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(USA Today)   Apparently capping medical intern workdays at 16 hours in order to save lives has actually made medicine more dangerous. This error-free headline submitted by resident 24 hours into a 30 hour call   (usatoday.com) divider line 88
    More: Ironic, teaching hospitals, University of Michigan Medical School, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore  
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7956 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Mar 2013 at 9:36 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-26 05:26:52 AM
I've seen 'Scrubs', you all just sleep and have sex in supply closets.
 
2013-03-26 06:36:23 AM
It's not ironic, it's irresponsible.

They decreased the hours without decreasing the workload or increasing the staff. All they did was make it 17 hours of double time instead of 30 hours of normal pace.
 
2013-03-26 08:25:44 AM
"It could be the interns are required to do the same amount of work in less time."

You don't say.
 
2013-03-26 09:40:02 AM
Wow, I fark at work, but I don't have a job where other people rely on my for their lives.

Way to go, failmitter. Keep on making American healthcare the best in the world.
 
2013-03-26 09:43:12 AM

Elegy: Wow, I fark at work, but I don't have a job where other people rely on my for their lives.

Way to go, failmitter. Keep on making American healthcare the best in the world.


One assumes that IF the submitter isn't playing fast and loose with the truth just for a headline, he's on his third lunch break.  Regardless, THAT is what you take away from the headline?

/taps Sarcasm Meter.
//Narrows eyes at it.
///taps again.
 
2013-03-26 09:47:13 AM
doglover: "They decreased the hours without decreasing the workload or increasing the staff."

This.
 
2013-03-26 09:49:01 AM
I worked for a group of cardiac surgeons in college. I once brought this subject to one of them and he said that decreasing the shift hours would lead to higher error rates. He gave a bunch of reasons that I don't remember. That was...almost 15 years ago? Granted, the man was a MIT undergrad /Columbia med school grad, but these people shouldn't act so surprised when the data supports what people in the field already know.
 
2013-03-26 09:53:30 AM

LowbrowDeluxe: Elegy: Wow, I fark at work, but I don't have a job where other people rely on my for their lives.

Way to go, failmitter. Keep on making American healthcare the best in the world.

One assumes that IF the submitter isn't playing fast and loose with the truth just for a headline, he's on his third lunch break.  Regardless, THAT is what you take away from the headline?

/taps Sarcasm Meter.
//Narrows eyes at it.
///taps again.


Three lunch breaks? No wonder healthcare is so expensive, with so many shifty layabouts! I only get one!

/tap that thing a few more times
//definitely not working properly
 
2013-03-26 09:53:32 AM
Wouldn't the real solution be to increase the number of medical students going through the system and increase the number of residency slots?
 
2013-03-26 09:56:56 AM
BS. This is old fashioned resistance to change..and refusing to schedule enough people to make up for 16 hour shifts as opposed to 30 hour ones, in a deliberate effort to sabotage the change.
 
2013-03-26 10:02:45 AM

acohn: Wouldn't the real solution be to increase the number of medical students going through the system and increase the number of residency slots?


How do you do this? Doctors up and coming now know they will be paid less, work more hours, have much more regulation, much fewer choices because the government is taking over health care. They won't be able to make a living and pay off their huge debts taking on the increasing number of medicare patients, government has seen to that. Private practice? Ha!

Where is the incentive to become a doctor now? Government takes over, the whole thing goes into turbo bureaucracy mode.
 
2013-03-26 10:06:25 AM

acohn: Wouldn't the real solution be to increase the number of medical students going through the system and increase the number of residency slots?


Good luck finding applicants.
 
2013-03-26 10:12:14 AM
Great system I read about by a doctor here in VT a while back.

You hire him on retainer. You pay him something like $5,000 bucks a year and he is on call, your own personal doctor, even making house calls. He got tired of the red tape and the government BS. Heck, get 50-100 patients like that, and you are rolling in dough, and people get great care at a reasonable cost.

Why can't we just pay doctors ourselves for a little individual service? My wait times to see my primary care doctor now are as much as to see a specialist. He says too many patients, not enough doctors, simple as that. I don't think many liberals understand how bad Obamacare is going to be for the doctor-patient relationship, and how much our care will be directed towards government run health clinics instead of your family doctor. Sucks. And, it will still cost much, much more per person.
 
2013-03-26 10:17:15 AM
doglover:

i.chzbgr.com


/sorry... I read that in his voice...
 
2013-03-26 10:17:53 AM
Well, if you RTFA, the methodology is that they sent out surveys and are counting this self-reporting as data. In other words,  the entire "study" is based on BS.

I think if I was up for 30 hours straight and you asked me how many mistakes I had made, I wouldn't remember making many either... Even if I'd amputated the wrong leg and fed someone drugs they're allergic to. Sleep deprivation will do that. Also, I love how they think 16 hour days are A-OK. You know, in nearly every other profession in the world, 8 hour shifts are normal? 10 hours/4 days maybe. But 16 hours? Sorry, the hours are still very long.

In any case, they haven't proven anything, except that they are willing to use self-reporting as evidence against cutting hours.
 
2013-03-26 10:20:54 AM
On 30+ hr call this weekend. The comments about same amount of work with less time are absolutely correct. The other side of the coin is the method of regulation. We get a yearly survey where we're asked if we're going over our hours. If you say yes then tour program gets put on probation or suspended, which in turn means you don't have a job and there's no way to get a new one until July.

We are repeatedly threatened with being fired if we log our work hours truthfully. Hell, my PD threatened to fire me because the logging system glitched once and counted me twice for a day.

And the dude biatching about farking on call can suck it.

/every day I wonder why I did this to myself
//don't go to med school
 
2013-03-26 10:23:25 AM

incrdbil: BS. This is old fashioned resistance to change..and refusing to schedule enough people to make up for 16 hour shifts as opposed to 30 hour ones, in a deliberate effort to sabotage the change.


I do suspect that we've got some "they should suffer like I did" going on here.

And to anyone who doubts this is a thing: right now there are rules forbidding being absent more than two weeks per year in the last two years of certain residencies, even to take FMLA leave. A woman spoke up at a meeting about changing it to four weeks per two years so that it could be taken in one block, solving the problem of no maternity leave. This is a very touchy subject, because unless you plan ahead and start a family in undergrad or med school, there's really no opportunity again in this program until you're old enough to be running a lot of risks.

The ones who spoke out most vocally against it were the old childless female surgeons, saying that they shouldn't get special treatment just because they're having babies. Nevermind that that change would apply to everyone, so you could choose four weeks in Tahiti instead of at home with a baby.
 
2013-03-26 10:38:28 AM

MacDole: On 30+ hr call this weekend. The comments about same amount of work with less time are absolutely correct. The other side of the coin is the method of regulation. We get a yearly survey where we're asked if we're going over our hours. If you say yes then tour program gets put on probation or suspended, which in turn means you don't have a job and there's no way to get a new one until July.

We are repeatedly threatened with being fired if we log our work hours truthfully. Hell, my PD threatened to fire me because the logging system glitched once and counted me twice for a day.

And the dude biatching about farking on call can suck it.

/every day I wonder why I did this to myself
//don't go to med school


Because frankly, you are a better human being than almost all of us.
 
2013-03-26 10:45:32 AM
As I understand, my wife was in one of the last 'classes' of Med students in Massachusetts to work the super long hours (80+ hours per week).  We calculated she could have made more money working at McDonalds at for the # of hours she worked.

Thunderpipes: acohn: Wouldn't the real solution be to increase the number of medical students going through the system and increase the number of residency slots?

How do you do this? Doctors up and coming now know they will be paid less, work more hours, have much more regulation, much fewer choices because the government is taking over health care. They won't be able to make a living and pay off their huge debts taking on the increasing number of medicare patients, government has seen to that. Private practice? Ha!

Where is the incentive to become a doctor now? Government takes over, the whole thing goes into turbo bureaucracy mode.


Upon graduating my wife started to work at a family practice run by a hospital. They wanted her to see 35 patients a day to break even (more is better). If you went on vacation or were out for a day, they wanted you to make up those patients.  She left after a year or so and went to work in college health. She's now helping out starting a new med school for the college.  No way in hell she'd ever go back to a regular practice.
 
2013-03-26 10:47:55 AM
How are these shifts even possible in the first place? I've never understood that. Is "sleep" for an intern that thing that happens just before you bump into a wall as you're walking?
 
2013-03-26 10:48:38 AM
Are we so short on Dr.'s that we need to work them 30hours straight?
Are they working in an active war zone were the wounded are coming in by the 1000's?
I know nothing about the world of medical doctors so I really don't understand this mentality.  If any corporation worked anyone in any other field for that long without rest, they would have Union reps crawling so far up their butts they would taste the lawyers.  Especially if those people where making life and death decisions.  I know at NASA Dryden, where they do a lot of flight tests, they lose pilots every once in a while to dumb mistakes, so they take safety VERY seriously.  It didn't matter if you are the janitor or a flight mechanic. If you have been at work for more then 10 hours they send you home as a safety violation. I was working on something once and had lost track of time when my boss come into my cube, "Hey Chango,  You need to get out of here in the next 5 minutes or I will have to write you up.  I hate paperwork, so shut it down and go home."
 
2013-03-26 10:59:42 AM
I remember (three decades ago) finally getting to lay down and catch some zz before I had to give a comprehensive report on the night's admissions to my obnoxious and unforgiving attending. Terrified of the inevitable grilling and reminder that I should've/could've done more, I finally closed my eyes (Miles' "Birth of the Cool" playing in the background helps immensely).

Less than 30 minutes later my beeper goes off. I scramble to the phone and call the number. It's the night shift nurse, barely intelligible. "I wanted to let you know about Mr. Smith's urinalysis. It has 0-2 white blood cells in it."
...Why are you calling me about that?... "Isn't it infected?"...No. That's acceptable, and it could've waited until morning, right?..."

And then I lay there for the next hour, raging at the thoughtlessness of the people that were simply working 8 hours and would then go home to a nice breakfast and a sunny day.

But more than once, I answered that page and gave medical advice - and didn't have any memory of it the next morning.
 
2013-03-26 11:00:45 AM

Thunderpipes: acohn: Wouldn't the real solution be to increase the number of medical students going through the system and increase the number of residency slots?

How do you do this? Doctors up and coming now know they will be paid less, work more hours, have much more regulation, much fewer choices because the government is taking over health care. They won't be able to make a living and pay off their huge debts taking on the increasing number of medicare patients, government has seen to that. Private practice? Ha!

Where is the incentive to become a doctor now? Government takes over, the whole thing goes into turbo bureaucracy mode.


Bring back the draft.
 
2013-03-26 11:01:56 AM

MacDole: On 30+ hr call this weekend. The comments about same amount of work with less time are absolutely correct. The other side of the coin is the method of regulation. We get a yearly survey where we're asked if we're going over our hours. If you say yes then tour program gets put on probation or suspended, which in turn means you don't have a job and there's no way to get a new one until July.

We are repeatedly threatened with being fired if we log our work hours truthfully. Hell, my PD threatened to fire me because the logging system glitched once and counted me twice for a day.

And the dude biatching about farking on call can suck it.

/every day I wonder why I did this to myself
//don't go to med school


Protip: when on call, I slept in the spare bed in the ICU.
That way, the team there knew when they should/shouldn't bug me. It helped a lot.
(Of course, the team on the floors still rang me up, but they're usually less worrisome calls.)
 
2013-03-26 11:10:49 AM
In-farking-sane.

If I was on 16 hours I'd be demanding some changes much less 30. But, hey, we have to keep Health Care Inc. profitable.
 
2013-03-26 11:16:08 AM

doglover: It's not ironic, it's irresponsible.

They decreased the hours without decreasing the workload or increasing the staff. All they did was make it 17 hours of double time instead of 30 hours of normal pace.


Bingo!

I'm an intern. Last month, using one day that sticks in my head, we had 15 patients for 2 junior residents. The meeting to hand over the service from the night call to the day shift is at 7. We start rounds at 9, and you have to have all your notes done by then.

So, I had 8 patients, the second year resident had 7. We finished sign out at 730, so you have 90 minutes to see 8 patients and write their notes, along with managing their care. Our notes are two pages of text. That's just under six minutes a page to write them, if that were all you had to do.

A good, thorough interval history and exam takes ten to fifteen minutes. Make it one of my patients with COPD, heart failure, diabetes and an opiate habit (yeah, I'm thinking of a specific guy) and it really should be thirty to go over everything.

So, what's the score? 8 patients in ninety minutes, 11 minutes and 15 seconds apiece. Kill 45 of that with a quick exam and interval history, then you're stuck writing your notes in less than 6 minutes each. That doesn't include the hassle of digging up the lab work, finding out anything else nursing needs to relay, talking with the family...

The hour limit is nice. Problem is, the number of residents hasn't increased to match it.
 
2013-03-26 11:20:41 AM

basemetal: acohn: Wouldn't the real solution be to increase the number of medical students going through the system and increase the number of residency slots?

Good luck finding applicants.


There are plenty of people who are out of work who would be willing to apply for the job if only we cut their lifelong tie to food stamps.
 
2013-03-26 11:22:20 AM

Thunderpipes: Where is the incentive to become a doctor now


The desire to take care of people, the only reason anyone should be a doctor, period.
 
2013-03-26 11:22:47 AM

MonoChango: Are we so short on Dr.'s that we need to work them 30hours straight?
Are they working in an active war zone were the wounded are coming in by the 1000's?
I know nothing about the world of medical doctors so I really don't understand this mentality.  If any corporation worked anyone in any other field for that long without rest, they would have Union reps crawling so far up their butts they would taste the lawyers.  Especially if those people where making life and death decisions.  I know at NASA Dryden, where they do a lot of flight tests, they lose pilots every once in a while to dumb mistakes, so they take safety VERY seriously.  It didn't matter if you are the janitor or a flight mechanic. If you have been at work for more then 10 hours they send you home as a safety violation. I was working on something once and had lost track of time when my boss come into my cube, "Hey Chango,  You need to get out of here in the next 5 minutes or I will have to write you up.  I hate paperwork, so shut it down and go home."


A doctor explained this to me.  When you are dealing with someone who has to be hospitalized, it is very important to have someone there to monitor his changes.  One person over 30 hours can notice more than 10 people every 3 hours.  And that really does make sense.  This is especially true int he first 24 hours of treatment.
 
2013-03-26 11:23:40 AM

basemetal: Good luck finding applicants.


There are currently way more people applying to medical schools than there are available slots. There's no shortage of people to fill the slots if you create them.
 
2013-03-26 11:25:40 AM
All the way back in 2010, I was attending  my high school's system wide, annual Career Fair. Amidst the 50+ reps were military recruiters, bankers, industrial tradesmen, IT guys, and engineering kiosks, there were several booths representing a few of the different medical fields. Only a few kids visited these, and no one stayed very long. The word was out that medicine meant crap pay, high risk and responsibility, and a soul-crushing work schedule.

I walked by the medical booths near the end of the fair. Looked like med reps couldn't even give away their free pens. I felt kinda sorry for the reps. They looked so sad.

[/CSB]
 
2013-03-26 11:26:09 AM

halB: it is very important to have someone there to monitor his changes.


except most of that monitoring is done by nurses.
 
2013-03-26 11:26:54 AM

MacDole: On 30+ hr call this weekend. The comments about same amount of work with less time are absolutely correct. The other side of the coin is the method of regulation. We get a yearly survey where we're asked if we're going over our hours. If you say yes then tour program gets put on probation or suspended, which in turn means you don't have a job and there's no way to get a new one until July.

We are repeatedly threatened with being fired if we log our work hours truthfully. Hell, my PD threatened to fire me because the logging system glitched once and counted me twice for a day.

And the dude biatching about farking on call can suck it.

/every day I wonder why I did this to myself
//don't go to med school


Seconded here.

We're capped at 80, but it's a rare week I don't crack my head on 95-100 if I'm on the inpatient service.

That doesn't count the games most programs play. Yeah, you're on call from 5p-9am, but you're not leaving until rounds are over. Rounds over at 3p? Tough. You can log 16, despite working 22. Got clinic? We'll work you from 6-3, then your call is at 7 for another 16.

$47k a year, to work 4,000 hours a year (80x50). I'm making $11.75 an hour before taxes. I made $19 an hour working construction- and I could actually get time off.
 
2013-03-26 11:27:27 AM

WhyteRaven74: Thunderpipes: Where is the incentive to become a doctor now

The desire to take care of people, the only reason anyone should be a doctor, period.


You can go be a poor man your entire life with crushing debt if you want.  Good luck finding people willing to take that one soon.
 
2013-03-26 11:28:04 AM

WhyteRaven74: Thunderpipes: Where is the incentive to become a doctor now

The desire to take care of people, the only reason anyone should be a doctor, period.


And the only reason that people should become teachers is their desire to help kids.

So their salaries would be the first on the chopping block come a budget crisis.
 
2013-03-26 11:29:15 AM

acohn: Wouldn't the real solution be to increase the number of medical students going through the system and increase the number of residency slots?


No. There are too many reasons why this would never work to go into detail. The first one is that we are churning out slightly more MDs than we really need now and still we have areas that are medically underserved.

I think the comments by the residents here echo the idea that having the same workload in fewer hours is the issue. When I worked in the hospital, nurses and therapists had difficulty with hand-offs at shift changes. Residents have a lot more information to convey so errors are inevitable.
 
2013-03-26 11:32:14 AM

Sword and Shield: MacDole: On 30+ hr call this weekend. The comments about same amount of work with less time are absolutely correct. The other side of the coin is the method of regulation. We get a yearly survey where we're asked if we're going over our hours. If you say yes then tour program gets put on probation or suspended, which in turn means you don't have a job and there's no way to get a new one until July.

We are repeatedly threatened with being fired if we log our work hours truthfully. Hell, my PD threatened to fire me because the logging system glitched once and counted me twice for a day.

And the dude biatching about farking on call can suck it.

/every day I wonder why I did this to myself
//don't go to med school

Seconded here.

We're capped at 80, but it's a rare week I don't crack my head on 95-100 if I'm on the inpatient service.

That doesn't count the games most programs play. Yeah, you're on call from 5p-9am, but you're not leaving until rounds are over. Rounds over at 3p? Tough. You can log 16, despite working 22. Got clinic? We'll work you from 6-3, then your call is at 7 for another 16.

$47k a year, to work 4,000 hours a year (80x50). I'm making $11.75 an hour before taxes. I made $19 an hour working construction- and I could actually get time off.


Would either of you advise a young person to go into med school?
 
2013-03-26 11:35:09 AM

Smeggy Smurf: Good luck finding people willing to take that one soon.


Easy fix, just provide better funding for medical schools so no one gets into debt going to medical school.
 
2013-03-26 11:36:32 AM

Arcangela: I worked for a group of cardiac surgeons in college. I once brought this subject to one of them and he said that decreasing the shift hours would lead to higher error rates. He gave a bunch of reasons that I don't remember. That was...almost 15 years ago? Granted, the man was a MIT undergrad /Columbia med school grad, but these people shouldn't act so surprised when the data supports what people in the field already know.


Mostly it would have been about how whippersnappers don't know how easy they have it now, why, when I was in med school I did a triple bypass after being up on bennies for two weeks. That's how you make REAL doctors.
 
2013-03-26 11:41:23 AM

basemetal: Sword and Shield: MacDole: On 30+ hr call this weekend. The comments about same amount of work with less time are absolutely correct. The other side of the coin is the method of regulation. We get a yearly survey where we're asked if we're going over our hours. If you say yes then tour program gets put on probation or suspended, which in turn means you don't have a job and there's no way to get a new one until July.

We are repeatedly threatened with being fired if we log our work hours truthfully. Hell, my PD threatened to fire me because the logging system glitched once and counted me twice for a day.

And the dude biatching about farking on call can suck it.

/every day I wonder why I did this to myself
//don't go to med school

Seconded here.

We're capped at 80, but it's a rare week I don't crack my head on 95-100 if I'm on the inpatient service.

That doesn't count the games most programs play. Yeah, you're on call from 5p-9am, but you're not leaving until rounds are over. Rounds over at 3p? Tough. You can log 16, despite working 22. Got clinic? We'll work you from 6-3, then your call is at 7 for another 16.

$47k a year, to work 4,000 hours a year (80x50). I'm making $11.75 an hour before taxes. I made $19 an hour working construction- and I could actually get time off.

Would either of you advise a young person to go into med school?


Hmm.

If it's what you want to do, if you've a burning desire to help people, then yes. Problem is, I've a few coworkers who are in it for the cash. Those are the ones to avoid.

Would I do it again? Maybe. I'd have to reassess- I might have gone health-related but not MD. The new regulations coming through seem stacked against us- more and more work for less pay, or more stress.
 
2013-03-26 11:41:41 AM
Subby missed a comma.  So much for error-free.
 
2013-03-26 11:42:24 AM

Thunderpipes: acohn: Wouldn't the real solution be to increase the number of medical students going through the system and increase the number of residency slots?

How do you do this? Doctors up and coming now know they will be paid less, work more hours, have much more regulation, much fewer choices because the government is taking over health care. They won't be able to make a living and pay off their huge debts taking on the increasing number of medicare patients, government has seen to that. Private practice? Ha!

Where is the incentive to become a doctor now? Government takes over, the whole thing goes into turbo bureaucracy mode.


You do this by increasing the number of medical students going through the system and increasing the number of residency slots.

The reality is that there are more people who want to be doctors than slots in medical schools and residency programs.  Fixing that is the first step.

The second step is government paid medical education for general practitioners and underrepresented specialties.  No school debt.

The third step is a national health system, all doctors are paid by the government.  The education is free, and employment once you complete school is guaranteed.  THEN you go back to limiting the slots to the number of doctors we need.
 
2013-03-26 12:00:59 PM

xanadian: "It could be the interns are required to do the same amount of work in less time."

You don't say.


As someone working 20% fewer hours than the person who had the job before me, getting a kick, etc.

/split position so I'm still full time
//still stupid since that's the higher paying of the two jobs I work here
 
2013-03-26 12:01:03 PM
I've never understood why it's even remotely acceptable to have interns regularly work those kind of hours. Hell, my job takes a whole lot less attention to detail, and DOT regs limit me to 14 hours a day. Considering how tired I am after working that long, the idea of receiving medical attention from someone who's been on the clock for twice that long is farking terrifying.
 
2013-03-26 12:04:14 PM

doglover: It's not ironic, it's irresponsible.

They decreased the hours without decreasing the workload or increasing the staff. All they did was make it 17 hours of double time instead of 30 hours of normal pace.


Or they scheduled the shifts closer together.

I do agree it's a matter of asking too much of them.

incrdbil: BS. This is old fashioned resistance to change..and refusing to schedule enough people to make up for 16 hour shifts as opposed to 30 hour ones, in a deliberate effort to sabotage the change.


I don't believe it's sabotage.  They're not trying to scuttle it, they're just trying to get as much work out of the interns as possible.

MacDole: On 30+ hr call this weekend. The comments about same amount of work with less time are absolutely correct. The other side of the coin is the method of regulation. We get a yearly survey where we're asked if we're going over our hours. If you say yes then tour program gets put on probation or suspended, which in turn means you don't have a job and there's no way to get a new one until July.

We are repeatedly threatened with being fired if we log our work hours truthfully. Hell, my PD threatened to fire me because the logging system glitched once and counted me twice for a day.

And the dude biatching about farking on call can suck it.

/every day I wonder why I did this to myself
//don't go to med school


If you live in a one-party state record it.  When your time is over send the tapes to the regulators.
 
2013-03-26 12:10:34 PM
I have a high school buddy who is a doctor. All he could do while working as an intern was complain about how us "regular" guys were making more per hour and working half as many hours per year.

Now he lives in a million dollar mansion, drives an Audi S6, has a 28 year old trophy wife and regularly vacations in Hawaii and Aruba.

He paid his dues, he worked hard, he gets the rewards. I don't have a problem with that.
 
rka
2013-03-26 12:17:38 PM

Sword and Shield: he new regulations coming through seem stacked against us- more and more work for less pay, or more stress.


Welcome to damn near every job in the world.
 
2013-03-26 12:19:20 PM
basemetal:  Would either of you advise a young person to go into med school?

I graduated med school in 2000 so I experienced those 36 hour shifts, call every third night, the occasional half day off a week.  Now I am fully trained life is a little easier, at least timewise.  I enjoy what I do, I make decent money and I get a reasonable amount of time off. I do have to work long days (today will be a 15 hour day for example.)

If I were starting over today, I don't think I would go into medicine again.  The bureaucracy is increasing.  Every month or so there is some new requirement for getting paid or staying licensed.  The reimbursement is going down (some primary care specialties just a bit of bump, but that will not be an ongoing thing).  There are many other fields that someone who can handle the workload and intellectual stress of the medical field can go into that will provide much higher earning potential and a better lifestyle.  You might not have the same degree of satisfaction of helping people, but YMMV.

Seriously consider what you want to do before committing yourself to 10 years of slog and debt building.
 
2013-03-26 12:23:15 PM
One thing we could do that other nations have done is get rid of the idea that you need a four year degree before you even start medical school. That would help with the debt load.

It's not like you get to skip A&P in med school because you took college Zoology as part of getting your four year degree.
 
2013-03-26 12:25:28 PM

spigi: basemetal:  Would either of you advise a young person to go into med school?

I graduated med school in 2000 so I experienced those 36 hour shifts, call every third night, the occasional half day off a week.  Now I am fully trained life is a little easier, at least timewise.  I enjoy what I do, I make decent money and I get a reasonable amount of time off. I do have to work long days (today will be a 15 hour day for example.)

If I were starting over today, I don't think I would go into medicine again.  The bureaucracy is increasing.  Every month or so there is some new requirement for getting paid or staying licensed.  The reimbursement is going down (some primary care specialties just a bit of bump, but that will not be an ongoing thing).  There are many other fields that someone who can handle the workload and intellectual stress of the medical field can go into that will provide much higher earning potential and a better lifestyle.  You might not have the same degree of satisfaction of helping people, but YMMV.

Seriously consider what you want to do before committing yourself to 10 years of slog and debt building.


Or maybe we could change the education process so as you don't go so far into debt studying a necessary vocation.
 
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