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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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  #21  
Old 08-21-2007
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I'm always amused over professionals who dream of casting off the bowlines and leaving everything behind. I consider this a form of escapism, running away from life's real issues to pursue the Buffett life. Why is this so important to a young family - especially while so low in the climb up the social and professional ladders of NY's medical society?

If my opinion is worth anything, I'd say buy a boat suitable for cruising southern New England's beautiful coastline and enjoy the relatively short season here. Once confident in your sailing skills, take a few weeks off during the winter months to charter sailboats down island. After a while, these dreams may transform into something different.
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  #22  
Old 08-21-2007
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Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Oi ! Unless your doctors dress up in sheep skins they'll be safe. What's more I employ a generous drop of eau de roden' , so I don't pong. much.

Oz does need Doctors. We keep arresting 'em and having them deported. For some reason this is putting others off from coming here. Don't understand it myself.
Cruisingdad: I want's sure what was meant by the "risks of TDW" in Australia and didn't want to ask for fear of sounding uninformed, but now I see...Not sure if I was just invited to come down there or threatened with rodent fluids and arrest if I do...maybe both. Sounds like a colorful experience, either way...
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  #23  
Old 08-21-2007
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Life is short and uncertain
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  #24  
Old 08-21-2007
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Jak,
I suspect you will have two major problems:
Many parts of the world will only allow aliens to won 49% of a business, so you'd need a local partner. And, most of the world would get rather upset and perhaps toss you in the pokey for practicing medicine without the proper local licenses.
Somewhere in between your vessel might get seized as an accessory to the crime, leaving you with just the shirt on your back in a foreign jail hole.

Of course, offering to do high seas surgery in international waters might not attract the same trade but it might be safer.

Working in foreign ports and keeping a low profile so as to, frankly, work off the books illegally, is kindof at odds with practicing medicine, unless you are sewing up the local gangsters.
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  #25  
Old 08-21-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue View Post
I'm always amused over professionals who dream of casting off the bowlines and leaving everything behind. I consider this a form of escapism, running away from life's real issues to pursue the Buffett life. Why is this so important to a young family - especially while so low in the climb up the social and professional ladders of NY's medical society?

If my opinion is worth anything, I'd say buy a boat suitable for cruising southern New England's beautiful coastline and enjoy the relatively short season here. Once confident in your sailing skills, take a few weeks off during the winter months to charter sailboats down island. After a while, these dreams may transform into something different.
TrueBlue: your opinion is worth a lot, as I've read many of your excellent posts over time. Not exactly sure what it is about professionals' dreams that amuses you (as opposed to non-professionals?) though...regardless, what you say is clearly the most reasonable and practical approach. It's EXACTLY the advice my father is giving me, incidentally, and while I have endless love and respect for him and his enduring pragmatism, I have to say it's Libellula's comment, "Life is short and uncertain" that immediately grabs me and pierces through like a clear bell.

I certainly don't wish to disparage my career-I'm very thankful to have it, and it's a great way to live a life-, but I personally have little interest in pursuing the 'social and professional ladders of NY's medical society' (not entirely sure what that is, even...picture stuffy doctors in bow-ties??). In my case at least, I don't agree that this is escapism...Ok, maybe just a little, but I honestly think that doing this and doing it well will in many ways be a lot more challenging than was the whole medical process I just spent the last 12 years negotiating. I risk overstating my case, but I think that much of the process of becoming a doctor requires having a family capable of writing checks, possessing some capacity to suffer, and mostly, being willing to follow direction and put one foot in front of the other when and where your are told. If you do that, you travel a well-worn path and more likely than not arrive exactly where you expected to be..a good place, surely, and also fairly a sure thing. As I see it, not true with being a cruising sailor, as there's no program to follow and everything to learn, you sink or sail by virtue of your skills alone and no guarantee of a safety net if things go wrong, and no promise of anything along the way or in the end except the experience that you make for yourself. I expect it to be mostly frustration and discomfort, actually, punctuated by moments of pleasure and maybe occasional exhilleration to hopefully make it all worthwhile. It seems much less of a sure thing to me, and frankly it scares me a lot more than I ever was going into medicine. But if I can pull it off, I have a sense that the satisfaction of doing this hard thing well will be most gratifying. Could be dreaming, but I won't know unless I actually do it. Sorry for indulging in auto-analysis of myself here for all to see, but I couldn't seem to stop once started...
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  #26  
Old 08-21-2007
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Jak,

First of all, the TDW comment was aimed at TDW - someone I often tease when Sailaway is not in my cross hairs. He is a good fellow. It was, of course, nothing more than a joke.

Now on this, I am not joking:

I was a premed student, (gulp) Baylor. I did well. Part of the honors program is to spend time at the hospital(s). I chose the ER. As a professor turned friend told me, there is no quicker burnout profession than an ER physician. For those that have not done it or spent any time in it, I will say that those are the most stressed, over worked, most prone to psych problem people I have ever met. It also ranked as one of the highest professions for drug abuse (in the ER)... at least that is what I was told. I can definitely see why.

You have had a VERY difficult run. Perhaps some time away would do you good. THere are a lot of different ways. Maybe you really should look into the physician practices in Guatemala or the islands. You won't make anything, but it will be beautiful and you will feel very good about what you do. You and your family could be travelling physicians that live on your boat? I envy you for it. Make it something that fulfills you, your family, and others and it will be worth it. You can always come back to private practice and it will look good on your CV. Don't worry, with the insurance companies dedication to irritating physicians, there will be no shortage of positions for good people.

Take a look here at this web site. THese physicians may help to guide you and your family. And if I can EVER GET OUT OF TEXAS, I hope your family and mine can meet one day. Guatemala is HIGH on our list.

All the best. Fair winds.

- CD


http://www.junglemedicmissions.org/
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  #27  
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Jak.
re: your tel-med service, if it hasn't been posted already, you should know that such company already exists. It's widely used by shipping companies, oil rigs and some yachtsmen.
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  #28  
Old 08-21-2007
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CD: Much appreciate your thoughtful answer, and there probably is some truth to the burnout issue you raise (though I admit to no regrets! Would choose the same specialty all over again! I'm having fun! Right! ). Ok, I may be a little tired. That's a great web site you list, and I'll contact them to learn more...really like your vision of the liveaboard travelling physician. Sorry about the Texas slip, I knew I'd misstep with that one.

Thanks to everyone for your attentive replies. You've all been enormously helpful...
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  #29  
Old 08-21-2007
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Stop it John

You should know better than to try your oil rig tricks out here.
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  #30  
Old 08-21-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmedic View Post
Pamlicotraveler: Ok, while I'm not much interested in being THAT kind of doc (they're easy enough to find, I think), what about this: might there not be a place for some sort of telemetric medical "consulting" service for seafarers? Perhaps this is getting hairbrained, or perhaps it already exists, but what about all those commercial (and private) vessels that have the potential to have to deal with medical issues far from land? Especially those without medical officers on board might benefit from a service (subscription based?) with docs on call for guidance, or one which provides the equipment and/or training to crew for dealing with medical issues before they leave port. Not unlike telemetry based EMS systms on land. Ok, maybe I'm getting silly here, and it's hard to imagine this really making any money, but it might be a satisfying project to pursue if only for the interest in intersecting seafaring and medicine...anyone know if it already exists? Would any of you cruisers out there subscribe to a service to know you could reach a doc for advice wherever you are sailing? No? Ok, forget it...

Actually, I only got this far in the thread. I had this same idea in a simpler form at about the third post.

Why not have a subscription phone and Internet consultancy? For a set base price, plus a per-call charge via satphone to your boat, offer a "first alert" style of diagnosis that helps other cruisers to determine the seriousness of the medical issue, and guidance on how to proceed. Guarantee a response within one hour or better, depending on the time zone, and develop a list of English-speaking doctors in cruising grounds that you endorse.

As a sideline, you could write scrips, obviously, but you could also pack medicine chests (and provide proper instruction beyond first aid) with hard-to-get drugs like anti-biotics and heart medicines.

My wife's in the wildlife rehab game, and while she can set bones and sew lacerations, we are trying to figure out how to manage burns, poisonings or certain fevers offshore.

Most stuff is minor aboard, but if we could phone a primary care M.D. when we thought..."hmm...what if this is something worse?", then we could respond better should a medical issue arise.
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