“The same way that you cannot run a project from the road, it’s also pretty hard to run a household from remote, and that puts a burden on your spouse,” he says. “That leaky faucet that might have been a small fix-it project? Now my wife has to find a plumber to come fix it. Do-it-yourself home improvement projects? Fuhgeddaboudit.”
Dr. Kerley nearly missed the birth of his first grandchild the first week he had agreed to work in Alaska. However, his state license to practice was delayed, so he was there for the important event. “After that, I realized that I did need to be more intentional about dates and scheduling,” he says. “Since then, the scheduling has become more rhythmic.”
Good Career Move?
Super-commuting adds to the bank account, widens travel experiences, and sharpens clinical skills. But does it work for career advancement? Dotson believes that working with various types of teams in different settings helps hospitalists mature quickly.
Venturato thinks that accepting long-distance assignments will become even more necessary for career-building. “There’s still the aggravation of flying,” he admits. “But the jobs you get, the opportunities that you have, make it all worthwhile. If you limit yourself to not going to these interesting projects, you’re limiting your career.”
Dotson seconds that notion. “If people are willing to do the traveling, and they are good people, there are lots of opportunities for them,” he says.
Gretchen Henkel is a freelance writer in Southern California.
- Pisarski, AE. Commuting in America III: The Third National Reporter on Commuting Patterns and Trends. 2006: Transportation Research Board of the National Academies; Washington, D.C.
- Sandow E. Till work do us part: The social fallacy of long-distance commuting [dissertation]. Available at: http://umu.diva-portal.org. Accessed June 22, 2011.