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Neurology - Family Friendly???

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12 years 8 months ago #57109 by rll12783
I am thinking pretty hard about going into neurology...maybe pediatric neurology...but I want to have 4 children. Is neurology one of those specialties that you can have a family and be the mom you always dreamed of being...or does it just depend on where and with whom you work? Recently I heard a pediatric neurologist speak and he said the hours are long, but residency spots are sometimes not filled and you can pretty much work anywhere b/c of a shortage of ped. neurologists. Any thoughts?? suggestions?? I may even want to work part-time at some point in my career when my children are young, but I'm nervous that you have to pick just the right specialty or group to be able to do this. Also, how are neurologists' salaries? pediatric neurologists?? THANKS!

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12 years 8 months ago #57110 by lori
I just got done doing a neuro rotation. The doc I worked with loved his hours. He did a fellowship in Neurophys (EMG's etc) and he told me that because of this, he was able to take less patients and work less hours (EMG's are his "bread and butter".) He only saw one patient every forty-five minutes and had his own computerized dictation program (saving him $9000 a quarter). He would spend approx 25-35 minutes with his patients and 10-15 minutes doing his complete dictation. He started @ 9am, one hour lunch and was done at 4pm every day. EMG day was Thursdays and he worked a half day on Fridays. The way call works is him and his three other partners is that they split it by doing one week of call at a time a month. I am not too sure how other docs do it, but this is one of the sweetest schedules I have ever seen. Like I said before, he credits his "cush" hours to the fact that EMG's bring in tons of money. Hope this helps.

"Cure sometimes, Care always" <br />Dr. Robert Fogel. <br />"Go confidently in the direction of your dream. Live the life you have imagined". HD Thoreau

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12 years 8 months ago #57111 by efex101
I would highly suggest you find NEW minted FEMALE neurologists with CHILDREN that can better answer your question. Here is why: 1) men in general have a different life than women. Meaning, for the most part (although there are exceptions) women take on the majority of the day to day houshold and parenting activities. So getting the 411 from a male physician is pointless.

2) New minted physicians will have to work more and do more than those in practice for over 10 years. As we come out of residency it is hard to make demands about job.

Keep in mind that different areas of the country will have different types of lifestyles. If you are set on one specific area then you may have to "live" with what they offer. It is not that easy to land "cush part-time" positions so go in assuming that you will have to work FT.

Neurology in an academic setting is NOT the same as neurology in private practice.

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12 years 8 months ago #57112 by lori
Never thought of that point efex. One other point with the doc I did the rotation with- I am not too sure if he is actually a "partner" because he is fresh out of residency (6 months now) but that is what he and his partners/bosses decided on with his hours. I do know that the neurologist that he replaced "retired" because she just had a baby. That may say something about the hours she was was putting in.

"Cure sometimes, Care always" <br />Dr. Robert Fogel. <br />"Go confidently in the direction of your dream. Live the life you have imagined". HD Thoreau

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12 years 8 months ago #57113 by efex101
Academic medicine is vastly different than private practice. Many physicians at my school reiterate this to us ad nauseum. In academic practice you have more "protected" time for research and this can take away from clinical time (which may be good or not depending on your preferance). Each route has positive and negative aspects...you just have to pick what you would prefer.

Yes, that the neurologist he replaced had just left due to motherhood may give you some insight about hours.

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12 years 8 months ago #57114 by msk
I am finishing fellowship in pediatric neurology. I have three children and have taken time off after med school and after residency (before fellowship) with my first two. Neurology is a great field, but even though there were several job possibilities for me, most are not particularly family friendly. Everyone with a practice cares about the bottom line and they want a lot of hours. Even the job that was allowing part-time wants 9 hour days three days a week (with no benefits and production based salary). So, three days a week, I would be coming home between 6-7 (including commute). My ideal PT job was to work 8-3 every day, with maybe one or two later days. Being dependent on a babysitter sucks -- trust me, I'm home today because my babysitter is sick for the second day in a row and I have no backup. And while other medical mothers understand these issues, men and single women often don't -- and that's in any medical specialty, as far as I've seen.

I don't think most neurology jobs have "great" hours; they are probably average. But it really depends most on the practice or the institution. For example, my chairman expects 12 hour days, even though it's academic and usually that is a little more protected in terms of hours. Even if you have grant support, he explicitly says "This will not be 9-5."

I did take a very well paying full time job next year, but it has demanding hours and it is far from my home. I will be trying it out to see how it goes but I am also thinking about other options, including starting my own practice within an adult neurology practice.

If you want 4 kids and also to be a doctor, you have to think very hard about how stressful you want your life to be whatever the specialty you choose. It is tough!

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