Author Topic: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?  (Read 34132 times)

Katnina

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #50 on: June 30, 2013, 08:30:15 PM »
The AMA lobby has successfully kept the number of MD's awarded low for years.  It keeps salaries high, but at what cost?  Why should doctors have to work longer hours that anyone else?  I don't want a burned out physician treating me, and I'm starting to get that vibe A LOT! 

I say double the number of MD's and let them all work 20-30 hours per week for $100-$150K.  Restrict hours like they do for commercial airline pilots (or at least used to do, that job has gone into the shitter lately, too.) That would be better for everyone involved.

I am with you there! 
Job sharing is becoming more common in other industries...why not medicine?!  Part of the problem with our medical education system is the near impossibility of launching new medical schools, despite the obvious need for more doctors.  Obviously we don't want medicine to go the way of law, where every university hung out a shingle as a law school and we now have WAY too many law school grads unable to find law jobs, but expanding the number of seats in med schools, and increasing the number of newly minted doctors, allowing for job-sharing and more humane work/life balance would go a long way towards preventing burnout. 

 

KimPossible

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #51 on: June 30, 2013, 10:58:06 PM »
Part of the problem with our medical education system is the near impossibility of launching new medical schools, despite the obvious need for more doctors.  Obviously we don't want medicine to go the way of law, where every university hung out a shingle as a law school and we now have WAY too many law school grads unable to find law jobs, but expanding the number of seats in med schools, and increasing the number of newly minted doctors, allowing for job-sharing and more humane work/life balance would go a long way towards preventing burnout.

The issue isn't the number of medical school spots, necessarily.  Since 2000, at least 7 new allopathic and at least 15 new osteopathic medical schools have opened in the US.  They're turning out thousands of new doctors each year.  The problem is that there aren't enough residency training programs.

http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2013/04/01/medical-students-residencies/

Hamster

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #52 on: June 30, 2013, 11:18:09 PM »
Part of the problem with our medical education system is the near impossibility of launching new medical schools, despite the obvious need for more doctors.  Obviously we don't want medicine to go the way of law, where every university hung out a shingle as a law school and we now have WAY too many law school grads unable to find law jobs, but expanding the number of seats in med schools, and increasing the number of newly minted doctors, allowing for job-sharing and more humane work/life balance would go a long way towards preventing burnout.

The issue isn't the number of medical school spots, necessarily.  Since 2000, at least 7 new allopathic and at least 15 new osteopathic medical schools have opened in the US.  They're turning out thousands of new doctors each year.  The problem is that there aren't enough residency training programs.

http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2013/04/01/medical-students-residencies/
This article is actually very misleading. There are 17,500 us medical grads annually and about 26,000 residency positions. The extra 9,000 are filled by foreign medical grads. The US grads who aren't matching either have some issues or are applying to very few or highly-restrictive programs. Only half of family practice and internal med programs are filled by US medical grads. If you want to fill more primary care residency slots with US grads, either pay primary care docs more or pay the procedural sub specialists less. The choices are being made for lifestyle reasons in many cases.

https://www.aamc.org/newsroom/newsreleases/276900/120316.html this link has 2012 numbers. There were ~1000 more U.S. grads in the 2013 match.
Edited to correct numbers and add url
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 11:25:53 PM by Hamster »

KimPossible

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #53 on: July 01, 2013, 07:01:34 AM »
Thanks, Hamster--I wasn't aware of those numbers. 

amyable

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #54 on: July 01, 2013, 07:41:51 AM »
I'm a teacher, and while I absolutely love my job, I would never advise anyone to go into it blind.  At my old campus, there was an ex-attourney who decided his calling was to be a history teacher, half way through the year I felt terrible for him--he did not know how to earn the students' respect and despite having an advanced degree, they walked all over him. 

Teaching is HARD--I had very little success with it my first three years;  I now absolutely love what I do, but it took changing grade level and content a few times to find what I was really good at. 

If you're going into it for an easier alternative to the medical field, I feel like you should try something else (maybe university or community college teaching).  Only go into high school / middle school teaching if it's your passion, and you feel like you could make some real change for kids. 

And, on standardized testing, in my state (Texas) and content area (English), a lot of teachers complain about the state tests, but I barely focus on the tests (maybe 3 weeks out of an entire year), and my kids perform excellently.  I simply keep them engaged and teach them the reading, writing and thinking skills that they will use in college and in life.

Osprey

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #55 on: July 19, 2013, 06:23:35 AM »
Thanks everyone who is engaged in this discussion, especially the (current or ex) doctors and teachers. It's a lot of food for thought and this forum opened up some interesting debates and opinions. Thanks for your compassion and comraderie. My eyeballs may even have started sweating once or twice...
For anyone interested in feedback, I'm planning to give my current job in public health a good go - I enjoy the challenge and there's potential to do a lot of good, although I wouldn't describe it as "rewarding." Plus, I've managed to incorporate a few hours of clinical work per week, instead of bowing out completely! The plan is to make the switch to teaching in about five years, as I'm hoping to have FU (but not FI) money by then.

Daleth

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #56 on: July 19, 2013, 06:23:12 PM »
Whilst I understand the good intentions of the advice above (from Zamboni), I can't disagree enough with what sounds to me as a bit of a cavalier approach to having children. There is no right time to have children and you might never feel completely ready, etc., but there's no rush to have kids just because you're in your late 20's. Some women struggle to have kids (at any age), but plenty of women have little trouble into their mid-30's and beyond.

Speaking of cavalier, how about that advice to not worry because "plenty of women have little trouble into their mid-30s and beyond"?! There is no way to know whether she will be among those "plenty of women," and that's a very big risk to take--assuming you'll be one of the ones who are fine. What if she's not? Oops, sorry, no kids for you... It's also not a very Mustachian approach, since the cost of IVF, donor egg and adoption are all in the tens of thousands of dollars range, and it's very rare for insurance to cover infertility treatments (and of course there's no "coverage" for adoption). In other words that's tens of thousands of bucks OUT OF POCKET.

There is a timeline eventually for women (in particular), but that shouldn't be a big concern (from my point of view) until at least about 35.

That depends on how many kids you want to have. What if she wants two or three? To have the best chance of avoiding the stress, heartbreak and massive expense of fertility treatments (or adoption), shouldn't she aim to start having them at an age where she could have the LAST one by 35-36?


KimPossible

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #57 on: July 19, 2013, 07:20:47 PM »
Thanks everyone who is engaged in this discussion, especially the (current or ex) doctors and teachers. It's a lot of food for thought and this forum opened up some interesting debates and opinions. Thanks for your compassion and comraderie. My eyeballs may even have started sweating once or twice...
For anyone interested in feedback, I'm planning to give my current job in public health a good go - I enjoy the challenge and there's potential to do a lot of good, although I wouldn't describe it as "rewarding." Plus, I've managed to incorporate a few hours of clinical work per week, instead of bowing out completely! The plan is to make the switch to teaching in about five years, as I'm hoping to have FU (but not FI) money by then.

Best of luck to you, Osprey.  :)  Keep us updated on your journey.

naners

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #58 on: July 20, 2013, 06:51:39 AM »
Going back to the issue of fertility from the beginning of the thread: it turns out that much of the hysteria about rapidly declining fertility after 35 is based on......French birth record from 1680 to 1830. Yep.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/how-long-can-you-wait-to-have-a-baby/309374/

Yes, everyone will jump in with anecdotes about people they know who waited too long and had trouble conceiving....but this is MMM, we base our decisions on data not anecdotes. And you're academically trained, so you can read the research yourself if you want to. You probably shouldn't wait too long, but no need for panic about biological clocks just yet.

Daleth

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #59 on: July 20, 2013, 07:33:27 AM »
Going back to the issue of fertility from the beginning of the thread: it turns out that much of the hysteria about rapidly declining fertility after 35 is based on......French birth record from 1680 to 1830. Yep.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/how-long-can-you-wait-to-have-a-baby/309374/

Yes, everyone will jump in with anecdotes about people they know who waited too long and had trouble conceiving....but this is MMM, we base our decisions on data not anecdotes. And you're academically trained, so you can read the research yourself if you want to. You probably shouldn't wait too long, but no need for panic about biological clocks just yet.

That article is woefully underinformed. I read it when it came out and rolled my eyes. Its basic message is "Hey, check it out, you can probably still get pregnant!" But the biggest problem as women age is not getting pregnant. The biggest problem is getting pregnant with a HEALTHY child and STAYING pregnant long enough to deliver it. Under 30, only 8% (1/12) of pregnancies end in miscarriage. By age 35-37 that figure has doubled; at 38-39 almost 1/4 of pregnancies end in miscarriage; and even at 40-41, which is not crazy-old by most people's standards, ONE IN THREE pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Here's a link:
http://www.advancedfertility.com/age-miscarriage.htm

But I think the most telling statistic is what happens to fertile women who do IVF due to male-factor infertility. Let me translate that: many perfectly fertile women do IVF because their husbands have a low sperm count, bad sperm morphology or whatever. And because almost all IVF clinics in the country report their data in great detail to the CDC, you can see what happens to such women as they age. Here's a link: http://www.sart.org/find_frm.html
Click on National Data Summary (or see if this link works to take you straight there: https://www.sartcorsonline.com/rptCSR_PublicMultYear.aspx?ClinicPKID=0).

Now look at that page. There's a drop-down menu near the top called "Diagnosis," which by default is set to "All Diagnoses." Change it to "Male Factor"--this will show you the stats for FERTILE women who do IVF solely because their husbands have a sperm problem. And if you look at the "number of cycles" line near the top, you'll see that what we're talking about here is almost 20,000 IVF cycles--not a small sample by any means. And what do we see? This:

- For fertile women under 35, the percentage of cycles (IVF attempts) that result in a live birth is 43.2%.
- For fertile women 35-37, it drops to 36.7%.
- For fertile women 38-40, it drops to 25.6%.
- For fertile women 41-42, it drops to 16.6%.
- For fertile women over 42, the success rate is a piddling 5.2%.

And those are the success rates for fertile women, when doctors are putting the sperm and eggs together and transferring live embryos into the womb--usually multiple live embryos, by the way: look at the line "Average number of embryos transferred." It's 1.9 embryos for women under 35, rising to 3.1 and 3.4 for women in their 40s. Even putting 3.4 live embryos in the womb of a fertile woman over 42 only gives her a 5.2% chance of having a baby! So what do you suppose the chances of a baby are when such a woman doesn't have doctors helping her produce a ton of eggs, make embryos and put them in the right place, but just releases her usual one egg per month and has sex at the right time? Way the hell lower, obviously. And remember, these are the numbers for women who do not have any fertility problems themselves. What do you suppose the chances are for women who DO have such problems?

So yeah, no, I'm not dealing in anecdotes here. And in case someone is tempted to come back with anecdotes about all the famous women and Hollywood actresses who've had babies at 46 or 48 or 50, the statistics tell us that 95%+ of those women (and 100% of those 48 and up) must have used egg donors.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2013, 07:42:31 AM by Daleth »

Osprey

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #60 on: August 02, 2013, 07:06:16 AM »
Update: I am starting after hours one-on-one tutoring as a side activity. You need absolutely no qualifications for this, apart from passing high school with good marks. I've done my best to research the knowledge and skills required, in theory, and looking forward to a new kind of challenge!
Thanks also for the fertility data, it's one of those controversial topics where facts are often hard to extricate from personal feelings.

Zamboni

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #61 on: August 02, 2013, 04:50:37 PM »
^Tutoring is fun.  Enjoy!

I'm amazed at how few people really have seen the declining fertility data with age.  Most people just don't want to believe it, I think.

decisionprof

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #62 on: August 02, 2013, 07:26:53 PM »
Hi Osprey - just getting caught up with the forum this summer and this caught my attention.  I taught high school science (bio/chem) for 12 years (in a public school), followed by a move to school administration, a doctorate, and now a move to working as a professor (of education) at a small private college.  All of my college students are planning on becoming high school teachers.  If you have further questions or want other thoughts, feel free to message me.  My doctorate was in decision analysis and I am working on creating a blog (or website?  still working on the whole idea - been too busy buying rental properties this last year to create it!) to try to provide "decision coaching" for people who have the same questions about changing careers or buying houses or ....  just about anything.  I think tutoring will be a great experience!  I have just signed on to teach AP classes on line to high school students too.  Always a new challenge!

frugaldrummer

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #63 on: August 08, 2013, 11:14:13 AM »
I'm a physician and had 3 kids, starting in residency.  My recommendations?

 - teaching is a burnout job as well.  I think you'd be wiser to find a way to make the medical profession work for you
 - when my kids were small, I worked very part time at a busy urgent care center.   Two twelve hour shifts twice a month were enough to keep my hand in, provide a break from the kids, and bring in a modest income that helped out our family finances.

 - my kids are grown now and I have a small functional medicine practice.  I don't take insurance and have opted out of Medicare.  I practice using cutting edge evidence based holistic techniques and have no administrator second-guessing my choices.  My patient outcomes are excellent and it is very gratifying work.  I make about half what I would if I worked at the local HMO, but I have control over my life and the pay is still adequate.

 - if you're in the U.S. and you want to get excited again about medicine, I'd suggest attending the annual Institute for Functional Medicine conference - smart smart physicians who see the future of medicine as it should be.

KimPossible

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #64 on: August 09, 2013, 09:55:26 PM »

 - if you're in the U.S. and you want to get excited again about medicine, I'd suggest attending the annual Institute for Functional Medicine conference - smart smart physicians who see the future of medicine as it should be.

Wow! I've been researching functional medicine and am seriously considering the training program.  PMing you!

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #65 on: August 09, 2013, 10:11:32 PM »


 - if you're in the U.S. and you want to get excited again about medicine, I'd suggest attending the annual Institute for Functional Medicine conference - smart smart physicians who see the future of medicine as it should be.

I'm excited to learn more about functional medicine. I'm applying to PA school (at 42-years-old) next year, and this really fits in with my philosophy of health and medicine. Thanks!

RoryCK

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #66 on: August 13, 2013, 04:06:26 PM »
Hello people,

I'm new here and in a similar situation as OP. As I'm living outside the US I don't understand what "aiming for FIRE" means, could somebody please explain that to me?

Thank you so much!

Zamboni

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #67 on: August 13, 2013, 06:26:18 PM »
FIRE = Financially Independent, Retired Early (or some variation on that.)

markbrynn

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Re: Quit medicine to pursue teaching?
« Reply #68 on: August 19, 2013, 08:26:23 AM »
Just got back from a month of vacation, so sorry if I'm a little late to reply.

I was the one who originally brought up the 'don't be worried about getting pregnant' topic. After a few back and forths on the subject, I wanted to clarify what I said so my point (which I still think is important) is not lost.

Having a baby is a big deal and a big choice to make in your life. I think too many people just assume they will have kids and don't really stop to think if they should at that time or with their current partner. Forcing baby-making into a time of your life when you will have to make a choice between the child and some other priority (school, career-building, etc.) or into a relationship that needs some more foundation building could be a mistake.

I agree there is no right time to have a baby. I agree that shit happens. And I agree that some people will wait too long to have kids and not be able to conceive (or not easily). As with most issues, there's a middle ground I'm aiming for. Don't wait too long, but don't rush in either.

apologies for dragging on the thread, but I did enjoy my time away from electronic devices