Friday, July 6, 2012


Once again I am forced to poach one of Great Z's posts

A staffman when I was a resident advised me that he seldom took vacation for similar reasons that the Great Z mentioned.  When you are not working you are not earning money.  The first job I had, as I posted in a comment on the blog, required me to take 7 weeks vacation a year.  This was because of the way we staffed our department, with one person off on vacation all the time, 2 in the summer.  We were an income splitting group practice so you didn't notice that you weren't earning any money.  I left this group after 2 years and now I am in the situation where when I don't work I don't make any income.  This bothered me a lot when I first started out; I would be on vacation racking up credit card charges and thinking about the fact that I was racking up credit card charges and not racking up billable hours.  This was until one day, skiing mid-week on a beautiful day, it occurred to me how much I enjoyed not working and how much less I enjoyed working.  Now I typically take 7+ weeks of vacation; I just returned from one week and am already looking forward to my next one.  Occasionally we find ourselves overstaffed on a certain week and I almost always volunteer to take it off (I frequently have to fight for it, apparently a lot of people where I now work had the same revelation as I did).   I am lucky, I have a dacha I can head off to; quite often I just enjoy a staycation.  At the end of year, it never seems to make any difference in what I made.

As I told a surgeon years ago when he asked how I could afford to take so many weeks off, "How can I afford not to".

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