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Anitsisqua

Potential Switch to Occ Med

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So I got certified in spring of 2016 and have been working since that time - first in cardiology for about 6 months (which wasn't my cup of tea), and now in family care for a little over a year.

Things are getting very bad in the family clinic - cutting hours, lots of layoffs, no benefits, that sort of thing. I have a potential opportunity at an occupational clinic in my area that offers a decent salary and benefits.

I don't really have interest in working in Occ Med long term, but at this point, I'm hurting for stability and money and my insurance (which I had to get through the market) is increasing dramatically in cost.

Does it seem like a reasonable move to take the new job while looking for something more permanent in family care, or would the switch to occ med (or the too-frequent changes of job) hurt my chances at a better long-term position in family care? I could really use the career advice. 

 

Thanks for any thoughts you can offer.

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Guest UVAPAC

Here is my take:  As a new graduate I took a position in Occupational Medicine (despite some of my professors in school, and other advisers telling me that I might get pigeon holed).  I was not really sure what to expect.

1.  I learned a lot more than I thought I would.  I look at is as more or less a non-surgical orthopedic position.  You learn the MSK examination inside/out and get do cortisone shots etc if you are comfortable.  

2.  You get plenty of suturing experience.  Also see a lot of eye injuries.

3.  Get good experience on doing a basic physical exam and reviewing labs.  

4.  Occupational exposure experience (I still take tons of calls from urgent cares, emergency rooms, and primary care clinics who are unsure what to do in these events).  

5.  I assume you would be doing CDL exams.  A lot of primary care offices are hurting for providers who perform DOT PE's.  This experience could be valuable moving forward.  

6.  I had no trouble finding myself a job in urgent care after 2.5 years of Occupational Medicine.  It was somewhat of a transition, and I am still learning every shift I pick up, but it seems I am well respected by other providers within the Urgent Care system.

7.  I get e-mails/calls/etc every single day for opportunities in our area.  My linkedin profile and resume clearly specify Occupational Medicine and Urgent Care... but I get plenty of contact for primary care positions, geriatric positions, a lot of surgical and urgent care positions, occasionally some ortho positions looking for Occupational Medicine experience.

 

I am not sure what my future holds... but I do know there will always be occupational injury/illness. And companies save a lot of money using Occupational Medicine as opposed to ED/UC settings.  Good pay (one of the higher subspecialties for PA's) and good stability as long as you are in a populated area.

 

My only strong dislike is the "players" who are looking to be out of work.  There are some individuals I have seen with 55+ work related injuries, but the vast majority are honest/hard-working people.  

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