or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ski-related jobs for MD's?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I know some of you are in the health industry in some form. I will be out of med school here in 2 years so I am looking at specialties. I want to somehow either work with skiers/athletes, or at least live in a ski town. Any ideas?

I've already ruled out ortho surg, too many hours and not enough ski time. I'm an ex-ski patroller, but they don't make much for money. Anyone ever work with a rehab doc?
post #2 of 10
Here on the East coast, I think of the medical clinic at the bottom of Killington, and the Ortho clinic at the bottom of Mt. Snow. Unfortunately had to visit each one once. Don't know about the hours though.

As an ex-Patroller, the big thing now is to have a doctor as medical advisor for each patrol. Helps with the yearly refresher, and then ....maybe you can get recertified. Don't know what perks you get as medical advisor.

Or be the local doc with only afternoon/evening hours. Leaves the morning for skiing.
post #3 of 10
have you considered a specialization in Sports medicine? http://www.physsportsmed.com/index.html
post #4 of 10
I'm a doc in Seattle (it is kind of a ski town). I have several friends who have been offered jobs in Sun Valley. They have turned them down because of simple economics. It is very expensive to live there and the pay for docs is no better in a ski town than in anytown usa.

That being said consider this. If you love skiing and want the time off to do it, find a specialty that will allow you the time off. ER medicine, anesthesiology, dermatology, hospitalist, pathology, radiology, cardiology, gastroenterology. You get the picture. Avoid peds, family medicine, general internal medicine, psychiatry. The surgical specialties are very gruelling and most guys are workaholics who take very little time off.
Then think about living in towns that have a population of insured patients that is close to a ski area i.e Bend, OR; Durango,CO; Salt Lake City. Anchorage, AK is interesting. It is a great place to practice, excellent money and only a 6 hour drive to Valdez. In these places you can afford a much better home than you ever could in Sun Valley, Aspen or Jackson. Take a look at a book by Harry S. Dent, Jr. "The roaring 2000's. It describes the evolving demographics of the country, what people will be doing and where they will want to live as they get older. These people will be your patients. Ideally you get to a town before it gets "discovered", set up practice, buy some nice real estate and as the retiring boomers move in, reap the benefits.

Most important. Find a girl/boy friend/spouse who also wants the same thing and has similiar life goals like # of kids, love of adventure travel etc. It will get very expensive to find out that your spouse would rather live with another person in Kona or San Diego than with you in the mountains.

Good luck!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much!
I like the idea of living in a non-resort town that happens to have good skiing close by. Right now radiology is hot! Too good though, it is getting harder to match than neurosurg was a few years ago, huge board scores, AOA, etc. Anesthesia is up this year too, some programs have reported a 300% increase in applications this year. It seems to me that I'm not the only one considering "lifestyle" specialties. The general surg program at my school (Big Ten) didn't even fill this year! They are going to take foreign grads for the first time ever. Path interests me and would afford a lot of time off with a regular schedule, and it's an easy match. Rads and anesth are too hard to get right now. What kind of physician are you? Could you comment on the doc supply/demand on the West coast? Thanks so much!
post #6 of 10

I am an anesthesiologist and love it. I take 8 to 12 weeks off a year for skiing, climbing and traveling.

Right now there seem to be lots of jobs around the country. Although the market is very tight in Seattle for anesthesia and most other specialties.

Since you are still in your second year, my advice is this. First, do what you like. If you have always dreamed of a certain specialty you should do it. There is nothing worse than working 80 hrs a week in a specialty you hate, especially if you're just doing it for the money. But if the "lifestyle" specialties truly do interest you, then given them a shot.

I know some specialties are very difficult to match in. But if you end up wanting a popular specialty go ahead and try to match. Also, look at the less popular programs. I think some of the best clinical training is done in the smaller non- academic centers. When it comes to getting a job most places want a safe, hardworking person who gets along with others. I know groups who check up on applicants by talking to the people who did not send in letters of recommendations. They call charge nurses and the professors of other specialties to see how you interacted with them.

In your 4th year do some clerkships in cities near ski towns. Seattle, Salt Lake City, Denver, Anchorage, Reno, Albuquerque.

Keep your nose to the grindstone and remember...

What do they call the person who graduates at the bottom of the class?

post #7 of 10
I have to disagree with Chugach Jon about not chosing family practice. I'm a family practicioner in Chicago, and although I don't live anywhere near a ski town, family practice allows quite a bit of flexibility to chose to do what you want and work the hours you want to. One of the reasons I went into family practice was because of the flexible lifestyle. You can chose to work part-time, full-time, OB/non-OB, hospital or no hospital, more peds, less peds, procedures, etc. You can do a fellowships (sports med, substance abuse, high risk OB, geriatrics to name a few), work in an urgent care center or ER, work in a nursing home, become a hospitalist. There's usually quite a bit of demand for primary care, especially in that relatively rural, undiscovered mountain town you're looking for. The residency is 3 years and not too demanding, except for the intern year. Obviously, your compensation will depend on how much you work and who you work for, but if you live relatively simply, you can manage.

I do agree with Jon in that you should pick something you really enjoy. I couldn't imagine working a job everyday that I didn't like doing. I get the impression that live patient contact is not that important to you if you're thinking about path and rays. If that's so, primary care may not be for you. The advice I give to all medical students before they start their M3 clinical rotations if to go into each rotation with the attitude that that may be the area of medicine you are going to specialize in. Then, you'll put the most into and get the most out of every rotation.

If you have time to read and post on this forum, you must not be studying hard enough. Back to the books for you!

Good luck!
post #8 of 10
Hey, good advice from Prosper about keeping your eyes open as you do your 3rd year clerkships. I'm a 4th year med student applying to internal medicine programs (on the interview trail this month). I'm sure you've heard it before, but don't rule out any specialty until you've actually experienced it.

Be enthusiastic about your rotations. It'll be the ONLY TIME in your career that you'll get a chance to do many of the things that you do as a 3rd year e.g. delivering a baby, if you're not going to be OB/GYN or primary care. Have fun, take your responsibility to your patients seriously, and the grades, AOA, etc. will take care of themselves.

Above all, don't count yourself out of the "competitive" specialties before you've done your 3rd year. Go for what you like to do, even if you'll have to apply to a wider range of programs. Better than burning out after 20 years of a "noncompetitive" specialty that you didn't like all that much to begin with.

Good luck!
post #9 of 10
If you're interested in working with athletes, sports medicine would be the way to go. Ortho is one way into sports medicine, family medicine the other way. As far as the hours go, the ortho guys where I work don't seem to have it too bad when they're not on call. They seem to book off a week day pretty religiously for recreational activities too. Family medicine plus a one or two year sports med fellowship is the otherway into this area. This is probably a more lifestyle friendly approach. You can also go at just from straight family medicine (just follow your interests and keep reading, conferences, etc.).

Now if you're interested in working in a recreational area and having time to pursue those interests yourself, my bias is emergency medicine. The job itself offers lots of opportunities for acute treatment of injuries. Plus the work is by its nature shift work. This means you (well really I mean me!) enjoy lots of weekdays skiing when the word "lift-line" doesn't exist.

Where I live (near Silver Star), a lot of the ER doctors and the family doctors also pick up shifts at the mountain as "ski doctors." In exchange for free season passes, discounts on the mountain, and in order to provide a service, we staff the mountain's "casualty clinic" on a mainly volunteer basis. I've heard Whistler has a fairly large clinic that employs family doctors on a regular basis.

Good luck working things out and enjoy the ride through medical school. Don't forget to have fun-- medicine is one of the great professions!
post #10 of 10
Set yourself up a practice in Eagle, CO. 70 miles to Aspen, 30 miles to Vail, 19 minutes to the Beav, 90 miles to Steamboat, 50 minutes to Copper.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: