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You’re finally approaching the end of your residency! After slaving over hundreds of patients on the wards, taking calls, and sleeping very little, it’s your chance to escape and practice medicine “for real.” But wait, where do you go now? Have you thought about what life after residency means to you? What kind of job are you looking for as a physician?
It’s all about lifestyle
When it comes to your life in medicine, for most specialties, you’ll have a wide choice of where and how you practice medicine. There are many choices available, and each has it’s own unique pros and cons.
Academics. We’ve all been there. University or teaching hospital based work is interesting and challenging as well. You’ll get to continually hone your diagnostic skills as well as teaching and probably research as well. You’ll get the perks of being called faculty, and all the responsibilities that come along with it. Just picture yourself as your last attending and ask yourself if you could do that job.
Private Practice. You’ll get to be your own boss! Or join a group of other physicians in an office setting to take care of patients. Running your own office can be fun, rewarding, and sometime lucrative. Your practice of medicine will be your own style.
Community Clinic. As residents we have rotated thru numerous free clinics and low income clinics. There is a great sense of purpose here, and it allows one to practice medicine in a place where people truly need help. You’ll have the benefit of a group of physicians working together for the common good of patient care.
Locum Tenens. We all remember Doc Hollywood. As a locum physician, you’ll be asked to cover offices, clinics, hospitals for weeks to months at a time. This allows you to have great flexibility in your own lifestyle in terms of location and work area. You can use this to travel the country and experience life in areas of the country you might not normally live. Also, this may give you a taste of different practice styles of medicine that will allow you to decide what you want when you grow up!
For more on the subject, see the NEJM Jobs Article Differentiating Among Medical Practice Settings