10 February 2012
Mercenary Medicine AND Botox
6 weeks away from my career suicide... OR my major paradigm shift in how I earn a living....Guess it's just a matter of perspective!
Emergency medicine is based on working with a group of people to cover the staffing needs of an ED 24/7/365... and for the most part, the docs that cover those shifts are pulled and pushed between day shifts, night shifts, swing shifts, weekends, holidays, etc... While I am all for taking my turns with the "undesirable" shifts (i.e. weekends when the family is available, holidays) I have totally burnt out on the concept that I have NO consistency each week. I can't plan Monday night book club meetings because I don't have a set day off. I can't enjoy a Sunday school class because most Sundays I am either working or coming off a night shift, or just exhausted. I can't be flexible with attending a play my niece is "starring" in because the play date was set after the work schedule came out and no one is wiling to swap a Friday night shift, particularly since she is not my kid. :(
mercenary. I am ending my full time contract with my current "group" at the end of next month.... I am avoiding joining any group full time, and will be relying on my wits to secure enough part-time work to create a full-time schedule. Hence, the potential career suicide!
Based on a current part time gig that I have had for the past year and a newly negotiated locum tenens agreement with another hospital in the southern part of the state, I believe I have enough work to be able to pay the mortgage AND feed the cats! But it is a bit scary to go out there as a hired gun with no protective contract....
And as of this week, I believe I have added an entirely unexpected new dimension to my "career"! Stepping out of the ER a bit, I will use my new found "freedom" to declare a dedicated day off for myself plus a dedicated clinic day to practice - AESTHETICS! Yes, I may have finally found my "in" for doing Botox, fillers, lasers, etc... I had my orientation today - now to just work out the details of the business of doing FUN STUFF!
So here I go, embarking on multiple career changes in one fell swoop! What is it the psychologists say about the stress level of career changes?? I'm sure I'll remember shortly..... As an aside, I find it funny that I am doing all of this at the same time as my friend Lisa has been asked to write a monthly column about her experiences as a rookie ER doctor for our society's newsletter. It will be interesting to me to see how her "rookie" perpsective on things meshes with my mid-career perspective... how her idealism and excitement reminds me of how I used to feel. It will be very interesting to me to see if I even recall a time when I did not feel jaded and need to escape my career life. I wonder of those readers of ACEP News would want to read about a mid-career crisis and how one crazy woman "copes" with it? Ha! NOw THAT would be funny - to run beside each other columns written by a rookie, a mid-career, and a close-to-mythical-retirement...