Planning Your Schedule and Time Off

When you are considering working part-time as a physician, you must plan your schedule carefully. If you work every day from 8 am until 2 pm, then you risk staying until 4 or 5 pm since you are there already. If you stay late on a regular basis, then you end up working full-time for part-time pay, which is less than ideal. By working only on some days and not on others, you may be less likely to work at all on your days off. In addition to planning your daily and weekly schedules, be sure to explicitly negotiate your overnight call and weekend responsibilities, if any. Many women physicians work part-time and get paid part-time but participate 100% in their clinical group’s call schedule. If you have a 50% position, you should explicitly negotiate to do only half of the call of a full-time employee.

Once you have completed your medical training and are deciding how much to work, it is important to consider how you will spend your new-found time off. Do you know yourself well enough to know if you are even any good at having time off? Will you be writing grants or recovering from a night on call? Will you be caring for your child/children? Will you use that time for cooking, cleaning, and performing other household chores? Some women move to part-time with wonderful intentions for enhanced personal-professional balance, only to find that they spend all of their time off thinking about work or even working but not getting paid. If you use your time off for work rather than activities like exercise and hobbies, then you might as well be getting paid for it.

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