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M.D. firm lifestyle?

  1. Jan 24, 2009 #1
    As everyone may know, MD'S have a very firm and rough job. I want to be an MD but the lifestyle I want outside of the work place would be nonexistent. Or would it..?

    Does anyone know of MD's that don't have 60 hour weeks? Everything about the job screams me besides sacrificing my family life. I checked out other health care careers like like dentistry and podiatry but they don't really grab my attention. I want a fast paced career in medicine, typically in a hospital.

    Also if there is anyone in med school right now, I would love to hear your stories and experiences.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2009 #2
    You can have more controllable hours, very possibly having anywhere from 40-50 hours or so a week, if you have your own clinic. But that depends on what your specialty is, how many people you have on staff, how often get involved with hospital work, and etc. For example, Dermatologists generally would have more manageable work hours, but...quite frankly, I would assume most people would find that field to be a tad mundane.

    I think it's a bit more hard pressed to find a hospital oriented MD job without cutting into a bit more work time. The average hours per week tend to hover around 50-60, depending on specialty.

    If this truly is a field you care for, I don't think it should matter too much, though. You will always still be able to make time for family..just takes commitment in balancing your schedules.
  4. Jan 24, 2009 #3

    Yeah you're right. And dermatology is pretty lame IMO. I hope I can have a basic MD job at a hospital and do decent full time. 50 hours is alright but 60+ really can cut into family life.
  5. Jan 24, 2009 #4

    Have you checked out BLS for the various MD professions? Naturally, it's the surgeons and higher end specialties that would probably spend more hours per week..so what kind of medicine are you interested in?
  6. Jan 24, 2009 #5

    I want something exciting but rewarding. I haven't picked any specific genres yet, i'm still doing the premed programs. I looked and there are so many options. I honestly have no idea what to do. I thought about being respiratory specialist, do you know the hours involved in that?
  7. Jan 24, 2009 #6


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    I have a friend who is a general practitioner and his schedule would eat you up. I have another acquaintance (not close) who is involved in reading and interpreting X-rays, Cat-scans, etc. He leads a more normal life, and he and his sons run a small farm raising beef-critters, make maple syrup, etc. I can tell you whose day-to-day life I'd rather have, but I can't tell you what you should do with your life.
  8. Jan 24, 2009 #7

    I'm guessing that friend of yours is a Radiologist?


    Average work hours are just right around 50.
  9. Jan 25, 2009 #8


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    Most of the MDs I know put in pretty long hours, but they're residents. (And they don't call you a resident because you live at home). Something worth remembering is that medicine is a profession and as a professional, you generally have the freedom/responsibility of setting your own hours.

    The caveat is that to get to that point, most MDs do 4+ years of undergraduate work, then 4 years of medicine, then 2-6+ years of a residency. Since it's competative pretty much all the way through, the people who get through generally have a strong work ethic and are pretty used to putting in the long hours.
  10. Jan 25, 2009 #9


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    Close. That designation has expanded considerably over the last 30 years or so because imaging has gotten more complex and comprehensive. He is a bit older than me, and is right about at retirement age. Still, he has managed to have a more normal home-life with his boys (now in their 40's) than most professionals that I know. He lives less than a mile from the local hospital, but spends a lot less time there than the GP's who have to maintain residency requirements to keep full access to hospital services.
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