Oh--you guys are making me tear up. I remember those days just like they were yesterday. (Well ok, they weren't really THAT long ago, after all..) The feeling that it would never end was the worst. I drove to work every morning (before the sun came up) thinking, "If I quit now I'd never have to do this again!" But it WILL end. I promise. And it does get better.
And remember, this is the hardest time of your career. You will look back on this and be proud you even made it through (sheesh--I am!) You CAN do this. Look how far you've already come.
As for feeling stupid, remember that you are still in training!! You are not supposed to know everything yet (or ever, for that matter!)
Anyways.. if we knew everything about pt care straight out of med school, we wouldn't have to work our a$$es off for a pittance for 3++ years to finish our 'training'.. so remember this is still your education.. ask questions.. learn what you can. Take an "I'm learning here!" attitude, and try to make it from one day to the next. And remember, all your attendings were once residents too.
Soon, you will have the control over your life that you want, and you will be able to make the schedule your own. I used to tell people I could do anything for three years. You can too. Hang in there!
And when they carve my stone, all they need to write on it is, "Once lived a man who got all he ever wanted..." --Ty Herndon
Hi ladies! I'm in my last year of residency and have been wanting to quit since day 1. Like many of you, I found a level of fulfillment in motherhood that I never could have anticipated. I think that the sheer time suck of being a physician is the underlying problem. If I could actually achieve some level of balance in my life, things wouldn't be this miserable. My 3 year old clings to my leg and says things like, "You are MY mommy...not the hospital's mommy" and I realize that he is right. My 1 year old thinks that my name is "Bye Bye." When they get sick, I can't stay home and hold them like I want to. It kills me.....every day. If I had it to do over again....could have predicted how much I would love being a mom....I would have ended my education upon college graduation. None of us have the crystal ball though. I didn't come from a family with much money so I owe time for my med school scholarship. I still will have absolutely no control over my schedule after I graduate. If I did, I would probably try working like 1-2 days a week and see if I could improve my life balance and reassess but, well, I can't. The most frustrating thing for all of us in this situation is that all the hard work and intelligence in the world does not buy happiness. I don't have any answers to these problems but I do understand what you are going through. I pray that I'll have more time with my family after residency but many Staff I talk to claim that they don't.
Thanks Laura, for your brilliant advice! Really needed to hear that. I sit and think about how much I love this and how much I hate it at the same time. It is not the work I hate. It is the hours. The hours stink, stink, stink! Did I mention the hours stink? I long for the days that I could spend time with the 2 loves of my life- my husband and son. It is sometimes so hard, esp when my son wishes I could be around more. He is a little older, but by no means a grown boy. I do suck up the time I am able to spend with him, but secretly wish it was more. For instance, last weekend was the first weekend I was off since Christmas. We went to dinner. Had a movie and game night and hit a movie in the theater as well. Looking forward to our cruise to Mexico in a few short weeks. It is so exciting to see my son so excited about our vacation. I can't wait! Boy! Am I in need of a vacation!
I wish I could say it would get easier after residency. But after residency comes my true nightmare- 15 months away from my husband and son. Yes, I did say 15 months. Regardless of who becomes President and what they promise, there is a war going on and Iraq and Afghanistan are not going anywhere. (Yes, I am in the military). So when times get really hard for me, I just thank God I get the chance to see my family most days. I thank God I am able to kiss them goodbye and goodnight. I am thankful I could sit and cuddle on the couch (even if I am secretly snoozing) because I know in 2.3 short (yet long) years, I will be in a desert caring for soldiers with blown off limbs etc. No more kisses goodbye. No more kisses goodnight. No more kisses period for that matter.
All I can do, is take each day as it comes and pray for the best. Pray things in the world will change. Pray deployments lessen in time (currently talking about 1 year deployments instead of 15 months....we will see). Pray for peace. Sorry for the downer post, didn't mean for it to be that way! Like I said, thanks again Laura for your encouraging words. You're absolutely right, it won't last forever, will it?
Erin-- keep your chin up girlie! You are an awesome doc and the world is a better place with your participation If you don't know who this is, look at the bottom quote in my post ) Miss you!!!!
"Cure sometimes, Care always" <br />Dr. Robert Fogel. <br />"Go confidently in the direction of your dream. Live the life you have imagined". HD Thoreau
Another attending chiming in... Life does get so much better after residency! I definitely look at residency as the "lost years" of my life- I was clinically depressed, irritable, anxious, just miserable. Private practice has its demands but it is much easier to balance home and work than residency especially as a partner in a group practice. I have much more control over my schedule- if I need to take my daughter to lacrosse practice, I do. If I need to go see her in the Thanksgiving play, I do. Her lunchtime is my lunchtime and luckily I live and work close to her school. I would never, ever go through residency again- my daughter was an infant/toddler during that time and I remember how tough it was but just hang in there, be strong, you will make it through...