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No direction...any advice?

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14 years 11 months ago #57732 by Kate_dup1
What does it mean when you can't think of any specialty which would seem interesting?

I've spent the last 5 years in the Air Force doing flight medicine and general medicine (after completing a Gen Sx internship). Now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and my committment to the AF is nearly over, it's time for me to decide what to do. But I have no idea. I used to have direction but not anymore. Not only do I think it will be difficult to reenter GME after being out of the loop for 5 years, but I just can't imagine what to do...sometimes every specialty sounds interesting, sometimes nothing sounds particularly interesting. I've got basically 6 months to figure it out. I've even thought about redoing an internship to see if I come across anything that intrigues me...ugh.

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14 years 10 months ago #57733 by Popcorn
Hi Kate,

Do you mean: I can't think of any specialty that is *interesting* period?

or do you mean: I can't think of any specialty that is more interesting that what I'm doing now?

or do you mean: I'm tired and need a break, and I can't imagine restarting now?

Do you like what you're doing? What about it do you like? The clinic? The hospital? What about the patients? Do you get to see kids? Do you like treating kids? What about old people? Really sick people? Not so sick people? People at all? (That would be the pathologist's reply) People only when they're asleep? (anesthesia) People having the worst days of their lives interspersed with people who need to get a life? (EM)

What attracted you to medicine? And what attracted you to be a flight surgeon for 5 years (other than the military committment, if there was one)?

Sorry to pepper you with rhetorical questions, but that's how I ended up finding my chosen specialty. I'm going into EM - I like babies, old people, and everyone in between. I like sick people, I actually like reassuring perfectly healthy people, and love when they swing drastically from one to the other. I hate clinic appointment lists, and I hate rounding. I love working hard at work, and playing hard when not. I like not always being on call. I like trying to out-manipulate the best manipulators of the system. I don't need to sit down to eat. Or chart. Or think. So yeah, that's how I made my choice.

Good luck in yours,
Danielle

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14 years 10 months ago #57734 by Kate_dup1
Well, flight medicine is interesting but there's a price to pay in family life as far as being gone a lot. I don't want to pay that price anymore. I didn't ask to be a flight surgeon, it's just how it worked out being in the military.

Primary care is too slow for me although I do have moments that I enjoy...when I get a difficult new case. And that isn't often. But for the most part I see acute cases-colds, injuries, etc. Rarely, chronic medical conditions-luckily.

I enjoyed surgery but I don't want to go through that training pace again. I don't have the energy anymore. Perhaps my current boredom is clouding my judgement though. I'm literally waiting for a defining moment that will direct me.

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14 years 10 months ago #57735 by Popcorn
Will you need to be in this year's match? How does that work? Having an internship behind you, do you just try to match a PGY 234 or equivalent - or do you go outside the match?

You might think about Emergency... lots of fun (IMHO, of course), great hours, great variety, tons of procedures, little chronic care compared to other specialties, and higher acuity than a primary care clinic. (There are plenty of downsides, but I prefer to look at the ups.)

I also loved surgery, and went to med school to be a surgeon. Still, once I spent some time in the ED, I fell in love with it. I know you want a defining moment... I got one, and I hope you have yours.

Good luck,
Danielle

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14 years 10 months ago #57736 by ellie
Another option would be to work at a doc in the box sort of place or a "Fast Track" part of an ER. You won't have to go back to residency, you can have family friendly hours, and you see things that tend to be more acute as opposed to chronic things.
I did this when I took a year off of my residency and came to the conclusion that if finding another residency didn't cross my path, I would have been happy with the outcome.
Ellie

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14 years 10 months ago #57737 by DrB
If you liked surgery initially you may like something like radiology or derm. Still get to do procedures and things but much more humane pace

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