I've just come back to the forums after a hiatus-finishing residency and starting a new job. Anyway, I had a bunch of messages regarding EM as a specialty and the pros and cons for the working woman. Personally, I think EM is the perfect specialty for women, especially since you don't have to deal with a lot of the issues that other specialties do. So...to distill it down for those who like lists (me, me, me!) here goes...
Pros: flexible schedule, can be home during the day or during important school functions, can work part time, can join a hospital based group or a private group, see the whole range of problems and ages, you can do trauma and procedures, great team like atmosphere, no repeated visits, can schedule around hobbies, you get paid to multitask (just like you do in your own life every single day!)
Cons: working evening/nights, working holidays (at least some), no repeated visits, the patients are not "your own"
I'm sure I've forgotten a ton, but hopefully these will answer some of those lingering questions and if not...well, let's get a thread started!
Actually, occasionally there is continuity of care. Usually it's not the good kind, (So Mr Jones, what it is today?), but the other day I picked up a chart and recognized the name as a head bleed I'd intubated a couple of months prior. He'd bradyed down and almost coded. And here he was, talking, thanking me for saving him. He didn't remember me, but I remembered him.
Thanks for the info! As a second year med student thinking about EM, I really appreciate it! One question, how often do you work nights, say as a percentage compared to days? Do you usually do 12 hour shifts or does it vary?
In residency, days and nights have to be split equally, so it's 50/50 if you're working 12s. Once in the "real world" there is often a shift differential, or a couple of people who want to work all the nights, so it really depends on the group. It also depends on your coverage and when the busy times are.
My residency works 12s; my new practice works 8s, 9s and 10s.
I think EM is indeed great for moms. Full time is about 120 hrs/month. Some groups consider your work full time with even less hours. The other's are right, night shift actually does have advantages a many places. You get paid more per hour, you get more "credit" towards your partnership, night staff is awesome, it's more peaceful with less admin BS, and you'll have plenty of opportunity to work (i.e. you'll likely get all the shifts you want, and the days off you want). There's usually less patients (but also less staff...so your workload may actually *increase*). This can be good for your productivity numbers...but, of course, being overly busy isn't safe.
I work about 2-3 night shifts/month. I work a total of 10-12 shifts/month. The more shifts you work, the more night shifts are expected. I typically get major holidays off...but not completely. Like, I'll beg/borrow/steal to get Christmas day off...and will agree to work Christmas eve or New Year's eve or New Year's Day in exchange. Some places pay DOUBLE TIME to work *on* the holiday...which may make it worth it to take 8 hours Christmas evening and make well over $2500 in that time. Those 8 hours...pay for Christmas!!
I was hoping some of you EM docs could give me some advice...
i'm interested in EM and have shadowed some docs, but because of my maternity leave and my school being inflexible, i will not be able to do an EM rotation before applying for residency. obviously a problem for 2 reasons-- 1. how do i know if i really like it? 2. how will i get 3 LORs (much less one)?
my school has advised me to shadow in my free time. (what free time? i'm in 3rd year and have a new baby!?)
i just don't know how to resolve this....
also, what do most people do when they apply EM? do they apply to backups too? i'm just an average candidate overall (grades,board scores) and am worried i'm not competitive enough.