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    Hey guys , recently it seems most of the doctors i see in the different dpt I'm rotated in seem tired , overworked and somewhat depressed. I'm wondering what specialties are considered fairly chill and not too stressful?. I used to think it was GP but i am reading more and more about how there workload is increasing and how its really actually more than a 9 to 5 commitment. Psych i also heard was fairly chill but i know someone who recently quit , he implied the reason was that he was kind of losing it a bit and that crazyness was rubbing of on him , i imagine it can;t be easy dealing with mentally unstable patients on a daily basis. Other things like derm and radio i hear are also fairly good but i would like to exclude them due to how highly competitive they are . so what accessible specialties are left that won;t want to make you pull your hair out at the end of the day?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hey guys , recently it seems most of the doctors i see in the different dpt I'm rotated in seem tired , overworked and somewhat depressed. I'm wondering what specialties are considered fairly chill and not too stressful?. I used to think it was GP but i am reading more and more about how there workload is increasing and how its really actually more than a 9 to 5 commitment. Psych i also heard was fairly chill but i know someone who recently quit , he implied the reason was that he was kind of losing it a bit and that crazyness was rubbing of on him , i imagine it can;t be easy dealing with mentally unstable patients on a daily basis. Other things like derm and radio i hear are also fairly good but i would like to exclude them due to how highly competitive they are . so what accessible specialties are left that won;t want to make you pull your hair out at the end of the day?
    Us (Neurology)

    Edited to add: not in terms of knowledge required, because we do need to know a fair bit. But this is in terms of training - working hours, training opportunities, ability to take time out, going to organised teaching, research opportunities etc. etc.
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    From a psych perspective the hours are much better than most specialities, but the patients can be really unwell/distressed/risky...so it evens it self out! I honestly believe that every speciality is going to bake your head eventually. Just choose the one that interests you the most and pray for retirement!
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    Probably GP and Psych would still have a better lifestyle than most other specialties.
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    Psych is best in terms of hours. Leaving late is rare. Workload in the day is light - time to chill and coffee.

    Specialty is quite diverse - community and inpatients. Rotations in very different specialities.

    It’s a good choice if u get frustrated with lack of time and like to talk and find out more about people.

    Stress in psych is prob different to the preconceptions. Services in uk are often not great and very fragmented. doctors are few. Often you have full clinics very quickly. Some significant stresses Eg a suicide and having to attending coroners court.

    I don’t think psych is dangerous for docs. I think the main prob is adjument - there are no quick fix. A lot of people with personality disorders with very traumatic histories. always feeling suicidal and asking for a quick fix and u have to say there is no. can be difficult if u as a doc if u have no psychological insight.

    You get taught a lot about psychology and supervision is very solid. There is a lot of support. Treated well as you are in short supply.

    Gp is actually extreme to very tough, u have 10 min appointments, you don’t have time to do it properly.

    But go with your interest. If u have none in an area it u might hate it.

    Xx
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hey guys , recently it seems most of the doctors i see in the different dpt I'm rotated in seem tired , overworked and somewhat depressed. I'm wondering what specialties are considered fairly chill and not too stressful?. I used to think it was GP but i am reading more and more about how there workload is increasing and how its really actually more than a 9 to 5 commitment. Psych i also heard was fairly chill but i know someone who recently quit , he implied the reason was that he was kind of losing it a bit and that crazyness was rubbing of on him , i imagine it can;t be easy dealing with mentally unstable patients on a daily basis. Other things like derm and radio i hear are also fairly good but i would like to exclude them due to how highly competitive they are . so what accessible specialties are left that won;t want to make you pull your hair out at the end of the day?
    It depends on what you find stressful. CAMHS, for example, has less hours and less patients. The workload is much less comparing even to adult psychiatry. Some find it extremely hard ging though becouse of the emotional toll of contantly dealing with consequences of child abuse and neglect, teenage suicides etc
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    Yea good point with GP only having limited time per patient , i can even sense the urgency in my GP when i go to see him , plus the added part of having no idea what problem is gonna walk through the door every 10 minutes can also be tough. A lot of people do seem to say just go with what you are interested in but i find the risk with that is its only natural to lose interest in something that you do for such a long time , not always but i think that does apply to most people, so it does seem more pragmatic to me to think about what will give you a more comfortable lifestyle in the long run. someone mentioned neurology too , i did actually enjoy studying it a lot but i do agree it is very tough when you get into the thick of it. any other neurologists who are satisfied in their field? , the reason i am skeptical about certain fields is because i just never hear anyone wanting to go into it , don;t think iv;e come across anyone studying with me who plans to be a neurologist,
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hey guys , recently it seems most of the doctors i see in the different dpt I'm rotated in seem tired , overworked and somewhat depressed. I'm wondering what specialties are considered fairly chill and not too stressful?. I used to think it was GP but i am reading more and more about how there workload is increasing and how its really actually more than a 9 to 5 commitment. Psych i also heard was fairly chill but i know someone who recently quit , he implied the reason was that he was kind of losing it a bit and that crazyness was rubbing of on him , i imagine it can;t be easy dealing with mentally unstable patients on a daily basis. Other things like derm and radio i hear are also fairly good but i would like to exclude them due to how highly competitive they are . so what accessible specialties are left that won;t want to make you pull your hair out at the end of the day?
    Perhaps they were just very good at disguising it, but in the four months I worked there I never met a miserable anaesthetist - either at junior or consultant level. What's your definition of chill? Anaesthetics is an acute specialty but assuming you're okay with that, maybe it's one to consider?
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    Perhaps they were just very good at disguising it, but in the four months I worked there I never met a miserable anaesthetist - either at junior or consultant level. What's your definition of chill? Anaesthetics is an acute specialty but assuming you're okay with that, maybe it's one to consider?
    I am utterly biased. But anaesthetics is THE speciality. One on one care, everything from kiddy to geriatric, simple to complex pathophysiology, in depth pharmacology and physiology knowledge. Sub specialities in paediatrics, neuro, cardiac. Duel qualifications in ICU or pre-hospital med (suiting the geeks and the adrenaline junkies). You have a flunky (me) to make you coffee, heat your food, get you a paper, entertain you with gossip. You get to see surgeries in a whole host of specialities (so get to see a vast array of pathologies) and they all have an array of complications for anaesthesia which you get to contend with.

    And if you have a thirst for money and private practice....there is always pain medicine. Private pain clinics....might as well just print your own money.

    It is a highly practical speciality, lots of anatomy and physiology and pharmacology...and god help us, physics. Particularly as a reg you will be holding the trauma bleep, you get called to everything fun around the hospital and in A and E....and when you turn up, everyone turns to look at you. (I wish I was exaggerating this, but I have been to enough arrests, polytraumas, burns cases with my gasser to see it in action). The anaesthetist ends up running the show. So if you like that sort of thing...

    I think you can guess where I am planning on ending up.
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    Perhaps they were just very good at disguising it, but in the four months I worked there I never met a miserable anaesthetist - either at junior or consultant level. What's your definition of chill? Anaesthetics is an acute specialty but assuming you're okay with that, maybe it's one to consider?
    I think most of us are pretty happy, or if not it's more for management reasons than the clinical work (though there's some whinging about the amount of obs/ICU on-call we have to do!) I love it, and am very happy with my choice.

    However, it's definitely never going to be 9-5. There will be a fair amount of out-of-hours working right through training, and with NELA etc it is more and more common for consultants to be coming in on their nights on-call (the ones I've asked estimated they came in 1/3-1/2 of the time, and once they're in it's often for several hours). In fact some places are appointing new consultants to resident on-call rotas. This is fine with me because I enjoy it, and it's definitely possible to fit some kind of work-life balance around the job, but if you're looking for a nice 9-5, it's never going to be it.
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    At the risk of making enemies...

    I think psych is #1 in terms of work life balance by a fair margin. It has its own stresses as mentioned including personal risk but in my experience... the day to day work is seriously light. Someone mentioned full clinics - sure, but you get like 60-90 mins per patient and a DNA rate of about 40%. A friend who is ST1 gets 1 day of protected local teaching time per week in addition to the actual mandatory regional stuff. If you can put up with the patients its bliss.

    GP is busy and getting more busy but honestly i still don't think it compares to ward work. Dealing with patients 1 by 1 is just so much less stressful than having a jobs list of 15 urgent tasks and still getting bleeped left right and centre.

    I'd also put anaesthetics up there. Some out of hours and **** your pants moments, but also lots of chill time and plenty of ability to go part time if desired.

    Part time work in general may be what you're after.

    There are some others but they tend to be competitive or having to go through CMT hell. Microbiology, GUM etc.
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    Quick question. I believe you can dual specialise in EM and anaesthetics. How long does this take roughly and do you learn both simultaneously (e.g. 6 months here, 6 months there) or do you complete a training pathway first and then do another one?

    Also, I believe both specialities can go and do PHEM, is that correct?

    Sorry to derail the conversation, especially with regards to relaxed specialities haha!
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    (Original post by Marathi)
    Quick question. I believe you can dual specialise in EM and anaesthetics. How long does this take roughly and do you learn both simultaneously (e.g. 6 months here, 6 months there) or do you complete a training pathway first and then do another one?

    Also, I believe both specialities can go and do PHEM, is that correct?

    Sorry to derail the conversation, especially with regards to relaxed specialities haha!
    I thought EM and anaesthetics could dual CCT with PHEM or ICM, but not with eachother. Where did you read this? And it takes 8.5 years iirc.

    With regards to dual specialising in EM and ICM, you can find out more here:

    https://www.ficm.ac.uk/faqs/dual-ccts-queries

    As an aside, I believe dual CCT-ing in EM/acute med and ICM is a lot more competitive than going via the anaesthetics route.
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    (Original post by lyra1987)
    I am utterly biased. But anaesthetics is THE speciality. One on one care, everything from kiddy to geriatric, simple to complex pathophysiology, in depth pharmacology and physiology knowledge. Sub specialities in paediatrics, neuro, cardiac. Duel qualifications in ICU or pre-hospital med (suiting the geeks and the adrenaline junkies). You have a flunky (me) to make you coffee, heat your food, get you a paper, entertain you with gossip. You get to see surgeries in a whole host of specialities (so get to see a vast array of pathologies) and they all have an array of complications for anaesthesia which you get to contend with.

    And if you have a thirst for money and private practice....there is always pain medicine. Private pain clinics....might as well just print your own money.

    It is a highly practical speciality, lots of anatomy and physiology and pharmacology...and god help us, physics. Particularly as a reg you will be holding the trauma bleep, you get called to everything fun around the hospital and in A and E....and when you turn up, everyone turns to look at you. (I wish I was exaggerating this, but I have been to enough arrests, polytraumas, burns cases with my gasser to see it in action). The anaesthetist ends up running the show. So if you like that sort of thing...

    I think you can guess where I am planning on ending up.
    These last few years of medical school I have been thinking more and more serious about anaesthetics and between elective and SSCs I've managed to spend roughly 2 and a half months rotating around through the specialty.

    I really enjoyed it for the most part but I found that things get quite repetitive, especially since I'd like to do very little ICU.

    The other thing I've found was that through training and even as a consultant, you have to do quite a lot of on-calls and you work long hours. A lot of the trainees I talked to seemed to be tired and sleep deprived. I know that's the case with lots of other specialties but it's something that stood out. The fact that in 2 months I've also attended 2 audit days were one of the main subjects was "How to spot exhaustion" and "How to safely practice when you are tired" didn't really help the matter.

    Having said all of that, I'm still considering it as a career choice because it was loads of fun!

    Edit: To not be completely off-topic, I also got to spend 6 weeks in Radiology in a tertiary hospital and the atmosphere was very relaxed (or chill, as OP put it). Quite competitive to get into but once you made it past training, there's a national shortage so you will be able to get jobs quite easily in most places. Worth mentioning that I found it really interesting as well, especially the interventional side of things.
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    Histopathology - no on calls, only occasional weekends, training is basically just one-to-one teaching. And it's not that competitive.
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    (Original post by Wolfy^)
    These last few years of medical school I have been thinking more and more serious about anaesthetics and between elective and SSCs I've managed to spend roughly 2 and a half months rotating around through the specialty.

    I really enjoyed it for the most part but I found that things get quite repetitive, especially since I'd like to do very little ICU.

    The other thing I've found was that through training and even as a consultant, you have to do quite a lot of on-calls and you work long hours. A lot of the trainees I talked to seemed to be tired and sleep deprived. I know that's the case with lots of other specialties but it's something that stood out. The fact that in 2 months I've also attended 2 audit days were one of the main subjects was "How to spot exhaustion" and "How to safely practice when you are tired" didn't really help the matter.

    Having said all of that, I'm still considering it as a career choice because it was loads of fun!

    Edit: To not be completely off-topic, I also got to spend 6 weeks in Radiology in a tertiary hospital and the atmosphere was very relaxed (or chill, as OP put it). Quite competitive to get into but once you made it past training, there's a national shortage so you will be able to get jobs quite easily in most places. Worth mentioning that I found it really interesting as well, especially the interventional side of things.
    This second part is important. Do something you enjoy and it'll be easy for you. For me personally anaesthetics was just repeatedly following protocols for the same things over and over again. I prefer a more intellectually challenging speciality personally.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I prefer a more intellectually challenging speciality personally.
    Try telling that to someone revising for the FRCA.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    ...someone mentioned neurology too , i did actually enjoy studying it a lot but i do agree it is very tough when you get into the thick of it. any other neurologists who are satisfied in their field? , the reason i am skeptical about certain fields is because i just never hear anyone wanting to go into it , don;t think iv;e come across anyone studying with me who plans to be a neurologist,
    Yep that would be me! I don't know anyone here who is a neurologist? Perhaps the more experiened posters can point you (and me!) in the right direction.

    To get into our training is a slight problem, as nexttime has mentioned - you will have to do CMT (for 2 years). After getting in ST3 though, it's really plain sailing (relatively). There's one more exam in the next 5 years (MRCP Neuro). Most trainees have 3 admin sessions (half days) per week to do admin work / self-study, depending on work schedules.

    The exacting, interesting things that you thought is neurosurgery? Well it's (mostly) neurology (except the gory / surgical bits) - I'm referring to things like simultagnosia, cortical blindness, phantom limb etc. etc.
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    Is CMT really that bad compared to, say, CST?
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    (Original post by Spencer Wells)
    Try telling that to someone revising for the FRCA.
    The day to day job is still a lot of little syringe, big syringe rather than critical temperature of nitrous oxide though, isn't it?
 
 
 

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