Even though I’ve mentioned several different methods to increase profitability in clinical medicine, the bottom line is that clinical medicine is — for the most part — a bad choice. Here are four really simple reasons why.
1. You’ll put in long hours for way too long.
Ask yourself this simple question: Do I want to be 55 years old and still coming into the hospital at 3 a.m.? If you pick specialties such as surgery, internal medicine, or even family medicine — chances are pretty good that you’ll experience this. Trust me, you’re not going to want to work like this 30 years down the road.
This reminds me of a junior rotation back in medical school. An attending said to me after coming in at 2 am the night before: “It’s just not natural for a man my age to work all night and then to work the whole next day. It’s just not right.”
It won’t be right for you, either.
2. You’ll still be on call.
If you’re in a group practice, you’ll split call with the group. Unless you utilize hospitalists to manage your inpatients, you’ll need to cover call. This goes for just about any clinical specialty (save maybe Dermatology) that you can think of. Do you want to be 55 and still taking call? I didn’t think so.
3. Your best years are “worked up.”
Who wants to work their ass off for thirty years with little “life time?” I don’t see any hands. I don’t blame you, either.
These are your prime years. Think long and hard before you sign your life to the medical devil and wake up one morning overworked, undersexed, and slightly-above-average payed. He’s waiting with that red-hot pitchfork of medical status. Is it worth your best 30 years?
4. More clinicians turn bitter than turn sweet.
No, this isn’t based on some study. This is based on the real deal life experiences of being around these people for too long. I’ve never met a more unhappy bunch than clinical medicine attendings. Do you want to end up like them? I sure as hell didn’t and the door didn’t come close to my ass on the way out.
So, What Now?
- If you’re dead-set on clinical medicine, go into Emergency Medicine. You’ll appreciate a regular schedule.
- If you’re dead-set on clinical medicine, are AOA, and sleep with your attendings so you can honor rotations (dermatology ho’s, you know who you are), go into Dermatology. You’ll have normal hours.
- If you don’t give a shit about clinical medicine, look into Radiology or Pathology. They’re solid choices with nice pay and regular hours (generally speaking).
- If you’re a slacker, never show up to class, skip at least one day a week on rotations, stay hidden, play any type of MMORPG (World of Warcraft, anyone?) or the XBox 360 on a regular basis, hate gunners, and get laid regularly, just keep on doing what you’re doing. You’ll find a way to make it.