Can we get to the heart of why physicians lead such stressful lives?

md-2020

The Immaculate Catch
2+ Year Member
Jun 29, 2015
2,301
3,025
Status
  1. Medical Student
They don't? At least not significantly moreso than professionals in any other field that work hard/are ambitious?

Don't believe everything you see on the internet.
 
About the Ads
Sep 4, 2006
34,294
13,747
The Other Side of the Portal
Status
  1. Attending Physician
Can we get to the heart of why physicians lead such stressful lives?
Title says it all
It's no different from any profession with 70+ duty hours/week, less than optimal sleep, and constant threat of lawsuit for less-than-perfect outcomes.
 
Aug 26, 2015
353
1,021
Status
  1. Medical Student
To the extent that the premise is true, I think it's largely a result of the fact that medicine tends to attract driven people. If the stressed out workaholic doctor had become a financial analyst instead of going into medicine, he/she would probably be a stressed out workaholic financial analyst. More a result of the individual's personality than the field itself (at least-post residency).
 

DBC03

2+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2016
2,432
2,988
North Carolina
Status
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
I've been a professional engineer and professional photographer. Liability and the fear of being sued are enough to keep anyone up late at night. That's probably the one thing that prevented me from getting into the medical profession for so long. But I've also come to realize you're not immune to lawsuits in other professions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ChopinLiszt

md-2020

The Immaculate Catch
2+ Year Member
Jun 29, 2015
2,301
3,025
Status
  1. Medical Student
Most male doctors are bald. Years of stress will do that. From the very get go, doctors are stressed to get high gpa in undergrad, go thru the whole stress of the mcat, stress of applying, stress of actually being in medical school, step exams, and all that.
C'mon, it's not THAT all bad.

1.You need a high GPA for basically any competitive field, medicine or no. I was hardcore IB/econ in UG. The gunner attitude is probably worse than pre-med, I was lowkey pissed to only get a large corp bank offer near graduation, instead of the really high comp boutique firms. Why? Cuz everyone else was doing even better.
2. MCAT is a test, and not the only damn test out there. People do have things like the GRE, DAT, GMAT, LSAT, etc etc...
3. Applying is kinda expensive, but if your numbers are there (LizzyM > 67-68ish) and you have a good list it's really not that stressful. Kinda exciting really.
4. Med school isn't "fun," but it ain't bad either. During the academic year I sleep in until 9 on most days (by choice, I could go until 11), do a nice jog, shower/eat, waltz to class, eat lunch, go do some research I really enjoy, hang out with people for a bit, and then watch some quality TV shows that I follow before bed. Obviously rotations will end that, but still--it's not half bad. There's a decent chance of free food somewhere on campus all the time too, so that's exciting as well.
5. Step is stressful but the standards aren't as high circa the MCAT. 70%ile (240) is the magic number that makes you decently competitive for any specialty. Like it or not there are a lot of not-very-smart people for various reasons in the entirety of every US M.D. class population. You will get a 70%ile if you put in enough time and effort.

Things are only as bad as you can imagine them to be. And most physicians I know aren't bald.
 
Last edited:
Jan 22, 2017
756
1,115
Status
  1. Medical Student
As many have said, it is largely specialty dependent. As a surgeon or OB/gyn there is a cloud of possible law suits constantly hovering over your head (no pressure). I would say it is because you have to put your patients before yourself and the family 100% of the time. Also, some patients just plain don't care about getting better and non-compliance would be very frustrating.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Opticalfuture

Chromium Surfer

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
May 24, 2015
1,374
1,208
Status
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
C'mon, it's not THAT all bad.

1.You need a high GPA for basically any competitive field, medicine or no. I was hardcore IB/econ in UG. The gunner attitude is probably worse than pre-med, I was lowkey pissed to only get a large corp bank offer near graduation, instead of the really high comp boutique firms. Why? Cuz everyone else was doing even better.
2. MCAT is a test, and not the only damn test out there. People do have things like the GRE, DAT, GMAT, LSAT, etc etc...
3. Applying is kinda expensive, but if your numbers are there (LizzyM > 67-68ish) and you have a good list it's really not that stressful. Kinda exciting really.
4. Med school isn't "fun," but it ain't bad either. During the academic year I sleep in until 9 on most days (by choice, I could go until 11), do a nice jog, shower/eat, waltz to class, eat lunch, go do some research I really enjoy, hang out with people for a bit, and then watch some quality TV shows that I follow before bed. Obviously rotations will end that, but still--it's not half bad. There's a decent chance of free food somewhere on campus all the time too, so that's exciting as well.
5. Step is stressful but the standards aren't as high circa the MCAT. 70%ile (240) is the magic number that makes you decently competitive for any specialty. Like it or not there are a lot of not-very-smart people for various reasons in the entirety of every US M.D. class population. You will get a 70%ile if you put in enough time and effort.

Things are only as bad as you can imagine them to be. And most physicians I know aren't bald.

Agree with most of this! But I've heard that step is a different animal and since the population as a whole is "smarter" do you think that you might be understating the difficulty in getting a 240?
 

md-2020

The Immaculate Catch
2+ Year Member
Jun 29, 2015
2,301
3,025
Status
  1. Medical Student
Agree with most of this! But I've heard that step is a different animal and since the population as a whole is "smarter" do you think that you might be understating the difficulty in getting a 240?
Maybe, I'll let you know for sure once I take it haha.

But I mean, some of better schools boast school averages above 240. So....I think with sufficient prep the VAST majority of med students should be getting this. Problem is many have other commitments that cut into study time, or more uncontrollably, lacking curricula that don't prioritize Step by their schools. Which is why it's very important to know what your M1/M2 schedules are like prior to matriculating. Mine for example is P/F first 2 years, then basically P/F for clinicals, which means we have tons of time to do research/study for Step. This leads to inordinately high Step 1 scores:

Stanford University School of Medicine: Admissions, Tuition, Rankings and Average MCAT Scores

That data is horribly outdated as well, and the mean is already a 239. IIRC the pre-enrollment data they gave us said it was ~245 in c/o 2016.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chromium Surfer
Jul 19, 2013
125
198
California
Status
  1. Attending Physician
Can in many cases be self-imposed...stress, that is. Financial security is there...checked and that's a big one for us all.
What it comes down to is 1) interests outside of medicine, 2) family and friends, and most important 3) specialty choice and that is all up to you.
What you decide to do in medicine can range from long, unpredictable, stressful hours :dead: to strictly 9-5, no call, weekends off (my cup of tea :shifty:)
 
  • Like
Reactions: md-2020 and DBC03

Lost in Translation

単純な馬鹿でありたい。
Jul 1, 2015
1,914
1,720
最上川
Status
  1. Resident [Any Field]
5. Step is stressful but the standards aren't as high circa the MCAT. 70%ile (240) is the magic number that makes you decently competitive for any specialty. Like it or not there are a lot of not-very-smart people for various reasons in the entirety of every US M.D. class population. You will get a 70%ile if you put in enough time and effort.
Not anymore. Charting outcomes for 2016 has ortho/ENT/plastics/derm/neurosurg at an average of 240 for applicants that don't match (250+ for those that do). And 240 isn't even bottom percentile of those that did match for several of those specialities.
 

md-2020

The Immaculate Catch
2+ Year Member
Jun 29, 2015
2,301
3,025
Status
  1. Medical Student
Not anymore. Charting outcomes for 2016 has ortho/ENT/plastics/derm/neurosurg at an average of 240 for applicants that don't match (250+ for those that do). And 240 isn't even bottom percentile of those that did match for several of those specialities.
Which reinforces the fact that these specialties aren't only interested in Step. You also need AOA, pubs, clinical exp in said specialty etc. You'd be surprised at how many people apply without them.

But where are you seeing these numbers of 250+ for matched (source)? I'm seeing on USMLE that avg for ortho was 245 in 2016 with one single standard deviation putting you below 240. Thats not bad, considering high places will be 260+ and local programs probably 230ish.

You also have to consider some of the other stats. Matched applicants ranked an average of 12.1 ortho programs. Unmatched 6.8. Which means unmatched people were more open to other specialties, hence the fewer ranks. AOA? 34 vs 12%.

Edit: Is 240 an ideal score for ortho, plastics, or neurosurg? Definitely not. But does it put you within very competitive striking distance of many programs nationwide assuming you rank extensively and have the research/clinical exp. to back up your interest? Absolutely.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Frogger27
Aug 2, 2016
2,037
3,902
Status
  1. Medical Student
Because they feel entitled and then find out they have to work? The docs I see that arent afraid to work dont seem to be stressed in the slightest.

This is an extremely uninformed answer. Sure, there are some docs who get to residency who **** the bed because they have never had a real job. But you are completely downplaying the stresses in this career. There are plenty of docs who absolutely LOVE their job and LOVE to work yet are still stressed as **** dealing with bureaucratic bull****, threats of constant lawsuits, life and deal decisions everyday and sacrificing family time for work a lot of times. These are only a few of the daily BS extremely educated, hardworking physicians have to deal with in medicine 2017
 
This thread is more than 3 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads