Just to clarify: I totally agree that psych is not for everyone, and even within psych residencies there is huge variation with location and how far you are in the program in what it means for your life. I didn't pick psych because of the lifestyle (as someone planning to stay in academic medicine, in fact, my longterm lifestyle set up is not going to be nearly as good as it could be if I were willing to just work private practice) - I came to medical school and did MD/PhD specifically to work in mental health because it was the most important and compelling thing I found in the world to spend my time on. And now that I'm here, I, personally, *LOVE* psychiatry. I love practicing it, I love learning about it, I love the connections I have with people, I love feeling like what I do and how well I do it really, really matters for people. And I am incredibly, incredibly lucky that this also just happens to mean that I was able to have my second child in circumstances where I could pull back a bit on my schedule for a couple of years.
I just saw the statement "There is no such thing as 'family friendly residency'" and wanted to add my own little personal asterisk!
I am in psych also. Right now I work 65 hrs per week on psych rotations (50% of the year) and 80 hours per week on medicine and other rotations (50%) of the time. It's still hard. And I would not advise choosing psych for the lifestyle. It is emotionally much harder than many other fields. It has other hazards too - I was assaulted by a patient recently. Don't pick a field for lifestyle. Go with what you like doing.
newmommdphd wrote: Don't pick a field for lifestyle. Go with what you like doing.
Are you sure? I'm really struggling with this right now.
I chose my subspecialty based solely on interest and I'm wondering now if that was a mistake. I actually love this work -- love the clinical problems, love the patients, fabulous mix of spectacular acuity and chronic disease/continuity, by far one of the most intellectually interesting specialties ... but the workload is killer, the patients are sick as stink, and -- the kicker -- there are really no jobs in my (geographic) area once I finish fellowship. I can see myself lingering on as a post-doc/fellow for easily another three or four years before I finally get a K award and settle into a junior faculty position, making peanuts and working like a crazy person.
Or, I could throw in the towel, take a cush hospitalist job, spend more days home than not and make (waaaaaay) more money to boot. And the work itself would be far less interesting to me, but ... erm ... I just don't know.
Anyway, for the OP, you should start residency. You don't know what the future holds and you can always quit.
The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. -- Isak Dinesen
I am pretty sure I agree with Emily at this point - I can enjoy a lot of things, and while I feel very lucky that anesthesia is what I enjoy, I'm very certain I would ahve chosen a lifestyle specialty knowing how I feel about my life and family at this point. I can help patients and treat them loving and enjoying many different kinds of medicine. Time with my family is fairly important to me - however that needs to work out.