Sorry everyone, but I just wanted to throw a little pity party for myself tonight.
As everyone knows on the forum, I'm the surgical resident who completed 2 yrs GS and now finishing 2 yrs in the lab, about to return back to residency.
I don't know why I decided to torture myself, as I usually never go on Facebook, but I wanted to see how old classmates were doing. I didn't expect to feel so bad about myself after seeing everyone finish their residencies and finding jobs, seemingly very passionate about what they are doing.
And here I am looking at 3-4 more years ahead of me whether I stay in surgery or not, not even sure if what I'm doing is right/good for me/something I love. Not even sure if the other alternatives are right/good for me/something I love. I don't even know what I regret, but I feel tons of regret.
I'm in my early 30s and I feel like life hasn't started yet. I know I can't change the past and I can't wallow in regret and I can't compare myself to others. I know that life isn't a race. Yet in my heart I feel like the last person on the track trying to make it to the finish line while everyone else has already finished, celebrated, and gone home.
Just because we can do something does not mean it is the right thing. I thought long and hard before I decided to go into family medicine. I am older, have a child and a marriage. Sometimes, it is more important to recognize what is already in front of you. One thing my hospice, palliative care rotation taught me was - life is temporary. Enjoy it while it lasts.
If there are others who are going surgery and other more intense residencies, more power to them. God knows we need those people.
Each of us paid the same money to get a medical degree. What we do with it is totally an individual choice. We are not classmates for the rest of our lives. We need to recognize that and form our own individual lives.
Good luck to you, you will do the right thing for yourself and your family regardless of what fb ppl are posting.
Although it's come in slightly different circumstances for me, I've definitely been in somewhat similar positions sometimes as an MD/PhD, with my initial med school class going on to 3rd year while I went into the lab, then being sometimes even my senior resident when I came back to 3rd year of med school, and then being attending level when I was a resident... and then now as a resident I've taken some maternity leave and done some part time, and am now again watching my class go on ahead of me. The thing that's been helpful for me, though, is that as much as it feels really weird/bad sometimes when I'm focused on one cohort heading off leaving me... once I meet the new one I'm joining, it feels much better again. Not perfect, of course, but much, much better....
I can relate. My brother died in medical school which threw me off emotionally. Ended up taking an extra year to finish. Did a year of ob/gyn and walked away feeling similarly to you. Did two intern years and am now taking a year out (not by choice, had to move for husband's residency). Looking at starting pgy-2 after three cumulative years... I'm on facebook looking at all of my friends who are new attendings and feeling sorry for myself as well. Just wanted you to know you are not the only one. I also have regret about the past and it's hard to let it go. maybe that is inherent in the perfectionist personality. I've decided facebook is terrible because it allows a false platform for comparisons- who knows who is really happy/successful/fulfilled by their career? I'm sure there are some people envious of your life, as a surgical resident. I too am in my thirties and am just ready for the training phase to be over already. It is such a long road to becoming a doctor. Hope you are hanging in there.