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A big move - changing careers...


drzep

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I've been debating for a while whether or not I was going to share some changes that are going on in life right now, but I think that some of you would be interested in knowing.

 

The past few months have been one hell of a roller coaster ride for both my wife Lorin, and myself. Some of you on the board know me from the local events, but I'm not sure that Lorin has met anyone. Anyways, I've decided on a career change - never an easy thing well into the 3rd decade of life!

 

My goal since college has always been to understand the mind - to understand the relationship between the brain and behavior. Everything I've done over the past 15 years has been directed at that goal. Until a few months ago I had been in residency training for Neurology/Internal Medicine here in CT for the last couple years. The plan was to move to Charlotesville, VA in June 2009 where I had been accepted to complete my fellowship training at UVA. However, the more I thought about the lifestyle of being a neurologist, the types of patients that you deal with day-in and day-out, and my desire to continue in basic neuroscience research, I realized that I was not going to be 100% happy in the end.

 

So, I've decided to start from scratch (sort of) and complete a residency in Psychiatry instead (also here in CT). Its a better lifestyle, the patients are fascinating, and there are ample opportunity for basic research on mental disease and drug treatments. It is also more consistent with my intellectual goals as Psychiatrists are concerned primarily with operations of the mind and behavior. The other bonus is that Lorin and I get to stay in CT for at least 3 more years, which makes us happy. The job market is much better for her up here than in western VA, and we like it here.

 

This will be a big adjustment for me. I basically function as both an internist and a neurologist right now, but as some of you may know, Psychiatry is not really medicine. I wont need the security blanket of a stethoscope and a reflex hammer any longer (except during patient admissions), and the only 'emergencies' can usually wait for a few hours until I at least take a shower. That's awesome. So its going to be a bit of a struggle, but I'm prepared to let go of my deeply ingrained habits of medicine and accept the role as a different type of doctor. And no, I won't help anyone here! :/

 

So it looks like I'll be seeing you northeasterners for a few more years - and that's a good thing.

 

Ride safe you all.

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Sounds like a good decision given your goals. Do you think someone with your background might be able to further bridge the gap and make more connections between neurology and psychology? Ultimately you have to follow your heart and let it decided what is the best career move. You're lucky to have some many opportunities available to you.

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may hat is off to you for making the decision and going for it. i'm part way thru my 6th decasde and like what i do. when i retire my next gig is going to be something in the out of doors with no email. :)

 

good luck and don't look back.

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Do you think someone with your background might be able to further bridge the gap and make more connections between neurology and psychology?

That exactly the goal. The only thing separating them is history - most neurologists and psychiatrists agree that a unified approach to brain dysfunction is the goal. Its just a matter of looking at disorders of the mind and emotion with a different set of glasses.

 

Like you said, I do feel fortunate and honored every time I help a patient. Its hard to get to this point but I'll never stop feeling lucky for the opportunity!

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Hey Joe, glad you are sticking around here in CT!

I can't help but think that being on this board has demonstrated the dire need for your new calling :grin:

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[quote name=drzepAnd no, I won't help anyone here! :/ [/quote]

 

Now what do I do with the long list of candidates I prepared? :grin:

 

Good luck following your new path.

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Just remember. You never see a motorcycle parked in front of a psychiatrist's office. Whatever you're going to be dealing with along with your patients, emotional conflicts about what/where to ride won't be among them.

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Dave McReynolds

My SO Nancy's daughter recently completed a residency in gynecology. Decisions about fellowships apparently have to be made quite a while in advance, and I believe she was accepted into a fellowship program in fertility before she even started her 4th year residency. During her 4th year, she decided she really wanted to do gynecological surgery instead, and so she had to write the program offering her the fellowship and let them know she wasn't coming. This apparently ruffled all kinds of feathers, and it sounds like she feels lucky to have escaped alive. I guess the only thing that saved her professionally was that she was doing well in the program and there is a high demand for her skills. So she ended up with some good offers from private practices, but doesn't expect to be offered any adademic positions anytime soon. Hope you haven't run into similar reefs and shoals.

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Francois_Dumas

Hi Joe,

 

you're never too old to change. I threw a 30+ year career out of the window to become self-employed and rather poor and am loving it :/

 

As for patients, you won't find any here. Anyone riding around a motorcycle is perfectly sane......

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:dopeslap:

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Nice n Easy Rider
Hi Joe,

 

you're never too old to change. I threw a 30+ year career out of the window to become self-employed and rather poor and am loving it :/

 

Francois, with all the fun you're having on your trips that you've so kindly shared with us I feel that it's safe to say that you're certainly not 'poor in spirit'!!

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Hi Zep,

 

Congratulations on your decision. :clap: Life isn't a practice round, do what makes you & yours happy!!

 

Thought of you this past weekend; several of us went up to Arkansas & "ran the roads" for a thoroughly good time. Left "o dark thirty" as they say; 43 degrees with 10-15 mph winds. Chilly for some, but I mounted your old oversized wind screen & stayed nice & warm. :thumbsup:

 

Thanks again.

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I think your move from neurology to psychiatry is better than going directly into psychology. Broader base, and it sounds like you're also in a happier place. Great move, and good luck!

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It was a tough decision but like some of you said, being here is most important.

 

Fixed it for ya!

 

Glad to have you staying in our area longer!

 

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Yes but what about me? Now I can't say that I know/associate with a neurologist any more... :)

 

Just remember the unhappiness (as in write it down.) It will help as I'm sure you'll have moments of doubt over the next few years. Being able to read about it (even if it's just this thread) will put a quick end to doubts whereas your memory will probably soften the unhappiness over time. (Look to whom I'm telling this. :) )

 

With that said, I hope that there are no moments of doubt and that it's smooth sailing for you from here on out.

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