specialty change

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    EM momEM mom

    Well, after a lot of thought and agonizing, I have decided to change specialties-from surgery to emergency medicine. I ,like one of the other posters, have begun to dread the day to day and have finally decided to do something about it. Since the OR is no longer my passion, I decided it was time to find something more compatible with my career goals and my lifestyle.

    I’m terrified-I’m telling my boss and my program director tomorrow. I also realize that there is a very real possibility that I will not have a job next year (I have to go through the match again-heartbreaking!), but I think that no job is better than one in which I am not truly happy.

    Anyone have any advice or words of wisdom?


    stick to your guns and switch- don’t let them talkyou outof it on Monday…ER will be a much saner schedule for you too!


    I left a family practice residency program in the first year for the internal medicine program at the same hospital. The FP director was pretty ticked off, but he got over it eventually. You have to do what makes you happy. No one else looks out for your best interests like you do. They will all survive. Good luck, just take a deep breath and do it.


    Momsurg: Having gone through a similar situation, telling my program director/chief of surgery that I was pregnant and wanted to take time off, I feel your pain. I remember the adrenaline and nervousness before telling him and the relief afterwards. My program director responded well and was concerned for my welfare; we still communicate six years later. I too, did not have my heart in the OR anymore. Having children really changed my perspective. I just wish I would have realized how all-consuming child rearing can be prior to having children. I had previously bought into the idea that I could do anything that a man can do. Still think I could, but at what cost?
    Your years in surgery will make you an even better ER doc—best of luck to you!

    EM momEM mom

    Well, I did it, I told my mentor and my program director and although both were “disappointed” they respected my decision and promised to support me-by far the best reaction I could have hoped for!

    My newest fear/concern is this whole GME funding issue. Evidently you are only fully “fundable” for the amount of time it takes to get board certified in your initial specialty. That means for me-5 years. However, I have done 2 years of research. AAMC tells me that if I have not done patient care then the research years don’t count, but GME has been less than forthcoming with me and that makes me VERY nervous. (ER has made it clear this is an issue…) Anyone know anything about this?

    Again, thanks for the support! I know I’m making the right decision, both for me and for my family.

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