Saturday, November 14, 2009

Do you "work" on the weekends?

Most physicians work on the weekends. You may not work every single weekend, but unless you're a dermatologist or pathologist (some of those specialties that have a great lifestyle), you can expect to work an occasional weekend here or there if you're a physician and you have direct-patient responsibilities. My wife is a primary care physician and she works a fair share of weekends. Fortunately, that primarily consists of answering a few phone calls during the day. Weekend work for physicians often involves visits to the hospital, rounding, cross-covering, etc.

Well, the world of non-clinical medicine may not be too different, depending on the career path you choose. There are some areas where you'll be working into the nights and weekends if you have project deadlines and last-minute deliverables. In the business side of medicine, you may be traveling on the weekends to meet clients. You may be checking your BlackBerry or other smartphone on the weekends. So, work often follows you into the weekends if you let that happen.

I blog on the weekends. Does that constitute "work" by your definition? Some people watch television or read fiction on the weekends. I blog because it's rewarding on different levels. However, I also try to make sure that I'm not neglecting the precious work-life balance since it's easy to get caught up with busy schedules.

If you'd like to have more freedom in your weekends, perhaps you may want to consider a hybrid approach: maintain some clinical responsibilities, but find non-clinical sources of income (health care administration, health IT, writing, etc.) so that you can balance your work schedule and have more flexibility with your life.

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