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My non-financial advice to those finishing training and starting the first job..

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  • #16
    Great advice from a Time Management course I once took: "Rest and relaxation should be a planned activity."

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    • #17
      Great post. I often tell people that one of the most difficult things about medicine is that there's no easy stopping point/break point. Once you start medical school you're committed to 7-15 years of training with a few mini breaks but no big ones. You can't just take a couple months off and pick back up where you started. If you think about how often the average person changes jobs between 22 and 35 it gives you an interesting perspective. Many do their best to enjoy the ride, myself included, and to take advantage of time off when possible, but there's always something to think about. The time between residency and becoming an attending is, for many, the first opportunity to just step away for a bit with no lingering responsibilities and I think it's an opportunity that is underutilized. Sure it may not be the best move financially but I've never heard anyone tell me they regretted it.

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      • #18
        I started on July 1st because otherwise I would have missed out on 6 months of my 401k match.

        Smart but incredibly stupid.

        I'm hoping I can quit my job in the not-so-distant future and go locum and have plenty of long breaks to do what you suggest.  Unfortunately clinical skills deteriorate so quickly it is very difficult to be away for very long.

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        • #19
          My wife delayed starting on Jul 1 to August so that she could study for and take boards  :|  :P  :cry:

          In my personal career I've decided to stop counting every day off as lost income, and begun taking every vacation day I can.  I still work weekends and stay late here and there, but if I can be at home with my wife and baby, that's where I am.  The stuff going on right now in my life is too important to miss.

          Vagabond, "unencumbered with children" sounds so luxurious.   :lol:   I fear "no concern for deteriorating elderly parents" and "plenty of knee cartilage" will become coveted luxuries for me all too soon.   

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          • #20




            My wife delayed starting on Jul 1 to August so that she could study for and take boards  ????  ????  ????

            In my personal career I’ve decided to stop counting every day off as lost income, and begun taking every vacation day I can.  I still work weekends and stay late here and there, but if I can be at home with my wife and baby, that’s where I am.  The stuff going on right now in my life is too important to miss.

            Vagabond, “unencumbered with children” sounds so luxurious.   ????   I fear “no concern for deteriorating elderly parents” and “plenty of knee cartilage” will become coveted luxuries for me all too soon.   ????
            Click to expand...


            Like you, I once considered an extra day to work as an opportunity and a day off as a loss. No longer. Just today, a partner asked me if I wanted to pay our locums rate for his off day, a Friday later this month. The answer was "************************, yes!". I have come to grips with the fact that not only is time limited (duh!), but so are things like energy, enthusiasm, and compassion. Lessons learned late, but not too late.

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            • #21
              I took 6 weeks off. Between that June 30 and mid-Aug, I did the following:

              - Took ob/gyn written boards

              - Packed up all my stuff

              - Moved in with my now-husband, a few hours away

              - Finished all the last minute details for our wedding

              - Got married

              - Went on a 2 week honeymoon

              - Got back in town and did all the name change stuff at SS, DMV, etc

              It was totally crazy and I never could have started on July 1. To be fair, my husband was working the whole time (makes more than a resident salary but less than my current salary) so we lived off his paycheck which was easy. And we did have the excuse of a honeymoon to go on a big trip, but I highly recommend it anyways to those finishing up training

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              • #22
                When I recently made the transition, I took 6 weeks off.  With young children, it wasn't for the purpose of travel (though we did spend a weekend in a cabin in the mountains), but for swinging at the park, singing nap-time songs, "showering" in a thunderstorm, splashing through a creek, catching fireflies, and sleeping without a pager.  After the dog days of training, it was really restorative for me and the whole family.

                 

                Several older doctors at my new hospital have commented that the priorities in my generation of physicians are much different (specifically, that we aren't nearly as eager to make money as they were).  I think this is both true and right.

                 

                Thanks, Vagabond, for affirming the same.

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                • #23




                  I started on July 1st because otherwise I would have missed out on 6 months of my 401k match.

                  Smart but incredibly stupid.

                  I’m hoping I can quit my job in the not-so-distant future and go locum and have plenty of long breaks to do what you suggest.  Unfortunately clinical skills deteriorate so quickly it is very difficult to be away for very long.
                  Click to expand...


                  Hey, I don't think this was/is stupid at all. I did the same thing 12 years ago. If I started in my group on July 1, I was eligible for a full 44k (I think that was the max contribution back then) to my retirement plan, so I did it.

                  I know this goes against the grain of the posts thus far - but for me - getting right into practice and finally feeling "free" from a professional standpoint was totally great for me and I don't regret it one bit. After passing my radiology boards I was actually stoked to start working. I really like what I do and feel I have plenty of time off in the practices that I have chosen. Sure, I haven't been able to travel the country in an RV for 6 months, but we have taken some great trips and made great memories without taking that time off after residency.

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                  • #24
                    I had (have) a lot of school loan debt, but after our first was born while I was in my final year of residency I took 6 weeks off to finally get to know her. Didn't get that chance with #2 who was born 10mo into 1st attending job. Those 6 weeks were some of the best I've ever had, and when we interview residents I encourage them to take a month after finishing to do whatever will make them happy.

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                    • #25
                      Great, profound and moving post Vagabond and I have come to think of you as the Bob Dylan of the WCI clan.

                      In my older age, I'm finally taking much more time for my husband, elderly parents, young relatives, friends, travel and happiness. I'm glad I came to this mind set in my early fifties before any more time had gone by. I think our new young doctors and young people in general have a much healthier view of work- life balance then our generation. I have a lot of confidence for the happiness of humanity in the future, if the young people I meet are any indication of what is in store.

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                      • #26




                        Great, profound and moving post Vagabond and I have come to think of you as the Bob Dylan of the WCI clan.

                        In my older age, I’m finally taking much more time for my husband, elderly parents, young relatives, friends, travel and happiness. I’m glad I came to this mind set in my early fifties before any more time had gone by. I think our new young doctors and young people in general have a much healthier view of work- life balance then our generation. I have a lot of confidence for the happiness of humanity in the future, if the young people I meet are any indication of what is in store.
                        Click to expand...


                        I guess vagabond is blowin in the wind wherever life takes him.

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                        • #27
                          Great advice. I accelerated through school and after fellowship moved halfway across the country on June 30 and started work on July 1. I am not sure I would have done things differently but I sure would think about it now. I agree that the bigger issue is being home and taking time for family which I did a pretty good job at doing. I could have taken some more days off other than vacation days and made some more baseball games. Looking forward to having more time to continue traveling with family when I pull the plug soon in my early 50s.

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                          • #28
                            Yep, I took 2 months off after residency to just hang out with my kid for the summer. And go to Alaska with friends from residency. It was awesome and anyone who can continue to eat while taking the time off, should do so.

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                            • #29
                              Many moons ago, I also finished training jun 30. Technicallly they kept me working until 2 am Jul 1. then I drove to my new job and started at 7am. Training was brutal in those days. Not joking.

                              Luckily they gave me jul 4 off though.

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                              • #30
                                Great advice.  I share it with all of the students and residents that I find myself having these kinds of discussions with.  While I find the current generation of learners much better at work-life balance than my cohort was I think that it is still reasonable to share this advice.  Every job change is an opportunity to take an extended break.  The accompanying advice is to save up before hand and don't go into unreasonable debt while taking the break.

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