I think, in part, it helped universalize the sense that this job was eating my life, with too much work and too little appreciation, and I was just forcing myself along through it, just like hard working blokes through so much of all of world history. At least I was going to come out in a good position on the other end! Plus, it really helped wake me up a bit - always nice on the way into work or on the way home.
I'm in major burnout. Last year (intern year) was bad around Christmas time for a few months, then things seemed to get better in the Spring and summer. Now, there's not a day that goes by that I don't regret the decision I made to go to medical school. I hate my job, I hate being so grouchy when I get home, I hate that I'm tired, I hate that I never see my daughter, and I particularly hate that I have absolutely no passion or desire to do what I'm doing. What on earth was I thinking? Then I think that I have another 30 years of being in medicine before I can retire and it's awful. I feel completely trapped by my quarter of a million dollars +++ in student loans, plus the complete and utter disappointment that my family would have if I left medicine. As awful as it sounds, some days I secretely hope for some kind of illnnessto plague me or my family so that I can quit residency and no one will blame me for it. I just want a way out. I have no desire to learn how the body works. I don't care. And what makes it worse is that I don't have another "calling" that I would pursue, I just don't want to do medicine and I'm miserable about it but feel like I'm pretty much stuck. I know I should probably go talk to someone about it, and would probably even benefit from being medicated, but it just seems pointless because I'm still going to be stuck doing a job that I hate (even more annoying is some other residents' professing about how "wonderful and exciting and terrific" medicine is.....uuuugghhhh----gag me!)
DocE, I'm sorry. I hope you get some time soon to figure things out - is there anyone you trust that you can talk to in (or out of) your program? Can you take a few months off to spend some time at home and rethink things? Work a month on, month off for a while?
It may be be that with a little time and perspective you can find a slice of medicine you do have passion for (maybe even in a role you haven't yet thought of?) or it may be that it really isn't going to work out. Either way, identifying burnout is important and I hope your program can give you what you need to feel better now that you've recognized it.
Wish I could say something helpful, and that you find your direction.
Hey doc e- sorry you are going through such a rough patch. How long is your program? For me what helps is knowing that this awful schedule wont last forever. Despite my 6 figure loans that are 1/3 more than my house mortgage,I decided I will do part time when I get out for a while so I can regroup, reconnect, and spend time with my family.
Is there any part of your practice that when things are going well- you are rested, pts are nice,etc- that you like? Will you be able to focus on just that or maximize that when you are done?
If you are you are thinking you might benefit from medication, just do it. It may give you a little boost to be able to push through.