Sunday, July 4, 2010

Are you working on Independence Day?

Happy 4th of July! If you work in a hospital, maybe you're working today. I've been there. In fact, we've all been there. Whether it was as a medical student, intern, resident, or attending, we've all had to sacrifice holidays and weekends for work. How many holidays have you worked this year?

What's one of the key reasons why physicians choose to leave a career in medicine? To spend more time with family and to spend less time working, even at the expense of making less money. It's true. Physicians are burning out and they want to have more time for themselves.

Switching to a non-clinical career does not guarantee that you'll work less and have more free time.  In fact, in many circumstances you'll be working more. However, you're more likely to have your evenings, weekends, and holidays to yourself. There are a few exceptions to this:
  • If you spend a lot of time traveling for work, then you may spend even less time with your family compared to your clinical days.
  • Working internationally? Don't expect to have your "standard" holidays off like your U.S. counterparts.
  • Consulting or working on deadline-driven projects? Those deadlines may not care about weekends or holidays. You'll just need to get the work done.
I work in a small company and this holiday weekend, our office was closed on Friday and Monday so that we could all celebrate the 4th of July. I know that many people leveraged the long weekend to get away and relax.  Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

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