Driving 50 miles to and from work or over 1.5 hours each way is undoubtedly a recipe for a problematic residency or career. (I did that for six years as an attending!) So, I recommend that you heed the following advice. Live close to the hospital and enjoy life! We will go through eight tangible benefits I have discovered now that I live close to work to support this argument. Try to do the same!
Traffic And Stress
Arriving at work after a school bus, a large white van, and a Toyota Prius cut you off during your 1.5-hour journey versus stopping at the one traffic light between my house and the hospital. Which one is more stressful? Hmmmmm… I can say that stress levels have declined by 95 percent at the beginning of the workday. Who cares if that guy in front of you cuts you off in the parking lot when you are five minutes from the hospital. You’ll still arrive on time!!!
The feeling of forgetting something important halfway through a 1.5-hour journey still sends shivers down my spine. I can still remember filling out the medical staff renewal forms due the same day, only to discover they were not in the car halfway through my trek to the hospital. If that happens now, no big deal. I just go home in the middle of the day and pick it up!
All those hours on the road wreak havoc on your body. The body should not sit in a car for 3 hours a day. Fast food outlets become your friend. Fat accumulates in the wrong places. All that time that you lose, you can spend exercising or creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself.
Taking Care Of Things At Home
Occasionally, you need to drop off something at the house. Or, you may meet with a contractor to fix your ceiling leak. When you are 50 miles away, it is next to impossible. On the other hand, if you are right around the corner, you can usually stop by for a moment!
Are you volunteering for the community? No problem. Want to coach a kid’s baseball team? You can manage it. Join a local symphony? It’s possible to find the time. Living close opens up many local opportunities you would never have otherwise!
Sometimes disaster strikes. When you live far away, it is almost impossible to help out. On the other hand, if your child injures a leg playing soccer or falls off a horse and you live right near the office or hospital, you are no more than a few minutes away. You can even pick him up and drive him to your hospital yourself!
Want to spend quality time with the kids in the evening? You will now have the time. Think it’s essential to go on date night with your spouse? It’s possible to make plans, even during the week. Need to plan family outings- like the school picnic or that hockey game in the evening. Not a problem!
Have to reduce an intussception at 3 AM? At least you are around the corner. You can get in and out in minutes. And, before you know it, you are done. Need to check a scan because the internet froze? All you need to do is drive-in for a moment or two, not 1.5 hours!
Live Close To Work!
As you can see, living close to the hospital makes a world of difference. And the advantages are almost endless. So, go ahead and try to live reasonably close to your work. You can live your life the way you want while not burdened by all the time wasted in the car!