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physician climbers

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physician climbers

Postby skyward22 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:58 am

Any docs out there who are heavily into alpine climbing? Medical student really in need of advice here...
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Postby Tom Fralich » Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:14 am

Yes...check my profile. I did almost all the climbs on there during med school (or grad school)...I did the M.D./Ph.D. thing.

I'm an ER resident now...just about to head out the door for a weekend in the Sierras.

Tell me what you want to know.
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Postby peladoboton » Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:19 am

man, you ER residents get time off? i'm a family med resident, myself, and i get q2 for the next week or so on OB/GYN.....yee-haw :? .

to answer the thread, good on yer for being in med school and getting after some time in the hills, and lemme know what you need.
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Postby BigRob » Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:25 am

Keep to the task at hand.
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Postby Apex » Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:33 am

Great topic, I'm also interested in this aswell.
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Postby peladoboton » Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:58 pm

when i went to med school, for the first year i did nothing but study. by the beginning of my second year i was so burned out i could not see straight (and almost flunked neuroanatomy). one day i looked out the window from the library at the university of utah med school, saw the mountains, put down my books, and went for the most liberating run into the hills of my life. from that day on, every afternoon at 4:30 i gave myself 15-20 minutes to get as high into the hills as i could from the library. within a month i could gain 1000 feet of elevation, i had dropped 15 pounds (a change in the diet also was implemented, might i add), and i was happy again. nothing insane, just 30-45 minutes of trail running, sometimes in slacks, sometimes in scrubs, sometimes in jeans.

oh yeah, i got the best grades i had gotten thus far and started studying like mad for step 1.

not everybody's story, but it sure made a difference for me.
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Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:17 am

Yeah, what's the question?
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Postby Z-Man » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:14 am

Tom has done some awesome climbs on his travels. Unfortunately for us straight MD students I don't think its possible to afford those kind of trips unless you've got PhD or military support. It would seem that you're going to have to live near the climbing to afford the time and money to get out. Maybe I'm wrong here, anybody have anything to add to that thought?

I've got a question for physicians who have made a choice to follow a path that allows them more time for climbing. Do you ever see yourselves changing your career trajectory in the future to include more work and less play?

I personally feel torn between pursuing a medical career full-bore that would leave little time for climbing or pursuing a specialty like Emergency Medicine that would give much more freedom.

One of my previous careers was working on an ambulance and I gotta say I liked having three days off in a row every few days. At the same time one of the reasons I got out of that business was because I wanted more of an interpersonal experience in medicine and I don't feel punching a clock for a couple shifts a week provides that.

Anybody have any suggestions for how I can have my cake and eat it too? Work schedules that let me do the hobbies I am so attached to in specialties that will satisfy my desire for more substantial patient relationships?
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Postby Guyzo » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:26 am

peladoboton wrote:when i went to med school, for the first year i did nothing but study. by the beginning of my second year i was so burned out i could not see straight (and almost flunked neuroanatomy). one day i looked out the window from the library at the university of utah med school, saw the mountains, put down my books, and went for the most liberating run into the hills of my life. from that day on, every afternoon at 4:30 i gave myself 15-20 minutes to get as high into the hills as i could from the library. within a month i could gain 1000 feet of elevation, i had dropped 15 pounds (a change in the diet also was implemented, might i add), and i was happy again. nothing insane, just 30-45 minutes of trail running, sometimes in slacks, sometimes in scrubs, sometimes in jeans.

oh yeah, i got the best grades i had gotten thus far and started studying like mad for step 1.

not everybody's story, but it sure made a difference for me.


Great story, Thx :wink:
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Postby Woodie Hopper » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:50 pm

I'm a radiologist, so getting outside is important to me! I waited until I finished my residency and then moved to Colorado. Now I have to try to balance hiking and climbing with my family life.

Woodie
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Postby Layne Bracy » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:24 pm

Z-Man wrote:Anybody have any suggestions for how I can have my cake and eat it too? Work schedules that let me do the hobbies I am so attached to in specialties that will satisfy my desire for more substantial patient relationships?


Family medicine has worked well for me. 4-day work week plus 7 weeks off(4wks vacation, 2 wks holidays, 1 wk CME). Nowadays, the mountains get less of that free time due to family,church and scouting obligations; as Woodie says, it's a balance.

Not sure if you've heard of John Roper, but he's a Washington family doc. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone with a career who has spent more time in the mountains! See his website:

http://www.rhinoclimbs.com/index.html
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Postby Z-Man » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:19 am

I know the Rhino well, as well as several other physician climbers and skiers. I feel like the majority of them tend to lean substantially one way or the other either towards their career or their life outside their career.

How about specialties that allow a greater range of work schedules? Which specialties give more of a chance of working part-time, or which ones guarantee that you will not have any free time?
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Postby Apex » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:18 am

One of my friends is a hospitalist, and it seems to have alot of benefits. He basically is hired by other (regular) hospitalists who want a few days off, so he only works at the most 15 days a month, and even that is rare. He also gets to choose his own work days, so it is easy for him to set aside time for when he wants to go climbing (which he doesn't do, but as an example).
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Postby Layne Bracy » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:59 am

Z-Man, my recommendation is to pick a specialty you like, then pick a job with hours you like. Better than to pick a job for the hours and not enjoy it at all. That said, neuro-surgery may not lend itself well to part-time work! Probably, the surgical specialties are more committing in general.

Even in family med, you can have a job working 1-2 days a week or you can work 24/7; it's largely up to you. There are also jobs where you kill yourself for one week, then get three weeks off, repeat.

Another option to consider if you think you'd like to have huge blocks of time off is locum tenens. You can work 6 months a year and take 6 months off. (Or, 4/8, 9/3.) Balance time and money how you like.

Layne
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