T Nation

Question for Doctors

Here it is; within the doctor profession, are there any specialties (pediatrics, dermatology, GI, anesthesiologist, to name a few) that would require only 40 hours of work per week?

It’s a strange question I know, but I’ll give you a quick backstory so you understand; I’ve recently decided for a career change, the 3rd one in 7 years (professional singer - music teacher - health care), for MANY different, good reasons. Anyways, I’ve narrowed things down to Physician Assistant, or full fleduged doctor. So the reason I ask the above question is because for me personally, I NEED to have time for my music, and that won’t happen leaving for work at 6:00 AM and coming home at 6:00 PM or later. Coming from a family of doctors (2 older brothers in GI, dad’s a pediatrician, don’t get me started on my 5 uncles), and my dad mentions that there are fields that you can work 40 hours a week. He cited dermatology (claiming they make their own schedule) and anesthesiology (shift work) as examples. Is he correct? I guess I need a second opionion. Thanks guys.

Just my opinion, but if you’re already looking for ways you can put the least amount of time into being a doctor, please do us all a favor and stick with the music.

I doubt you’d have the dedication to even make it through med school with that kind of attitude.

I’m not trying to insult you, but seriously think about it - you need to love what you do to take on a demanding objective like med school - it’s clear from your post that you don’t. If that’s the case then this doesn’t seem like the best course of action for you.

There won’t be any easy 9-5 work in your first stop along the way, medical school. I am told that radiology is an easy specialty as you get to sit a lot.

[quote]SkyNett wrote:
Just my opinion, but if you’re already looking for ways you can put the least amount of time into being a doctor, please do us all a favor a stick with the music.

I doubt you’d have the dedication to even make it through med school with that kind of attitude.

I’m not trying to insult you, but seriously think about it - you need to love what you do to take on a demanding objective like med school - it’s clear from your post that you don’t. If that’s the case then this doesn’t seem like the best course of action for you. [/quote]

Agreed. You will to sacrifice to be a doctor.

Dermatology is easiest in my experience; it’s the one practice that can still make money when you aren’t there. Besides, we always rib the dermos that they’re just glorified pimple-pickers anyway.

Dermatology as a result is also one of the hardest rotations to get into.

Stay away from internal medicine, oncology, cardiovascular surgery, etc. All have you on-call for the next twenty years, even though they have a certain romance and monetary expectation they carry with them. No one gets called at 2a.m. for a bad case of acne.

I am not a Dr. but have many friends who have just completed Med. School and are interning etc… it’s not always the specified profession, it’s also what you have to do to get to the specified profession that is very time consuming.

When I considering going into the Med. Prof. (I wanted to be an ME) my Aunt told me to prepare to NOT have a life for about 10 yrs and on. But that was to become and M.E.

She is a PA and worked for a Endocrinologist and worked way more than 40 hours per week. Working every 5th weekend & then straight through meaning she put in 12 straight days and then being on call… etc…etc…

Now she works in a G.P.'s office and she puts in more than 40 hrs. too but less than when she worked for the Endocrinologist. But still way over 40 hrs.

But you can always work part time too if you want to be a P.A. for less hours and there are a lot of PA’s that do just that.

Becoming an Anesthesiologist requires quite a bit of school esp. depending on what level of an Anesthesiologist you want to become.

I think if you want to go into the Med. field it might require a bit more than 40 hours per week esp. starting out and getting through the school.

Best of Luck!

[quote]sdspeedracer wrote:
Dermatology is easiest in my experience; it’s the one practice that can still make money when you aren’t there. Besides, we always rib the dermos that they’re just glorified pimple-pickers anyway.

Dermatology as a result is also one of the hardest rotations to get into.

Stay away from internal medicine, oncology, cardiovascular surgery, etc. All have you on-call for the next twenty years, even though they have a certain romance and monetary expectation they carry with them. No one gets called at 2a.m. for a bad case of acne.[/quote]

Ahhh but then there is Melanoma … it’s not just a bad case of acne and rashes anymore. :wink:

[quote]SkyNett wrote:
Just my opinion, but if you’re already looking for ways you can put the least amount of time into being a doctor, please do us all a favor and stick with the music.

I doubt you’d have the dedication to even make it through med school with that kind of attitude.

I’m not trying to insult you, but seriously think about it - you need to love what you do to take on a demanding objective like med school - it’s clear from your post that you don’t. If that’s the case then this doesn’t seem like the best course of action for you. [/quote]

I disagree; I’ll put in the time and effort that I need to into my career. I always have, and I always will. How many people put 60+ hours / week into a 32 hour job for peanuts? (My last job).

I suspect that after reading my post, you assumed that I’m just another lazy f#$k, and I’m not. I know I could get through med school. The point is that I’d like a career with regular work hours, a good salary, and good job security, and SUPPORT my love of Music. Music teaching does not currently provide any of that.

I think I’d make a good doctor,and that’d I do a good job. Because I DO have a strong work ethic (Grad GPA: 3.9 doesn’t happen by magic), fair intelligence, and I am a compassionate person.

With all this said, I don’t want to be CONSUMED by my career, and I see that with many doctors, as I’m surrounded by them constantly. Also, like a said, I want a good, in-demand career that will support my music. I’ve spoken with my dad (head of pediatrics at my local hospital)about this, and he brought the following up: if one had the capability of working two types of jobs, each for 40 hours a week, and one paying $100,000 and the other paying $200,000, which would you take?

I’m not trying to insult you, but I’m just looking for some good suggestions from T-Nationers who are doctors (work in the medical profession), that’s all. No harm, no foul.

[quote]sdspeedracer wrote:
Dermatology is easiest in my experience; it’s the one practice that can still make money when you aren’t there. Besides, we always rib the dermos that they’re just glorified pimple-pickers anyway.

Dermatology as a result is also one of the hardest rotations to get into.

Stay away from internal medicine, oncology, cardiovascular surgery, etc. All have you on-call for the next twenty years, even though they have a certain romance and monetary expectation they carry with them. No one gets called at 2a.m. for a bad case of acne.[/quote]

Thanks for the suggestions! Greatly appreciated, and you actualy confirm what my dad has said.

I don’t know if the field of dermatology is for me, because I’ve actually thought the same thing. (Are cosmetic surgeons ‘real’ doctors? Are dermatologists ‘real’ doctors?)

I do want to make it clear to all that reply that the 9-5 thing is not an absolute. (incidentally, how many absolutes are there in life? Why is it that there are many effective training methods as opposed to one ultimate training method?) If there are weeks that I have to put in 50, 60, 80 hours, fine. But the norm should be 40 in my mind, to leave time for my real passion of music.

Basically, I want a good career that will allow me to support my music, and the salary of a doctor would allow me to get that Gibson I always wanted, among other things.

Pathology is something you should consider.

You have got a ways to go before you need to think about these things. You might find that you love something and don’t care about the hours. It’s mental masturbation for now.

I also have to comment that if you are more concerned with music right now, you will not have an easy time with medical school, especially the first few years.

[quote]mistersniffles wrote:
Pathology is something you should consider.

You have got a ways to go before you need to think about these things. You might find that you love something and don’t care about the hours. It’s mental masturbation for now.

I also have to comment that if you are more concerned with music right now, you will not have an easy time with medical school, especially the first few years.[/quote]

Cool; thanks for the suggestions. Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to have an easy time in med school. I DO realize that attending medical school will require me to sacrifice music, to a fair extent, for a few years, as I will doing nothing but studying, attending classes, studying, attending classes, repeat ad nauseum. But I’m looking long term, and am willing to make a few short-term sacrifices. Again, thanks for the advice.

I’m not going to be as blunt as the first guy who responded but nevertheless I agree with his sentiment. By my values, it would be wrong for you to go into medicine… medicine should be an alturistic calling and a good candidate must be willing to commit himself fully to the discipline at the expense of outside interests. If you have hangups then you gotta find something else.

People who go to medical school with the intention of entering cake ass specialties just to avoid bad hours make me fucking sick. Radiologists and dermatologists should have their compensation cut in half just to weed out the people who are in it for the wrong reasons.

I don’t know about the music thing; I have a rheumo friend who writes and performs music and has had several country stars perform his compositions. I think there’s room for both.

As for pathology, at least your patients never argue with you or waste your time complaining.

Dermatologists are real docs; you still have to go through the same training, and (as pointed out) you still have to deal with cancers and tricky vagaries of the human condition. All medicine is facinating.

You could also consider forensic anthropology. As a musician, you would appreciate the artistic aspect of piecing together truth as if a puzzle using a collection of parts. It would still involve deep understanding of science and anatomy. And it would save you a few years and about $100k in schooling.

The bottom line is, with an MD you can do nearly anything – run businesses (with some extra training), go to law school, anything. It’s incredibly valuable for opening doors. And, should you choose to stay in medicine, you will face rotations and house staff assignments that will assure you of trying lots of different types of medicine. Figure it out as you go.

[quote]Actarus wrote:
I disagree; I’ll put in the time and effort that I need to into my career. I always have, and I always will. How many people put 60+ hours / week into a 32 hour job for peanuts? (My last job).

I suspect that after reading my post, you assumed that I’m just another lazy f#$k, and I’m not. I know I could get through med school. The point is that I’d like a career with regular work hours, a good salary, and good job security, and SUPPORT my love of Music. Music teaching does not currently provide any of that.

I think I’d make a good doctor,and that’d I do a good job. Because I DO have a strong work ethic (Grad GPA: 3.9 doesn’t happen by magic), fair intelligence, and I am a compassionate person.

With all this said, I don’t want to be CONSUMED by my career, and I see that with many doctors, as I’m surrounded by them constantly. Also, like a said, I want a good, in-demand career that will support my music. I’ve spoken with my dad (head of pediatrics at my local hospital)about this, and he brought the following up: if one had the capability of working two types of jobs, each for 40 hours a week, and one paying $100,000 and the other paying $200,000, which would you take?

I’m not trying to insult you, but I’m just looking for some good suggestions from T-Nationers who are doctors (work in the medical profession), that’s all. No harm, no foul.[/quote]

As a musician myself, I understand very well what you’re saying. And yes, the first post came off poorly, and made you look lazy. After reading this, I’ll retract my statement and say good luck to you with whatever field you decide to go into.

[quote]belligerent wrote:
I’m not going to be as blunt as the first guy who responded but nevertheless I agree with his sentiment. By my values, it would be wrong for you to go into medicine… medicine should be an alturistic calling and a good candidate must be willing to commit himself fully to the discipline at the expense of outside interests. If you have hangups then you gotta find something else.

People who go to medical school with the intention of entering cake ass specialties just to avoid bad hours make me fucking sick. Radiologists and dermatologists should have their compensation cut in half just to weed out the people who are in it for the wrong reasons.[/quote]

If we lived in an ideal world, I’d agree with you; unfortunately we do not, nor will we ever, nobody’s perfect.

Let me be clear; I don’t think there’s anything wrong for someone who wishes to enter any field seeking a GOOD HONEST LIVING for their career, and that’s what I wish. Also, there’s a profound difference between being committed to one’s career, being passionate about it, and just not giving a damn. Please don’t mistake me for the latter; like I’ve said in a previous post, I’m seeking a good, solid career with enough lee-way (time and pay) to support my passion. It’s not like I’d go to the hospital, and endeavor to do a poor job or constantly look at the clock. I’m focused and committed; I just don’t want to regularly spend 60+ hours at my job.

I’d say a majority of people are either fairly commited to their careers and do good jobs, or are not fairly commited and do lousy jobs. Then there are the few and the extreme ends of the spectrum; dream jobs and charmed lives.

I’m not looking at this career change to take advantage of people, nor to be as lazy about it as possible. And as I’ve said in another post, if I have to work 60, 80, 100 hours a week, fine, just as long as that’s not the norm. FYI.

Ooops…maybe I should edit the first post. I hope people read entire threads. Thanks for the well wishes.

[quote]sdspeedracer wrote:
I don’t know about the music thing; I have a rheumo friend who writes and performs music and has had several country stars perform his compositions. I think there’s room for both.

As for pathology, at least your patients never argue with you or waste your time complaining.

Dermatologists are real docs; you still have to go through the same training, and (as pointed out) you still have to deal with cancers and tricky vagaries of the human condition. All medicine is facinating.

You could also consider forensic anthropology. As a musician, you would appreciate the artistic aspect of piecing together truth as if a puzzle using a collection of parts. It would still involve deep understanding of science and anatomy. And it would save you a few years and about $100k in schooling.

The bottom line is, with an MD you can do nearly anything – run businesses (with some extra training), go to law school, anything. It’s incredibly valuable for opening doors. And, should you choose to stay in medicine, you will face rotations and house staff assignments that will assure you of trying lots of different types of medicine. Figure it out as you go.[/quote]

Wow…some really cool ideas / suggestions you brought up. Thanks!

The speedracer is right on the money. A degree in medicine is the most versatile you can have. There are easily some ways you could combine your love for music with medicine.

To reiterate as well, you will not really get a grasp of what you want to do or like until you are through your rotations and even then, lots of people still don’t know what they want to do and will go through an extra transitional year after graduating. It’s sometimes funny to consider the 180’s the friends have taken. Some were so certain in school that they were going into ortho, only to change their mind to oto, then internal med and ended up in radiology. Conversely, I have known a few who said they wanted to go into one area the entire time, usually family practice and OB/GYN, and that’s just what they did.

The point is you’ll need to wait until you’re actually into rotations before having certainty about what you want to do.

Your love of music reminds me of a friend. He loved guitars and playing them and whatever else musicians do. He loved it so much that at the start of the 3rd year he dropped out to start a guitar pick company. I don’t know much about that stuff but he was convinced it was the way to go. Lost contact with him after that…maybe he made it big!

Just a guess considering your love of music, I bet you will like neurology.

[quote]belligerent wrote:
I’m not going to be as blunt as the first guy who responded but nevertheless I agree with his sentiment. By my values, it would be wrong for you to go into medicine… medicine should be an alturistic calling and a good candidate must be willing to commit himself fully to the discipline at the expense of outside interests. If you have hangups then you gotta find something else.

People who go to medical school with the intention of entering cake ass specialties just to avoid bad hours make me fucking sick. Radiologists and dermatologists should have their compensation cut in half just to weed out the people who are in it for the wrong reasons.[/quote]

Hey now, let’s not be so quick to judge. Depending upon the group radiologists aren’t going to have a cake walk by any means (a lot still work 50 hours or a little more per week) and that’s not mentioning a subspecialty like interventional radiology. IR’s live the life of a surgeon and while they are compensated extremely well, they really have to love what they do and they have to deal with missing some time from the family and being on call even when they are around.

If they want to have an edge they also have to prepare to do some traveling to keep up on things.
Radiologists also have to work hard to get into the residency program in the first place, not to mention prepare for about a half decade of making little money and horrible hours. The boards aren’t that easy either.