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physician climbers

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
 

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:27 pm

Z-Man wrote: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 specialize in emergency medicine and own a small locums tenens company. So I have the best of the best world - emergency medicine shift work and locums tenens contract work. I can work as much or as little as I desire.

I can take off a month when I want to go somehwere. In the summer I usually work only 12 hours a week, and in the winter, I work as much as 60-80 hours a week to make up the difference.

So to answer your question: I change my career trajectory seasonally to either work more or play more.

On the flip side of things.... I am almost 50 years old. I've got colleagues who are younger than me and who had put their nose to the grindstone (all work and no play). They are comfortably retired now, traveling all over the world, while I'm still looking at another 15 years before I can even begin to think about retirement.
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Postby Z-Man » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:12 am

Thanks Sierra, this is great info. I've met one doctor who gets paid, a little, to practice at a ski area, and several others who volunteer their time with search and rescue and/or ski patrol. Anybody here know any outdoors industry physician jobs, even part time or low-paying ones?
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Postby Apex » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:28 pm

That would be the dream... I'm not sure if this is possible, but maybe you could look to see if an expedition to someplace is in need of a physician? There must be a few out there.
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Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:50 pm

Layne Bracy wrote:
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


Dr Roper was my doc when I was a kid.
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Postby Z-Man » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:17 pm

Expeditions and many charitable groups, including the himalayan rescue association among others, work in mountianous areas which often include climbing opportunities, but I've never heard of any that pay. In fact, the majority require the participants, physicians included, to pay their own way.

I was thinking more of ski areas, wilderness medicine companies, guide outfits, anybody ever hear about that?
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Postby cp0915 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:39 pm

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.


What Guyzo said.
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Postby Apex » Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:22 am

I apologize for bringing up this thread again, but I am in need of some opinions. I am currently a senior in high school, and am thinking about entering into medical school. I love climbing, skiing, pretty much anything to do with the outdoors. School has changed quite a bit in the past years... but I was curious as to how you all (med student or physician) manage to balance your mountaineering/climbing life with medicine.

I like the idea of medicine, some of you have already stated that it can give alot of free time, depending on what path you choose, and how you work. I also like the fact that it pays well (with that pay, I could afford to climb a 8000er every year, not saying that I will, but its appealing :) )

However, that being said, I also do not really want to spend 12 years in school, and then be in debt after that.

Sorry if this sounds like a rant. I'm basically just looking for an opinion of how you manage your work/life balance now, and how you managed that when you were a med-student.
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Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:50 am

Apex,

What you do with your life over the next 10 years will determine the course of the rest of your life.

Consider the average annual income based on education:

Professional Degree.....$109,600
Doctoral Degree...........$89,400
Master's Degree...........$62,300
Bachelor's Degree........$52,200
Associate's Degree.......$38,200
Some College..............$36,800
High School Graduate...$30,400

So.... whaddya wanna do?

You can leave high school and be a climbing bum for the next 10-20 years and make $20,000 to $30,000 a year for the rest of your life........and then retire on Social Security in near poverty (if Social Security will even exist when you retire....)

Or you can put i some time NOW and go to college and get a degree and make $50,000 $60,000 a year and spend the rest of your life trying to juggle climbing and work and eventually retire somewhat comfortably.

Whaddya wanna do? What looks attractive to a 17 year old might not look the same to you when you're 55 years old working 16-hours a day at two shitty jobs as a cashier at a grocery store to make ends meet. And, of course, what makes the jobs even shittier is the realization that you can't just quit and move back in with mommy and daddy or just suddenly go out a get a better job because ALL YOU HAVE IS A HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION.

You've gotta PAY NOW or you'll PAY LATER. Whaddya wanna do?

The commitment to medicine will require between 12-16 years of your time after high school in order to complete your training and start practicing medicine. As a physician, how much time and free cash you have will dependent on your LIFESTYLE.

If you can control your lifestyle and spending habits, you won't have to work very much as a physician to do what you want to do. But the fact of the matter is that THE MORE YOU MAKE, THE MORE YOU SPEND. When you're making $100,000 a year you tend to take vacations in Cancun and Paris and buy that $50,000 Toyota SUV and get a hot high-maintenance girlfriend and a smoking hot high-maintenance mistress...

Control your spending impulses and as a physician you'll have plenty of time for climbing.

Apex wrote:I apologize for bringing up this thread again, but I am in need of some opinions. I am currently a senior in high school, and am thinking about entering into medical school. I love climbing, skiing, pretty much anything to do with the outdoors. School has changed quite a bit in the past years... but I was curious as to how you all (med student or physician) manage to balance your mountaineering/climbing life with medicine.

I like the idea of medicine, some of you have already stated that it can give alot of free time, depending on what path you choose, and how you work. I also like the fact that it pays well (with that pay, I could afford to climb a 8000er every year, not saying that I will, but its appealing :) )

However, that being said, I also do not really want to spend 12 years in school, and then be in debt after that.

Sorry if this sounds like a rant. I'm basically just looking for an opinion of how you manage your work/life balance now, and how you managed that when you were a med-student.
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Postby Layne Bracy » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:50 pm

Apex wrote:However, that being said, I also do not really want to spend 12 years in school ...


To break this down, you'll need
1)A bachelor's degree. Most will take 4 years, though in many universities 3 is realistic, and AP credit will help. You'll have to work hard and get good grades. However, if you choose the 4-yr route you'll find plenty of time to enjoy college and be successful, too.

2)A medical degree. Yes, count on 4 years here. While much of it is relentless, there are pockets of free-time. Summer between 1st and 2nd yr is generally at your discretion, and the 4th yr is typically pretty light. Between away rotations and time-off I managed to spend time in the US southwest/west, Israel, Galapagos, and Europe.

3)Residency. Can be as little as 3 years if you choose family medicine, pediatrics.....more for surgery or subspecialties. Note that you will be getting paid during this time; salaries are probably in the 40's now. Again, with my free-time and away rotations I was able to climb Whitney, Rainier, Adams, and Hood and visit Alaska, Montana, Ireland, New Zealand and Peru.

Apex wrote: and then be in debt after that.

There are various ways to manage this. If you do a high-paying specialty, the debt may not be that significant. Even if you want to do primary care, there are options, including the military and the National Health Service Corps. If you decide in advance, your med school can be paid in advance with a commitment to work an underserved area for an equal number of years. Alternatively, your loans can be reduced by a substantial amount for every year you work in an underserved area.

As an example, a doc in my clinic, who earns the same salary as the rest of us, is also getting $35K/yr knocked off his debt from the govt.
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Postby kiwiw » Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:42 pm

Layne Bracy wrote:
As an example, a doc in my clinic, who earns the same salary as the rest of us, is also getting $35K/yr knocked off his debt from the govt.

shit!!! how much was he in debt to begin with?
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Postby Apex » Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:51 pm

Thanks, that helps out considerably.
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Postby Apex » Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:56 pm

Sorry, forgot to ask, where did you all go to medical school? I'm looking into somewhere on the west coast, as there are no mountains out east it seems.
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