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Life Transition: Open to Suggestions


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I've been a PA for close to 15 years.  I've worked in Emergency Medicine and have been doing Urgent Care (with Worker's Comp) and Family practice for the last 10 years or so.  I got divorced a couple of years ago, have two wonderful children, and find that I am having a really difficult time being able to find activities outside of work that fit with my schedule.  It's really important to me to make new friendships at this time in my life.

Due to the nature of Urgent Care there isn't one consistent night I have off every week for an activity.  As most of us know it is shared interests and repeat exposure to the same people that help establish friendships.  So I am in a bind.  I make about $151k per year with likely another raise soon. 

I can stick with my current position which I do well in professionally, but seems to make it difficult to schedule activities outside of work.   An alternative is to work a M - F gig but probably make closer to $140k per year.   The extra money now comes in handy with supporting my children but the lack of a social life is really starting to wear on me.  

I do have a therapist for emotional support but my thoughts are she cannot understand what I am going through like PA's working in the same field.  I have to imagine I'm not the only one finding it difficult to carve out a consistent time for a social life.

I'm open to suggestions and hopeful to gain some insight here. 

Thank you! 

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Be very careful with the M-F illusion.  I have never had so little spare time in my life, since taking on a "regular" schedule.  

I agree with this to a degree. I started with my company 4 years ago doing a hybrid urgent care/"extended hours Primary care" clinic. (think overflow of the cases the daytime guys can't see) and worked a 4 on 3 off 3 on 4 off schedule. It was fine for a couple of years but I wanted weekends off. A daytime PC position opened up and it was offered to me so I took it. M-F making the same pay (close to 200k) and I thought it was going to be a better fit since now I have weekends for wife and kids and hanging out with friends.  

Yeah M-F 5 days a week makes for a LOOONG work week and now I use PTO more when before I could plan a vacay around my off days and use minimal PTO. I had weekends off which I found that while I spent it with my family, it barely gave me time for myself which I think is also important. Also I have a shared panel now and I have regular pts vs walk-ins and urgents at the hybrid clinic. This has its pros and cons.

 

I eventually (beginning of this year) requested a 4 day (32FTE) work week still working days. I took a pretty large paycut but still making very good money and have not really seen much change to my lifestyle.

 

Now, I only work MTTHF and have all Wednesdays and weekends off. This certainly helps with my sanity and gives me time for myself.

 

I recommend you try reworking your schedule. I don't know how you are financially but that 151k to 140k reduction might not be that noticeable if you manage your funds well. I am about 35k short a year now with my new 4 day schedule compared to a 5 day schedule, which I find is a good compromise for my mid week day off and essentially working only 2 days on at a time. But it may not be for everyone.

 

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45 minutes ago, Joelseff said:

I have the option of 4x10 but declined it. I may go for it later.

At this stage of my life (2 years out of school, 3.5 month old baby, etc.) I would do anything for 4 days without giving up any income as my wife and I work toward saving for college, paying off student loans (ALMOST THERE!), saving for retirement, etc.  I work 36 hours (with 4 hours of assumed admin time that I never need), but it requires 9 hour days working straight through lunch.  Once my student loans are completely paid off I may consider the idea of taking a pay cut commensurate with taking a daily 30 minute lunch.  It would equal a $6-7k pay cut for a much needed improvement to my sanity, but right now is worth it to have the little bit of extra cash that doesn't equate to more time away from home.

BUT...working 4 days rather than 5 is huge for my family and me overall.  I have no plans to go back to 5 days per week ever again.

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Idk if this is what you have now, but the 3x12 schedule seems to be treating me well. Scheduling is pretty flexible at my place, I can spread the shifts out and have days off in between to go out during the week, or work consecutive days and have large chunks of days off to go on vacation, short road trips/day trips. My place requires us to work 2-3 weekend shifts so i do have some weekends off.

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At this stage of my life (2 years out of school, 3.5 month old baby, etc.) I would do anything for 4 days without giving up any income as my wife and I work toward saving for college, paying off student loans (ALMOST THERE!), saving for retirement, etc.  I work 36 hours (with 4 hours of assumed admin time that I never need), but it requires 9 hour days working straight through lunch.  Once my student loans are completely paid off I may consider the idea of taking a pay cut commensurate with taking a daily 30 minute lunch.  It would equal a $6-7k pay cut for a much needed improvement to my sanity, but right now is worth it to have the little bit of extra cash that doesn't equate to more time away from home.

BUT...working 4 days rather than 5 is huge for my family and me overall.  I have no plans to go back to 5 days per week ever again.

The thing holding me back is I am exempt so I actually already work 10 sometimes 12 hours (about an hour or two after work for admin like charting and messages lab results refills etc) so if I picked the 4x10 it would be like 4x12+ and I would have to see more pts. I saw 18 pts today (just got home about an hour ago worked 9.5h today) 12 pts were before lunch. I missed half my lunch hour.

 

That's why I have been reluctant to do the 4x10. My manager wants me to but I'd rather not. Yeah the pay cut was huge but like E says, money ain't everything. Besides I still make quite a bit over 100k and my lifestyle and spending habits (despite what you may see on the watch thread here lol [emoji16]) allows this to be comfortable for me.

 

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on a 4 day work week

I always preferred either Tues or Thurs (Tues yields 4 day holidays every Monday holiday)

 

many old timers prefer wed to split week in half

 

a 5 day work week is NOT typical for Docs when they were in their own practice - now as employees many are doing it and hating it

 

 

4 day all the way....

 

 

 

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on a 4 day work week
I always preferred either Tues or Thurs (Tues yields 4 day holidays every Monday holiday)
 
many old timers prefer wed to split week in half
 
a 5 day work week is NOT typical for Docs when they were in their own practice - now as employees many are doing it and hating it
 
 
4 day all the way....
 
 
 
All the docs at my work are 4 days. Most APPs are 4 days also.

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I appreciate all of your feedback.  I have had times in my career where I've worked 3-4 day workweeks and I have to say I have been happier with that.  However, currently in Urgent Care some weeks are 5 days and some are 6 days as well.  It's those 6 hr split shifts that I find aren't really worth it because with the commute and finding parking it's like an 8 hour day.  

With my seniority and experience I think I will make a push for longer shifts, and fewer of them. i.e. 3 - 12's. They are long days but I'd rather have more days off to recover, and do something fun - like a hobby What a concept! LOL.  Life balance is one huge reason I became a PA and it's possible with a better schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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