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Would you go into medicine again if you had the choice?

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16 years 9 months ago #17469 by efex101
What I think that many of us forget is also the long time that it takes to *become* a physician and also, the long hours that most physicians put in per week. I know of very few professions that take from high school, 8 years of schooling (u-grad, med school) and then another 3-7 years of residency, for a total of anywhere between 11-15 years. That is quite a looong time ladies, most professions do not even come close. To top this off once you are done with your residency the hours are quite grueling. From talking to physicians in my small town they put in anywhere from 60 (this is truly the lower end) to 80 hours per week. This is a lot of time, and if you do have a family it takes a big chunk out of family time, your time, etc. I do not think that anyone here is saying that other professions do not face some of these issues, but let's get real, physicians do make life or death decisions daily. What I feel is a misconception is that many women think that yes, we can do it all at 100%, and that is incorrect. Something gives many times, you cannot be a perfect mommy, wife, doctor (or stick some other highly demanding profession here). So, as long as you go into medicine with your eyes wide open and some more you will be fine. It is those that may feel like medicine is some 40 hour per week job, I do not think so, unless you are going part-time.

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16 years 9 months ago #17470 by eeh2004
Oh, what a bad night for me to have stumbled across this topic. I'm currently a 3rd year medical student in the middle of a HIGHLY malignant OB/Gyn rotation which is about to drain the life out of me. It has been rough before this. There were always disagreements between classmates (small class size) or overwhelming exam blocks that really made me wonder what I was getting into. However, up until now, the clinical years have been a dream come true. I have finished pediatrics, family medicine, and psychiatry rotations and always felt that I was learning how to be a physician, even when the rotations got tough (and they did, especially peds), and contributing to the care of patients. Now it's a different story. Today I cried all the way home from the hospital, where I spend 12-13 hours a day plus call, and work my *#^ off, hoping to gain a good understanding of OB and learn all that I can. This only to be cursed at by clinic nurses (yes! today!) for "getting in the way," cursed at by a senior resident over a discharge sheet that she had to redo because no one gave me the guidance to fill it out to her liking, and told that my notes have "too much detail" and basically suck by the oncoming high-risk resident (previous resident? no complaints). And we each get a daily dose of eye-rolling and being laughed at in rounds by our attending and senior resident. There is so much inappropriate behavior that I could detail here and just don't have the energy to dredge up tonight. I have questioned my decision to enter medicine to some degree before, never seriously, but right now I find myself actually calculating how to pay back my loans if I just graduate and don't do residency at all. Ever. It's that bad.

Did I mention that I'm about 5 months pregnant right now?

And of course that factors in as well. I'm already suffering from guilt over trying to be a superwoman and my baby won't be here until June!

My saving grace is that I am strongly considering an accelerated residency program in family medicine, something that I love truly want to do. I find a lot of encouragement from all 3 of the programs that I'm applying for. It's nice to know that someone out there thinks that I'm capable.

So would I do it all over again? Ask me in about 6 weeks. I try not to let the current situation influence the way that I feel about medicine in general, but it's HARD. Very hard. Overall, I would have to vote yes. I would do it all over again. I wish that I could be one of those "shining stars" that could answer every question, write perfect notes, tie perfect surgical knots, and who sail through each rotation as if they were already a resident. I'm not. But my experiences with patients this year have been overwhelmingly positive and I can't think of anything that could bring more joy into my life. That's what I do well, and that's why I stay. I LOVE TAKING CARE OF PEOPLE. Even during times of struggle like this, that's what keeps me here.

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16 years 9 months ago #17471 by efex101
First of all congratulations on your pregnancy! I am sure that you are very excited and I wish you the best. It seems that you know what you want to do as far as residency goes, and just right now you are at the wrong spot at the wrong time. Keep on plugging away and take care of yourself and your baby. Good luck!

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16 years 9 months ago #17472 by GracieThree
Would love to post more, but have "quality time" scheduled with hubby for right now...

Just wanted to say to eeh2004 - HANG IN THERE!! Ob was truly the WORST rotation for me as well when I was a medical student - it was during my OB rotation that I decided to take a year off after third year to pursue a research project (I was that burned out on patient care! And b----y OB residents, even the male ones!). I did take the time off and came back to finish fourth year, then residency. So hang in there. In the seven years since I did that rotation, you either love it or you hate it, but you live through it.

Best wishes to you and your baby! :grouphug:

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16 years 9 months ago #17473 by ladysurg
Wow, I never realized how lucky I am. I have been a general surgeon for 14 years. I joined a practice that let me practice medicine, take care of patients and never be rich. I finally left the practice becuase I got a better offer doing what I love...taking care of breast disease. Yes I had my times when I felt I never saw my family and yes I felt at times that I wasn't appreciated. Insurance problems and paperwork are things that can be minimized in different settings than private practice. Academic medicine and clinics and Kaiser type settings are very different. Are there things that I regret? Yes, I regret that my husband is the stay at home dad and gets all the fun things but then I also see how it is really tough for him too. I can come home and be the spoiler too!!!! I have chosen now to narrow my practice because of my family so I can get ever closer ot havign it all. No one can have it all, you have to find which parts of it you are willing to share and do it the best that you can.

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16 years 9 months ago #17474 by ladysurg
Wow, I never realized how lucky I am. I have been a general surgeon for 14 years. I joined a practice that let me practice medicine, take care of patients and never be rich. I finally left the practice becuase I got a better offer doing what I love...taking care of breast disease. Yes I had my times when I felt I never saw my family and yes I felt at times that I wasn't appreciated. Insurance problems and paperwork are things that can be minimized in different settings than private practice. Academic medicine and clinics and Kaiser type settings are very different. Are there things that I regret? Yes, I regret that my husband is the stay at home dad and gets all the fun things but then I also see how it is really tough for him too. I can come home and be the spoiler too!!!! ;) I have chosen now to narrow my practice because of my family so I can get ever closer ot having it all. No one can have it all, you have to find which parts of it you are willing to share, which parts you are willing to sacrifice and do it the best that you can. :crossfingers:

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