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Career in Medicine: Which path to take?
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seanthan1 Offline
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Career in Medicine: Which path to take?
I’m a 31 year old doctor in Canada. I previously withdrew from a sub-speciality training program so I’m at a bit of a crossroads in my career with two paths:
- I’m currently working in a clinic job that offers pretty good pay; ~4-6 weeks vacation per year. However, it’s a job and not something that really satisfies me and I won’t be able to take anytime of extended vacation in a year (i.e. 3 weeks or more). The other thing is once you’ve worked in a clinic setting for a certain amount of time, you’ve likely lost your skills to do a hospital job.
- The other option I have is taking extended time off (12-16 months for travel/ self development etc), go back to subspeciality training for a year (make lot less money during the process) and then consider a hospital job (better pay than currently with ~10-12 weeks off per year, but definitely more stressful/ complex work that’s also potentially more rewarding).

What would you guys do/ advise?
09-01-2017 07:46 AM
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Baphomet Offline
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RE: Career in Medicine: Which path to take?
Option 2. Not even a close call.
09-01-2017 08:29 AM
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helmutschmidt31
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RE: Career in Medicine: Which path to take?
Not a doctor but serving as a combat medic in the armed forces(not the US) as part of a conscript army for 2 years. I work closely with my doctors and thus have a general understanding about how the pathways for doctors work. From my understanding, it boils down to a choice of flexibility or money.

Working in family medicine generally wouldn't be as rewarding or pay as much but it does give you the flexibility to work on side projects or to pursue other goals in life. My doctor(who is also serving his national service) is also looking to go and work in an international clinic in Seoul after finishing up here. He would basically be doing the same thing as he would in a clinic back home but in an international clinic where they charge a premium for foreigners who want an english speaking doctor, he gets to earn decent money while also being able to live an expat life.

A specialist or surgeon life is definitely going to be more rewarding both monetarily and also in terms of actual job satisfaction(?) It thus however take up time and it would affect you alot more as a healthcare professional because you would be more likely to directly impact your patients' lives and should things go south, I have heard of doctors who carry the weight with them for years..

I think it boils down to what truly makes you happy. Hey you made it through 7 years of med school, I think you deserve to do what you want to do. My doctor's case is such that he doesnt particularly fancy being a surgeon and he sees his job as a way to supplement his life financially. His goals and ambitions lies outside of the medical field and he makes a comfortable sum each month to ensure his lifestyle remains largely unaffected.
09-01-2017 08:47 AM
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helmutschmidt31 Offline
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RE: Career in Medicine: Which path to take?
The only doctor I know well who is happy lives in San Diego. He works in emergency rooms when he needs cash, and spends the rest of his life smoking dope and surfing.

I don't know what you can learn from that, but definitely think about what you want in the future. My friend is 39 and has lived this lifestyle for the past 5 years.
09-03-2017 04:13 PM
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crdr Offline
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RE: Career in Medicine: Which path to take?
Travel and self development is a cowardly euphemism for "I don't have a clue what to do with my life."
I have never met anyone who has come close to enlightening me with their "Life Changing Travels."
You're 31 and still have no clue what to do and have to ask strangers on a forum for advice?

See a shrink. I'm not kidding. I have and it was the best thing for me.
A good therapist is just a good listener who lets you make sense of your thoughts...
But this question wreaks of desperation...

But, whatever, listen to whoever you want to listen to. But, the sounds of it, you will not be happy with either choice.
"Grass is Greener" syndrome.
Seems like the going rate with most people these days. Lack of courage, conviction and living with decisions... All traits of boys not Men...
(This post was last modified: 09-03-2017 04:33 PM by crdr.)
09-03-2017 04:24 PM
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Thomas the Rhymer Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Career in Medicine: Which path to take?
It's hard to help you with your choice, because you have not defined your goals.

What are your goals? What do you want out of your life? Don't just trudge the medical career path because it's there, you have to take a path because you like the destination.

What are your dreams for yourself? If you can get a handle on that, then it would be easier to advise you what to do.

A beginner's guide to jobhunting and networking
09-04-2017 01:17 AM
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LINUX Away
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RE: Career in Medicine: Which path to take?
(09-03-2017 04:24 PM)crdr Wrote:  Travel and self development is a cowardly euphemism for "I don't have a clue what to do with my life." I have never met anyone who has come close to enlightening me with their "Life Changing Travels."
You're 31 and still have no clue what to do and have to ask strangers on a forum for advice?

See a shrink. I'm not kidding. I have and it was the best thing for me.
A good therapist is just a good listener who lets you make sense of your thoughts...
But this question wreaks of desperation...

That's funny, I could say the same thing about your type who doesn't travel, feel freedom, make memories, or see the world. You wreak of boredom, going around collecting your materialistic icon, titles, and accomplishments that will soon be forgotten when you die, as your material things are sold at an estate sale for 0.25 cents.

No one in this life really knows what they want. Everyone is fucked up in the head and has their own problems. You haven't been enlightened, you've been conformed. And there is nothing wrong with a 31 year old asking questions to people on the internet because good questions lead to better questions, and the best questions known to man never have answers.
09-04-2017 01:50 AM
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worldwidetraveler Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Career in Medicine: Which path to take?
(09-03-2017 04:24 PM)crdr Wrote:  Travel and self development is a cowardly euphemism for "I don't have a clue what to do with my life."
I have never met anyone who has come close to enlightening me with their "Life Changing Travels."
You're 31 and still have no clue what to do and have to ask strangers on a forum for advice?

See a shrink. I'm not kidding. I have and it was the best thing for me.
A good therapist is just a good listener who lets you make sense of your thoughts...
But this question wreaks of desperation...

But, whatever, listen to whoever you want to listen to. But, the sounds of it, you will not be happy with either choice.
"Grass is Greener" syndrome.
Seems like the going rate with most people these days. Lack of courage, conviction and living with decisions... All traits of boys not Men...

That was overly harsh. Maybe your harsh reaction has more to do with your life and the decisions you made. Something to think about.

I think the OP is just using the forum as a sound board like talking out loud. I have yet to meet anyone that didn't question life decisions at all ages. Anyone who thinks they have it all figured out probably haven't experienced much or are lying to themselves. Maybe a little bit of both.

I wouldn't be the man I am today if it wasn't for my travels. Interacting and seeing how other people lived helped me see through a lot of bullshit that people think matter when really it doesn't.

It also helped me appreciate what many would consider little things.

For the most part, our realities are shaped by the way we think. Experiences are a big part of that. Traveling can have life changing impacts on your life. I think OP is just working out a lifestyle that allows him to continue growing. He isn't looking to escape anything. Sitting day after day doing the same job does limit your growth.

Quote:I have never met anyone who has come close to enlightening me with their "Life Changing Travels."

I doubt anyone cares if they enlighten you. That is your job, not ours.
(This post was last modified: 09-04-2017 02:56 AM by worldwidetraveler.)
09-04-2017 02:41 AM
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Chevalier De Seingalt Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Career in Medicine: Which path to take?
Maybe crdr didn't realize the forum was founded by a guy who wrote books about travelling? RIP

I'm not sure anyone here can pretend to tell OP what to do. But having a career in medicine does give you a lot of flexibility to take time off, do extended travelling, try other side businesses etc with almost no downside to your career and future earning potential. There will still be an easily found, well paying job for you when/if you decide to go back. Our friends who went into law/business don't always have the same luxury. This doesn't mean that it's the right decision for you, but it does mean that the risks are a lot less than for just about anybody else.
09-04-2017 11:00 AM
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Fortis Away
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Post: #10
RE: Career in Medicine: Which path to take?
I'm not sure why CRDR chose that hill to die on. Either way, Rest in peace and I hope you're alright out there.

I will be checking my PMs weekly, so you can catch me there. I will not be posting.
09-12-2017 08:16 AM
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puckerman Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Career in Medicine: Which path to take?
You should consider a career in Amazonian plant medicines. Here is a good book by a doctor who did just that:

http://a.co/0hGGIke
09-16-2017 07:44 PM
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