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To the Drs: Does your specialty allow you to spend ample time with your family???

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14 years 4 months ago #1581 by AnnaM
FP residency (indeed any residency) is more reasonable now because of the legal restrictions on resident work hours. Keep in mind that there are no such restrictions on the work hours of "real doctors" after residency. In my university primary care teaching job, I had a fairly good amount of time with my family when my kids were younger, because their time was flexible (none of them ever got into sports much), but as they got older and their time was less flexible, it got harder to spend time with them, since my schedule was not so flexible. I was on call about every 6-7 (sometimes as seldom as every 13), and generally was on call at least one major and one minor holiday every year. We always had our big family Christmas on Christmas Eve, so that made it easy for me, since I would just trade for Christmas if I got stuck on Christmas Eve. If you're going into primary care (FP, IM, peds), I would suggest you consider a practice situation that uses hospitalists, or become a hospitalist. Doing both office and hospital and still having time for your family is just not an option in this day and age of excessive paperwork and insurance hassles. If you want real regular hours, though, consider radiology (technology makes it possible to view and read x-rays from home now), pathology, dermatology, or ophthalmology.

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14 years 4 months ago #1582 by mom1st
I agree with a lot said above. However, I would be very cautious is making any assumptions on real life family practice based on residency experience. I was a resident prior to time restrictions and worked a tremendous number of hours during some rotations, plus long shifts (52 hours is my record). Yet, I would almost take that now compared to real life practice. At least in residency, I could count on a guaranteed weekend off a month and my schedule was fairly predictable. I can't say the same now, even in part-time family practice. Granted, I am doing rural medicine, which is a totally different ball of wax than many suburban/urban practices. We (my hubby is IM) have found an opportunity out of state that looks very promising in allowing me to be home more without call or OB (basically outpatient only two days a week.) Obviously, however, I will not be taking home the big bucks at all. It's the best compromise I could find to be a home with my kids more, keep my foot in the medicine door, and try to maintain some sanity. Of course, I am grateful my husband can work full-time and pay the school loans. If I were to do it all over again, I'd avoid FP (even though I like it) and consider derm or a similar field that didn't involve so much call and inpatient work. (ER is a great option if you like it; I personally like more office-based medicine so did not consider it.)

lawtomd: Good question... I think--in general--women find it hard to prioritize themselves (children or no children). We are always taking care of someone else or something else rather than just us...

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14 years 4 months ago #1583 by mom1st
PS: Unless you find a unique job situation, such as Mya's, I really think it is hard to find "ample time" for anything in medicine. Not to be negative, but if you want "ample time" outside of work, medicine is probably not the best place to start job hunting. Yes, there are some jobs, such as ER positions that may be better than others, such as primary care. (Or you may find a very limited work situation such as the one I am looking at that will obviously pay much less than full time work...) But you may be hard-presed to find a job that pays well and gives you "ample time" at home; the options there are going to be limited. You need to be realistic.

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14 years 4 months ago #1584 by mobymarsh
anyone have a sense of where psychiatry or pediatric psychiatry would fit in to this? (in terms of flexibility of hours)

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