I have found part time work to work very well for me. I am in primary care (IM) and work every morning - M-F. 8 am to roughly 1:30 pm. No Holidays or weekends. Only home call - we use hospitalists. I can get the kids to school and have an hour before picking them up. Since I am a partner in our physician owned group I can set my own time off, which is fantastic. I have an army cot in my office I use when my kids are sick. Works very well. But in the beginning I had to use nannies to help - I was lucky to have two that alternated days and I had the same two for seven years. My partners have been fantastic in allowing me to do this part time without having to share my practice with another doc - so I am responsible for all pt issues throughout the day - which can get hectic when I am in "mom" mode at home or at the soccer field.
I don't think it could get any better than this and I'm extremely lucky to have such accommodating partners. Interestingly, we actually have five in our practice that are part-time since they are semi retired and sharing practices.
Ironically, I am struggling with burn out - even with this perfect situation. I want to stay home and just breathe for a while. Really concentrate on my daughter's education and lives and be a better mother and wife. I am resenting what my job takes from me - which is a lot just due to the nature of the job. Since my husband makes good money in his field (GI) I feel I have that option but I just can't take that leap. Why give up something so good? Am I crazy?
I would do it, if it was financially possible for me. I would work just enough to keep my license current though. Wouldn't want to have to deal with reentry. My two cents. Good luck with your decision!
Thank you clee03m. I will consider keeping my license active. I am going to try to join the forum regarding non clinical careers in medicine. I worked a great deal helping develop our EMR - we are a beta site - and very much enjoyed that. I wonder if that could be an option??
Hi! I am new (very new) to this forum (any forum, really) and am not quite sure if this is the proper place for posting... I've read a bunch on this page and others and thought this might be a good fit for my questions...
I'm 2.5 years out of peds residency, practicing as a pediatric hospitalist/ED physician in a pretty busy community hospital about 45 minutes away from where I live. I have a son, who will be 17 months old in a week and a wonderful husband, who always listens to my complaining with loving and patient ears. I used to work full time, which to my boss, means as many shifts as possible without dying. Or so it would seem as such. Our Peds unit is divided with half of the rooms used for ED and half for inpatient. There are typically two physicians on at a time, built around 12 and 8 hour shifts with the overnight physician being left alone for about 6 hours in the wee morning hours when it's usually slower. We admit and then follow our own and sign out to each other. It's actually a pretty good system for patient continuity. My issue with this job and life in general these days is that, since having my son, I have been relegated to overnights/weekend shifts as we do not have help with our son during the daytime and my husband works. I have tried some sitters without much luck and honestly, I am quite happy being home with him. The commute and overnights are killing me though and I have now changed my status to "moonlighter" so that I don't have to do this required "back up call" as the regular staffers do (I do not have the ability to get out of bed several night each week at random, if they get busy and need help, as I am quite a drive away and have a still nursing at night toddler). I have looked for some other avenues to help with income as my loans are not scheduled to be paid off for another 6 years so, working fewer hours is not really an option. Has anyone ever heard of telemedicine? I received a recruiter email the other day regarding the possibility of "working from home", "making my own hours" and basically taking calls and giving advice over the phone. The patients would be in my field and would be limited to my state of licensure, with paid malpractice and tail. I am not sure how much it pays, but obviously the ability to stay in my house and work my own hours, peeked my interest. I am just wondering if anyone has heard of this, specifically for pediatrics or medicine, as oppose to radiology. I did do some research but I guess the area is still relatively new and I want to make sure it's legitimate. Quite frankly, I am interested in art and photography and would love to explore those interests more than staying in medicine, but I don't have the courage to just drop everything I've worked so hard for over the past 15 years. I've also thought about becoming certified in lactation consulting as I know the hours might be a bit more flexible and I might be able to find a job to supplement our income, a little closer to home and work some evening hours so that my husband can be home with our son. We would really like to have another child soon and I still can't see this current work schedule fitting well with a newborn and a toddler... I'm so sleep deprived most days that I pass out when my husband gets home from work. Not a great quality of life... though I'm so happy to stay home with my son during these early years. Sorry for the length...
Welcome, hmk05! I'm sure you must be tired if you are working full time and taking care of your child full time as well. Have you considered daycare/preschool? If you need the income (and the sleep!) then you will probably need some more help with childcare. If you do not need a full-time income, then can you cut back on the number of shifts?
There really is not that much in medicine that you can do while simultaneously taking care of your child. Telemedicine is illegal in my state (because you can't do a good faith exam), but I don't know much about how it works in other states. How much do lactation consultants earn? And the other thing you need to consider once you start moving away from your specialty is that eventually you will probably want/need to go back. After your child is in school full time, you will have much more time on your hands and then practicing medicine will seem more possible. There are a lot of barriers to re-entering medicine after time off (some people become discouraged by that and never re-enter). It is a lot better professionally to continue to work clinically, even if it is very part time, than to take time off completely.
We all struggle with this, how much to work and how much childcare to delegate to others. There are no easy answers!
hi there! thanks for the welcome! so i just wanted to clarify, i WAS working full time but after i had my son, i went back at 20h/wk... so usually it comes out to an 8h evening shift and then a 12h overnight shift... both of which tend to run over frequently i actually did look into a daycare, but trialed one day (i know, give it more time), while i actually interviewed for a 2d/wk OP peds job, but with all due respect to the people who love their daycares and the kids who do great there, i just don't think my son is at that point yet. he's a pretty strong willed child and has been since before he's been born. as i mentioned, he is still nursing, quite avidly and does well in new situations when he can stand by myself or my husband and take everything in and decide for himself how many more steps he wants to take. i know some people may think that is "babying" him too much, but as i normally reply, he's a baby and they're all different. i wouldn't be so reluctant to find a parttime day job near my home if i knew that he was a little more of a go-with-the-flow kid, but being his mom, i feel like i owe it to him to make sure he's the priority and if he isn't ready for other caretakers (we've tried a couple sitters too with our only luck being in the girl who had to move out of state for grad school), then i will be happy to keep on doing what i'm doing. my main issue of concern with our situation is the finances. as i imagine most people conversing on here can place themselves in similar boats. student loans, especially for medical school and the interest accrued during residency when i had not many pennies to spare to pay them back at that point, really suck the life out of you. this is why i started to look into other possible means of income. i am actually very interested in newborn care, which is why breastfeeding education struck such a cord with me, and i had the grand idea that maybe i could work for myself and just go to people as they need me and it would give us a little more flexibility in terms of childcare as well. the telemedicine job that i looked at, seems like it would help, but was also worried about the credibility to that job, simply because i've never heard of physicians, besides radiology, doing work that way before. but who knows? there's lots of stuff i don't know about. i do very much appreciate your response and suggestions. the camaraderie with this group of many other moms who are doctors and struggle with the same dilemmas, can be very comforting. i do love my job at times; there are many patients and families who are wonderful to work with and it makes me feel so helpful if i can do something to educate them and lighten their burden, whatever the complaint. but i can't help but feeling so worn down more often than not. the bureaucracy of healthcare and many disrespectful ("just give me antibiotics for my viral infection") parents/patients, couple with the fear of being sued or even if i say something that they don't want to hear (press ganey), just makes me want to throw up. i was one of the naive ones who ignored any older physicians trying to tell me there is more to medicine than JUST HELPING PEOPLE. i really only wanted to learn all the fun science and apply it to JUST HELPING PEOPLE. 15 years later, i wish i had at least been more open minded and maybe i wouldn't feel this disappointed by our field. wow, sorry to be a downer. ha! guess i just needed to vent. thank you again for listening and your advice! this is a great place to visit!