifestyle...

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So I had the opportunity to talk to several med school students this weekend, as well as those in residency.

 

It was a great thing to do, as it put some sense of reality into my head.

Don't get me wrong, medicine is literally the only thing I want to do because I deeply enjoy the emotional satisfaction as well as mental challenge that comes with this profession, as well as several other things -- helping those in need, making important decisions, supporting patient and family, innovative research and etc.

 

However, when I heard about the lifestyle that MD's go through in residency, i was a bit shocked. From what I gather, these people work 100 hours a week, while sleeping 6 hours a night. Personally - I can't really do with so little sleep.

 

At one point - he raised a good question --- Don't you want to watch your future kids grow up? At that point i realized- I really do. And these 100 hour weeks will not be helping me do that.

 

So I started asking about specializations that will allow me to have a life sort of speak. And these are the only ones he mentioned: Family, Dermo, Opthamology, Radiology, anaesthesiology.

 

I guess my question is... Is it really worth it to give up the desire to have a great family life vs going with the profession you love?

 

ANd maybe this guy is exaggerating about how bad residency is?

 

I am seriously considering writing my DAT just because dentists seem to have more of a comfortable lifestyle...

 

From my research it would appear residency is hard, no doubt about it and actually the residency of some of the specializations you mention is not particularly good either - rads for instance is not easy (at least at Western it isn't) as you when on call you basically don't sleep at all as you are the only radiologist available and everything pretty much involves some sort of imaging. There is also the ton of reading you have to do. So ask people in that specific residency program if you are concerned :)

 

After residency things do get a lot better though so it is important to keep that in mind.

 

Here is the ontario link for some of the rules for residency:

 

http://www.pairo.org/Content/Default.aspx?pg=1088

 

On average max call is one in four in hospital for instance. The guide suggests most people will leave by 5 or 6 on days they are not on call (I said should there :) )

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Guest copacetic

regardless of what specialty you choose, your life is what you make of it. you CAN choose to work less, but there are sacrifices that must be made. its up to you to find a balance, and also to define what a good family life is to you.

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While residency's supposed to be hard, the actual lifestyle of a doc is somewhat more relaxed, from what I hear, than residency- though still more stressful than many professions. Just the fact that you're dealing with people's lives can make it stressful. And I think if you end up in a private clinic, you can set the hours (correct me if I'm wrong). Several docs I've been to have lax hours in their clinics (though they might be working elsewhere when they're not at the clinic)

 

I'm sure it's possible to find a nice balance- else so many people wouldn't be trying for it. You'll still probably work a lot but that's one of the reasons why I think it's important to actually like med if you plan to apply- I can't imagine living such a life if you don't actually like the practice itself and go in for only other reasons.

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My opinion on this is one from the other side... I'm not in medical school, I'm not a resident, and I'm not a physician so take it with a big grain of salt...

 

Anyways, residency is supposed to be hard but let's hope the juice is worth the squeeze.

 

Something to consider for yourself is emergency medicine... from what I understand this specialization can lead to a great working life... yes it is shift work, but having spoken to a couple of emergency physicians they absolutely love the fact that they don't do call, don't have pagers, work 10-14 days per month, can take weeks off without losing any wages, see a lot of variety in their practice and can see their families quite a bit.

 

The only real negative is the shift work aspect of emergency medicine... but from what I have been told you can typically work out a pretty sweet schedule that doesn't destroy you for weeks at a time.

 

I haven't heard anything about the residency programs and what they are like for EM, I just know that you can go through the 5 year royal college EM program or the CCFP-EM which is the 2 yr family medicine residency with a 1 yr residency in emergency medicine.

 

Good luck with your decision.

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However, when I heard about the lifestyle that MD's go through in residency, i was a bit shocked. From what I gather, these people work 100 hours a week, while sleeping 6 hours a night. Personally - I can't really do with so little sleep.

 

At one point - he raised a good question --- Don't you want to watch your future kids grow up? At that point i realized- I really do. And these 100 hour weeks will not be helping me do that.

 

Being that busy was my motivation to pursue medicine. I used to work about 80 hours a week in my previous career until the union cracked down and restricted members like myself to a max of 48. However, I have no motivation or desire to have a family.

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While residency's supposed to be hard, the actual lifestyle of a doc is somewhat more relaxed, from what I hear, than residency- though still more stressful than many professions. Just the fact that you're dealing with people's lives can make it stressful. And I think if you end up in a private clinic, you can set the hours (correct me if I'm wrong). Several docs I've been to have lax hours in their clinics (though they might be working elsewhere when they're not at the clinic)

 

I'm sure it's possible to find a nice balance- else so many people wouldn't be trying for it. You'll still probably work a lot but that's one of the reasons why I think it's important to actually like med if you plan to apply- I can't imagine living such a life if you don't actually like the practice itself and go in for only other reasons.

 

One of the better known doctors in my city works his 9-5 at the city hospital and then works at the night clinic until 10. he does this monday-friday - its messed.

 

However, i know for a fact that the city wouldnt run without him. he is a great doctor that donates a lot of money to the hospital. He COULD choose to work less, he simply doesnt.

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One of the better known doctors in my city works his 9-5 at the city hospital and then works at the night clinic until 10. he does this monday-friday - its messed.

 

However, i know for a fact that the city wouldnt run without him. he is a great doctor that donates a lot of money to the hospital. He COULD choose to work less, he simply doesnt.

 

Hmm yea. 9-10 zomg .

 

He COULD choose to work less, he simply doesnt.

 

That's what I was suggesting. My family doc works 9-2 and then another doc comes in from 2-7. On weekends they're both present.

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specialties with lower hours:

 

dermatology, physical rehab med, family, psychiatry, radiology (when you're done residency), optho (when you're done residency), community health, public health... a lot of internal medicine subspecialties (allergy, pulmonary, nephrology) if you can get through the first three years of general internal residency, emergency medicine.

 

the 100 hrs a week refers more to surgery, ob/gyn, and general internal medicine.

 

it's really specialty dependent so it's hard to generalize.

 

I personally wouldn't trade everything else for 100 hours a week, even if I loved my job, but that's each of our decisions to make.

 

So I had the opportunity to talk to several med school students this weekend, as well as those in residency.

 

It was a great thing to do, as it put some sense of reality into my head.

Don't get me wrong, medicine is literally the only thing I want to do because I deeply enjoy the emotional satisfaction as well as mental challenge that comes with this profession, as well as several other things -- helping those in need, making important decisions, supporting patient and family, innovative research and etc.

 

However, when I heard about the lifestyle that MD's go through in residency, i was a bit shocked. From what I gather, these people work 100 hours a week, while sleeping 6 hours a night. Personally - I can't really do with so little sleep.

 

At one point - he raised a good question --- Don't you want to watch your future kids grow up? At that point i realized- I really do. And these 100 hour weeks will not be helping me do that.

 

So I started asking about specializations that will allow me to have a life sort of speak. And these are the only ones he mentioned: Family, Dermo, Opthamology, Radiology, anaesthesiology.

 

I guess my question is... Is it really worth it to give up the desire to have a great family life vs going with the profession you love?

 

ANd maybe this guy is exaggerating about how bad residency is?

 

I am seriously considering writing my DAT just because dentists seem to have more of a comfortable lifestyle...

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Psych's far more chill than most other specialties, but it is university dependent... overall though, after rotating year you'll be working half the hours as your surgeon buddies.

 

I can tell u about u of t's psych program, standard rotating first year (will depend on the service you're on (emerg, neuro, etc) with 3 months of psychiatry (approximately 45 hours per week, plus 1/8 call, however this 45 hours includes protected psychotherapy training on thursdays, so you work less than 45 base). Second and third year is the same, except all psych. Fourth and fifth year is about 42-45 hours a week with 1/15 call (seriously!). Ridiculously humane residency!

 

anybody know how intensive the psychiatry residency is?
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I think it depends on the residency. I heard that family medicine residency is not that demanding timewise.

 

Also, sure you have to work really hard at the beginning of the residency to accumulate knowledge, but near the end you have a solid base and don't have to work so hard. Plus, I suppose you can delegate easier stuff to lower year residents.

 

Hey, if so many people got through it, than it must be doable.

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it's really up to what your life purpose/mission is, and what brings you happiness, only you can come to that decision.

 

It's also notable that all of the specialties I mentioned earlier improve people's lives as well.

 

i just finished an orthopaedic elective.

 

The attending surgeon worked 16 hours on a saturday. The residents were dong 1in3 call... pure insanity. But in that day they fixed/improved the lives of 5 people. So maybe it is worth it?

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That's what I was suggesting. My family doc works 9-2 and then another doc comes in from 2-7. On weekends they're both present.

 

You have to remember though that the hours that your doc is able to see you as a patient are not the hours he or she actually *works.* One doc I shadow only sees patients from 10 to 5 with a 1-hr lunch break but in reality, he works from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm without a lunch break. The extra hours are spent at the hospital (he sees his own pts daily), catching up on lab reports, X-rays, legal paperwork, and referral letters, meeting with pharm reps, responding to work-related e-mails, and managing their group practice. Then, of course, there's call 1 weekend a month (home call, thankfully).

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It all depends what you can handle and the priorities you put on different areas of life. I know a doctor that used to leave for work at 6:30AM and get home at 19:30-11:30 PM for years. He only did this 2 days a week mind you, and the commute was an hour each way.

 

You have to balance your own needs, the needs of your family, and the needs of your community.

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