Job Title: Physician
Type of Company: Private practice in a community
Education: M.D., Boston University
Previous Experience: I worked as a pediatrician in private practice.
Job Tasks: Daily work load: 7:30AM call hour, followed by hospital rounds. First to the new born nursery. Talk to mothers. Discharge those ready to go home. Go over all the necessary materials. Next, it's on to the Pediatric ward to make rounds on in-patients. Discharge those ready to leave and talk to parents of the in-patients. Check all labs and x-rays. After this, it's on to the office. First take care of all calls and call all those who had recent lab work. Call all necessary pharmacies. Soon start seeing patients: first the sick patients and then the well patients for check-ups. Break for lunch and go back to the hospital for meetings and any new admissions.
Afternoon is spent in much the same way. Periodically I take a break to return phone calls. Then it's back to the hospital for evening rounds. Then, if I'm on call, it's back to the office to see patients who call in to be seen with problems. This ends around 9PM, when I either return to the hospital or go home to take further calls. If someone needs to be seen at this point, it's back to the hospital where I will see them in the out-patient facility. Finally home... to be on call for the rest of the night.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Unnecessary phone calls are the worst part of the job. The best part is patient care and being able to help. I enjoy being able to give advice and being helpful, especially to new parents, who are very much on their own otherwise. Breaking bad news to the family, especially if it's going to be terminal, is extremely unpleasant.
Job Tips: Go into the profession with eyes wide open. It can be very hard work, but it is also very rewarding, especially the chance to be able to help guide young parents who (for the most part) are very appreciative. Always listen and don't assume you know the answers before listening to the whole story and never act as though the complaint is insignificant.
Additional Thoughts: Medicine is a very rewarding profession, difficult at time with long hours and sometimes long weekends. Get the best training possible and make the most of listening to the experts. Attend meetings at the hospital and other areas where possible. Stay abreast of all the latest materials in you field. Don't hesitate to ask for consultations.
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