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Thinking of leaving medicine

15 years 9 months ago #54344 by attila
Medicine is a big tent. You need to find out where you fit in it. But yes, I've been where you are. First, I suggest you optimize your ability to make decisions. Go and screen yourself for depression, and think about a trial of antidepressants. You may find this really helps.

Second, I went into medicine because all the kids in my family went into medicine, rather than because of any aptitude (other than intellectual quickness and being a diligent student.) Thinking about my strengths and weaknesses, I would have been better counselled into engineering, as I really enjoy statistics, have relatively poor people skills, and can be both oversensitive and abrasive. I went into pediatrics mostly because I couldn't stand adult patients, but was miserably unhappy; tried pathology after my intern year, (it was as far away from clinical medicine as I could think of), and hated it; and finally did a tropical medicine fellowship in order to "find myself". (My parents hoped I would find a nice South Asian boy and settle down, so they supported that last, otherwise I couldn't have afforded it.) I think the light and warmth really helped my decisionmaking, and when I came back, it was to a Preventive Medicine residency at Johns Hopkins, with the intention of becoming a tropical medical specialist. Fortunately I noted the high unemployment rate among Preventive Medicine grads before I was through my MPH year, and so steered all my courses to Occupational Medicine, and managed to end up with specialty boards in both Preventive Medicine and Occupational Medicine within two years of completion. I'm full time occ med now. I really enjoy OccupationaL Medicine. There are lots of procedures to do; EMGs/NCS, epidurals, carpal tunnel blocks, etc; my patients mostly get better; I have no insurance hassles; I don't take call, I get out at five and so can spend time with my family, I'm off on weekends, and I am often in factories explaining how to improve design so as to prevent a particular form of injury. (Nice meld of medicine and engineering!)

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15 years 9 months ago #54345 by attila
I have been thinking about your situation a little more. As I tell my eldest, in life as in poker, you have to play to your strengths, not your weaknesses. It seems that social interaction is an area of weakness for you. You find it stressful, and have difficulty blowing negative interactions off. (Clearly, you should never go into sales.) So, what are your strengths? What do you enjoy? What would you do for free if you didn't have to earn a living? If you love procedures then working with your hands may be an area of strength for you. If so, I would think about things like interventional radiology, anesthesia, or perhaps being tele-intensivist. (A lot of smaller hospitals now have resident-physician level hospitalists in the ICU's, and subscribe to a service whereby the vital signs of every patient in the ICU is transmitted to a central location in a major city, where a competent intensivist monitors them day and night. If the numbers look bad, they have immediate ability to speak directly to the patient, zoom in on the equipment, order meds, and have the hospitalist run the scut. It's fixed hours; you might enjoy that.)

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15 years 9 months ago #54346 by maggie52
Since the techy aspect is still cool to you...
don;t you think you would be a superb saleperson for new stents??? and other new cardiac cath equipment? :yes:
I mean you would knock our socks off if you cme in promoting the best new stent or a fancy new pacer/ defibirillator etc. ; who would argue with you that it wouldn't be worth a try??? :)
What about an editorial staffmember for the AHA; ie edit ACLS books etc?
I AM REALLY sorry that pts treated you that horribly. I get my share of nasties...but not that bad...sorry... :grouphug:

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