April 20, 2021
This is my final word on Vitamin D deficiency. This is meant for my pediatric patients and their parents. If you are not my patient, than please read for entertainment and kindly go to your own doctor. I realize that I was spending a lot of yesterday following up on lab values yesterday and all my labs are almost down to one screen, but there were a lot of low vitamin D levels. Its important for me to check, but my advice is standard and the same now. Also I was overdue to put something in the Pediatric Advice column.
Did you know that Dr. Plastic Picker did two years of pediatric endocrine training? Yes I did! I did it at Man’s Greatest Hospital. I DID NOT GET KICKED OUT OF TRAINING. I left fellowship in good standing and with high marks on my inservice exams and good reviews. I left because we were trying to figure out life and Mr. Plastic Picker who is a doctor too found a job that he wanted as a specialist specialist in my home town. I had the option of finishing training here in San Diego and actually did talk to the program director, but also had a job offer at HMO San Diego. I had enjoyed endocrine training but it was mostly type 1 diabetics, and honestly being a general pediatrician paid more, I could start right away, no call, and it was easier. I was done taking super long exams after over 20 years of taking exams. I didn’t have a huge urge to memorize the synthetic pathway of cholesterol. I wanted to take care of kids, raise my own kids and I needed money. So $60K to be an endocrine fellow versus $160K to start a real job that was less hours and spend time with my children, seemed back them a no-brainer. And now looking back, not finishing fellowship was probably one of the best decisions I ever made. This is why I admire pediatric specialist so much (the ones that finished) because I promise you, they are not making the big big bucks relative to generalist at least in pediatrics. Maybe pediatric GI, pediatric allergy and intensivist but certainly NOT pediatric endocrinologists. Anytime we have an issue in our pediatric endocrinology department, I do feel guilty that I didn’t finish – but only for a second. Not finishing fellowship and starting work resulting in at least me being able to maximize my retirement contributions an extra 38K even one year earlier over the lifetime of my career until 65, is at least $378K in retirement savings accounting for compounding growth in a regular stock market. So if you ask me now do I regret not finishing pediatric endocrine fellowship, HECK NO! Remember Dr. Plastic Picker is all about the bottom line and the bottom line is that I had to make the decision that was right for my children and marriage at that point, and the higher paying easier job where I was still practicing medicine with more flexibility is the one I chose. After a few years in general practice, I realized I loved the variety of general pediatrics and the time came for me to decide to forgo the credit of the two years of endocrine training – and I without hesitation and I waved bye-bye!