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Thinking of leaving medicine

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15 years 9 months ago #54338 by hope1
Hi, I just registered for mommd and I think it is a great resource for women in medicine. I finished my training 1 1/2 years ago and have been practicing cardiology since then. However, I have been having doubts about my career since I was a resident. I have been unhappy for several years and after a lot of soul searching I concluded I need to leave medicine and find another career. I am even willing to go back to school if necessary. I have no idea where to even start searching to find out what my real calling is. Anyone out there with any ideas? I am willing to look into biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry but I don't want to be involved in research either. If anyone has found themselves in a similar situation I would love to hear from them.

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15 years 9 months ago #54339 by mdtobe
Out of curiousity, why are you dissatisfied with your job in medicine? Were you driven to cardiology because you found it really interesting and just feel burnt out after all of the training? Is it the hours? I have been considering a career in medicine for a few years (I'm still in college) and have had very dramatic shifts in how I feel about it. I would really appreciate hearing more about your current situation. Do you think that it is your specific job that you don't like, and if you were working somewhere else it may be better? Also, what about teaching at a med school?
Best of luck

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15 years 9 months ago #54340 by laural
Dr. Heidi,
I've sent you a private message.

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15 years 9 months ago #54341 by kthoms0319
hope1,
Have you thought about getting into administration? or is it the politics that are driving you away? There are some places that you could still use your MD and not be in clinical medicine. Just a thought. It's something I've considered.

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15 years 9 months ago #54342 by hope1
Thank you for the replies and ideas. For those that were wondering what is turning me off about medicine, unfortunately it is the actual patient care. I love procedures and diagnostic studies but I had many (unfortunately not just a few) negative experiences with patient care itself. I can understand how families and patients become scared and anxious about an uncertain future when they are told they have heart disease. But I think that I have sustained more verbal abuse from the part of patients and families in the last 5 years than any human being should have to suffer.
I do have more than a handful of patients who are compliant and extremely appreciative. Unfortunately, to keep up with the volume required to stay in practice, I can only spend 15 minutes with each patient or less. Trying to educate patients about heart disease, its treatment, and trying to explain complicated procedures such as cardiac catheterizations, with its potential complications in 15 minutes, day in and day out is more stressful than running a code.
I don't think I can keep up with that pace. The job I currently have is not the reason. I have the best job you can have if you want to be a cardiologist. Plus, after an unexpected illness, I was allowed to cut back to 4 days per week. I only take call every 7 weekends, so the hours are not bad. If any medical students are reading this, the only advice I have is do careful research about the specialty you are interested in. Don't go into it just because is "cool". Do careful research and maybe spend a few days at a physician's office of that same specialty to get a feel for what their life is like. Ask them about their personal life and about job satisfaction. Someone gave me that advice a little too late. Thanks again for the posts.

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15 years 9 months ago #54343 by rs4
A few ideas....As a former nurse I know someone who got burned out and burned some bridges for if she ever wanted to go back in a different role as a nurse...if you can afford to keep your licensure possibilities open and take some time off...what about overseas locum tenens? missionary hospitals (Catholic and Seventh day Adventist have a lot), military(much better schedule and no RVU's...just the deployment risk!) Try a career coach or therapist a couple times to help you sort through your goals and options...... :boggled:

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