Thursday, January 13, 2011

Narrowing Down Future Career Paths

I was going though some old files on my computer today and came across a document named, "Things I Know". Naturally, I wanted to jog my memory and see what it was that I once thought I knew about something.

This is all that was written:

Things I know:

-I don’t want to do a job where volume is key, i.e. that I need to see 60-70 patients a day to meet a quota/keep the tofu on the table

-I like quality, not quantity

-I do like fast paced, hard work, unpredictable work

-I like doing, not thinking or watching or waiting

-I like skiing.

Well that about settles it then.



Grumpy, M.D. said...

1. ER

2. Trauma surgery

3. Ortho

Albinoblackbear said...

Yep! Pretty much.

NPO said...

Working ED in a hospital near a ski resort.
Although, not to near a city so the quantity of patients does not overtake the quality of your work.

Albinoblackbear said...

NPO--Sigh. Exactly.

When I worked in the Whistler ED I was in heaven. It was like a fairy-tale ED. Partially because of the extremely talented nurses and docs there, but also because it was lots of fun, faced paced, ortho and trauma. And I got to ski. Sometimes even before work.

That is why I had to get out. I knew I could easily stay there and never go back to school.

Wait. Why did I go back to school again?? hahah

Research said...

Penticton, BC can always use another doctor. Good skiing. Great wine. Fun year round.

NPO said...

Whistler is top notch, but it sounds like you could do any of the thousands of miles of the Rocky mountain and be happy.

Keep a goal in mind. I remember starting nursing school a decade ago and having a picture of a tropical beach on the wall. My goal after graduation was to live and escape the Northern winters for at least a little while, and I did.

Sounds like you need a picture mural of Aspen, Banff or Whistler.

Albinoblackbear said...

Research--Hmm, hadn't ever considered Penticton. If I ever got in that neck of the woods though, I think I'd have to move back to Revelstoke. Too many good people and too many great skiing improvement opportunites to pass up.

The wine though. The wine IS a consideration...

NPO--You are right. I will be happy wherever I end up, but especially if it is somewhere along the Rockies. Hahah, see the photo above my desk?


That is just one of many!

NPO said...

I looked at your picture, it's hard to see but that must be a double black diamond or heli-skiing, because I can't see the chair lifts. :)

caligirl said...

Anesthesia! Sounds perfect for you!

Liana said...

I think ER might be the ticket for you. Shift work so there's no call responsibility, it's flexible enough that you could work in a small community, potentially fast paced, etc.

If we use Revelstoke as the prototype, realistically, they don't need a trauma surgeon because there's no ICU. Most of your traumas will get packaged up and sent to a tertiary hospital.

Same with ortho. Being in a rural hospital means that you're going to end up doing a lot of simple elective surgeries.

The other downside of being the only orthopod in Revy is that you could theoretically end up on call 24/7. That is highly unconducive to skiing.

Cartoon Characters said...

I almost went to work up at Big White once (even owned a chalet there once)....but decided to move to Vancouver.
Used to live in Penticton...nice place and I like it much better than Ktown except that there isn't a *real* airport there. Vernon is nice but not sure about the hospital altho it *seemed* ok when I was there last year. Silver Star is nice - with a helicopter between the 2 ski hills.
Don't ever live in Kamloops.
Whistler seems pretty cool.

OMDG said...

I would say if you like quality over quantity, you may have to rule out ER. Not that they are not good drs, but they don't do the full work up by any stretch of the imagination. (If you meant something else by "quality" please let me know....)

I think ortho more so than trauma because for trauma the training is longer, and the trauma docs I met do NOT have good hours (hence less skiing). However, I could be wrong about this.

You might also like inpatient medicine or critical care (medical or surgical).

I think Liana has some really good points about call schedules.

Albinoblackbear said...

NPO--I WISH it was a photo I'd taken! It is from Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia (on my bucket list of destinations).

Caligirl--Anesthesia was in my top three last and ortho swap back and forth for the '3' position.

Liana--It's true, although the surg in Revelstoke must have negotiated a pretty sweet deal because he still finds time to train for ironmans and eco challenges and the like, so he must have some call break...

I think they must divide up the call with Vernon, Kelowna and Sicamous or something...

The ortho in Prince Rupert gets coverage from Terrace on his days off, so it isn't 24/7. Mind you, everyone HATES it when they have to refer ortho there.

It is a good point to consider though, specialties can limit living choices (and definitely free time!)

Though I love ER...most of the time there isn't enough "E" in ER to keep me happy! hahah

Cartoon Char---Uggghhhh agreed on Ktown. I lived there during my prereq year in 2007. "Soul-less" is the first word that comes to mind. The second word is "hot-tub dealerships". 'Nuff said. =)

I love Whister but would probably choose to live in Squamish or Pemberton.

OMDG--It's true, trauma surg does not a pager-free lifestyle make! =)

Inpatient critical care could be up my alley, in an anesthetics realm, but I don't think I'd be a very good internist or intensivist. (I am more of a knuckle-dragger than a ponderer). But, I like sick, really sick, people--so yeah, it is a consideration.

Albinoblackbear said...

Oh and I guess "hot-tub dealerships" is three words and not one.

I still have 'holiday brain' apparently.

Cara said...

Oh please come to GP, northern backwoods Alberta where we get 6 months of winter, live 4 hours from decent skiing, have no interesting terrain, a town full of highschool dropouts with jacked up 4x4's and quads in the back, no culture and immigrants are looked at askance (be they cab drivers or doctors and they're only either of those two things). I may have figured out why we have a physician/specialist shortage hey?
You should check out Cranbrook BC where I grew up. Small town heart of the Rockies awesome skiing, 4h from Calgary. I'd go back but there's not much work there and the scope for LPNs in BC sucks.

Medical Mojave said...

Wait, I can't believe no one suggested this.

My first though was Ski Patrol.

Although I bet there's a lot of hurry up and wait during search and rescue too.

But yes, Ski Patrol. Like in Aspen where all the movie stars are and they would foot the bill for a doc on skis.


Research said...

I believe that ER docs who volunteer to be "on call" at Apex get free ski passes. ;->

Anonymous said...

you might like this elective:

I'm going to Rossland/Trail soon and they are hiring GPs who do ER coverage too... I've heard great things about Golden too!

ICU doesn't have to be too full of 'pondering,' at least not in a small town. You would have the intensity but not the volume of ER. And as others say, volunteer ski doc in off-hours.

Would you do your residency in Canada or does that have to happen in Ireland? I don't know the practicalities about returning but there are some really cool rez options in BC these days.

Albinoblackbear said...

Cara--Haha, sounds like where I grew up in AB! =) Well I wasn't that far North but I did spend 3 summers in Athabasca doing envrio research for the pulp mill. Well I'll never say never, and likely with the return of service I'll be agreeing to I might just end up your friendly neighborhood doc!

POP--Yes, there is a lot of hurry up and wait, but also a lot of GREAT skiing, hot chocolate drinking, and (if Gary is working) sushi in the Harmony Hut on the backside of Whistler.

I'd have to seriously up my skiing skills though, downhilling off piste with a toboggan strapped to you is seriously challenging. Other than the medical director though, it'd never be full time work (and I am pretty sure the current medical director will be there for another, oh, 30 years! hahah)

Research--I am not sure how Apex works but Whistler/Blackcomb make you do a minimum of 12 shifts to get a free pass---which is ok as long as the ski season is longer than 6 good weekends! hahah