Anybody come back to IM?

Discussion in 'Internal Medicine and IM Subspecialties' started by gasping81, May 13, 2008.

  1. gasping81

    2+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Has anybody ever gone BACK to IM here from another specialty?
    What were your reasons?
    Do you regret it?
    How was the transition process (applying, interviewing, etc.)?
    How did you approach your former program about the idea?
    How did you go about interviewing? How did the new program treat you on interview day?

    And for the unsuccessfuls so far, what has been the biggest hurdle? How can those potentially be avoided? Basically, not being on a s**tlist.

    You can PM if you prefer not going public with your post.

    By the way, I'm a gas man who doesn't feel a good fit at this point. It's a lot more different than rotating as a student couple years ago. The 12 hour days with constant attention are getting to my guts, which rarely occurred with IM even over 30 hours. Sure I feel tired after 30 hr, but I always had help in a team setting. Or is PGY-2 a lot more different than being an IM intern?
  2. chicamedica

    chicamedica 1K Member
    15+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2003
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    Attending Physician

    You are not alone in your feelings. The same thing happened to me and 4 other anesthesia CA-1s that I know of this year (from different programs) and went back to medicine. Anesthesiology is a field where it's hard to get an accurate perspective as a med student. During my intern year, I fell in love with a lot of things about medicine (the team structure, the teaching that was inherent in the work, the thought process, having one's own patients, seeing them get better over time (sometimes)). Anesthesiology can be a great field for many who are ok with not having those elements, but for me, it made me miserable as I derived no joy from my work. The work was extremely stressful and isolating, with minimal fulfillment in return. I was only able to appreciate my preferences after experiencing both fields. Just like you, I felt that i'd trade the 16 hour q7 anesthesia calls with minimal work and no post-call rounding, for the 30-hour IM doozies, just to be happy again. So in short, anesthesiology was not the right fit for me either.

    I was lucky to have successfully been able to switch back to IM and am now a couple months into my PGY2 year as an internal medicine resident. It did take some getting used to being in the resident role but everyone in internal medicine goes through that transition and it's really not bad at all. Actually in some ways I think being an IM resident is an easier job than being an intern--there is a lot of busy work that the interns do, that as a resident leaves a big gaping hole in your time and effort, which then you get to use to read up on the medical issues and decide on plans or teaching material. But overall, the kind of work is similar, and I am deriving so much happiness from work once again. I feel reborn and extremely lucky to have this opportunity to remedy my huge mistake of going into anesthesia, but i suppose it couldn't have happened a different way as this was the path it took for me to recognize this.

    Best of luck to you in your path of self-searching and attaining the career that makes you happy and fulfilled!
  3. RTrain

    RTrain National Merit Finalist
    2+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2007
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    Fellow [Any Field]
    Chicamedica, I'm so happy for you that you have found a field that gives you joy in your work - what a great story!

    Each year, we have a few prelims who are really outstanding IM interns, who really take to it and enjoy the work and obviously love it. I'm always so sad to see them go off to anesthesia or rads or derm... this gives me hope that maybe one of them will come back to us someday! :)

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