I Love This Guy
I love it when I see posts that remind me of the Madhouse Madman. I love them more when I see them as comments on my blog. Charity Doc left this comment on my primary Care post below. And...please take it with a sense of humor. I'll have no bickering on my blog:
Don't do it!! Spend the extra 2 years and do a fellowship.ER docs are crazy and because of that they have the best sense of humor in the entire hospital.
Here are some ideas:
Cardiology - you will work like a dog and be consulted every time a patient c/o chest pain (which is roughly 30%+ of all ER visits). You'll cath every middle aged and old people that have a femoral pulse. If they don't, you put a pacemaker in. If they're also dizzy, make it a pacemaker/ICD combo. But on the other hand, you'll be stinkin' rich and paid very handsomely. As far as hospital politics go, you'll be coveted and treated like a god, while us lowly, replaceable ER docs wish we have your clout with the hospital administrators and other medical staffs. I've been at this hospital for over 5 years now and the CEO, COO and CFO of the hospital still don't know who the heck I am every time I see them at the staff meetings.
Nephrology - you'll work like an ox and get consulted for every Creatinine level above 1.5 But you'll make money out the wazoo because every dialysis patient is fully funded so your reimbursement rate is...CHACHING. You'll even volunteer to dialyze road kill if it has an AV shunt in. But somehow, and for some stinkin' reason, you'll moan and groan every time you look at your census list which takes up a whole page, front and back, single spaced. Those damn dialysis patients sure have a lot of medical problems. DM, CHF, PVD, HTN, CAD...the list is endless. You'll find yourself arguing with the cardiologist whether CHF is a disease of the heart or a disease of the kidneys.
Hem/Onc - You may find it too depressing. Consult the Happy Oncologist blog for this one.
Rheumatology - No pt. seems to get any better do they? Another depressing discipline.
Endocrine - how many endocrine consult have you done? As an ER doc, I've never had to called one. Maybe you should forget this one. The chaching bell ain't ringing here.
Pulmonary/Critical Care - I'm just not feeling the big chaching factor here either. They seem to bronch everybody and scan everyone's chest. Vent management ain't that much of a mystery. It just seems that way. They're the only ones that get all excited about sputum. Sloogy docs. Everyone gets PFT's. What would you do without the cigarette industry?
GI - Oh my God! While the rest of the world upchucks and toss their cookies whenever a GI bleeder shows up, the GI guys sniffs it all in and says..."Can you smell the money??!!!" Poopy docs and Golytely pushers. They do make a very decent salary though, scoping from above and below all day long.
Neurology - Every since the NIH touts tPA for ischemic strokes, these guys are consulted all the time now from the ER. They're all over the TV and radios being spokepersons as every hospital compete to get that Stroke Center designation. What a load of crap, heh? Stroke Center. The standard of care, the 3 hours window for thrombolytic from onset of symptoms is the flipping same at every hospital. Every hospital has a OT/PT department, too. So why should any "stroke center" be any different from any other hospital? Yet, they're all over the newspaper and radio touting so.
Don't get me wrong, we need primary care providers. But why be one, work just as hard as the other guys and get pay less? Do the extra 2-3 years fellowship. It's all worth it. If I had to do it all over again, and if someone were to point a gun at me and force me to, I'd choose cardiology and nephrology as a second choice. Just my thoughts. Good luck on your decisions.