PercutaneousKnowledge

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Hello,
Two years ago, I quit my corporate job to pursue my dream of being a physician. My first two years of medical school were amazing - I was inducted in the honor society, top quartile of my class and loving every second of it. Four months ago, during my board preparation, I had a long term relationship fall apart and I began having some strange symptoms after getting a flu shot (I'm not an anti-vaxxer, get your shots!!) . Turns out, I have an autoimmune condition which leaves me incredibly fatigued and unable to walk or stand for long periods of time. I am unable to eat much due to gastroparesis. The worst is a dizziness that has become persistent and gets worse when I exert myself (aka walk or stand). Incredibly, I was able to do pretty well on step 1 under the circumstances (I studied mostly on my back to avoid the fatigue of sitting). Previously, I was interested in general surgery and had no problem standing for 15-16 hours a day - unfortunately that is not a possibility anymore.

My question is, what kind of opportunities are out there for MDs or DOs that are physically disabled and unable to handle the physical capabilities of a full clinic day. For example, do insurance companies typically hire physicians out of medical school? While I certainly would love to do something like family medicine, my autoimmune condition leaves me susceptible to infections and might accelerate (due to the stress of getting over an infection). I suppose an option such as radiology or pathology exists, however, to my knowledge there is still a year of clinical medicine that is required for both (please correct me if I'm wrong.)
I realize there are many people in a worse position that I am - perhaps I'm just getting used to the fact that this has happened to me recently. It's obviously incredibly depressing to me and of my course my family who had their hopes and dreams on me. However, I'm not willing to give up and will do anything to finish what I started. If anyone has any contacts or would even like to chat about a similar situation, I would love to talk.
 

Morzh

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If it's physical exertion that you are limited by then there are many fields where that wouldn't be a problem - you mentioned a few. It sounds like you are describing something more pervasive, though. If just concentrating in a chair for a few hours is a challenge, then I don't know.. you're going to need to be able to do that anywhere. Maybe you would benefit from a year off during which you could hopefully regain some control, or at least develop coping strategies to help you function better. You mention that you're still getting used to your disease - jumping neck-deep into third year may not be the best thing for you right now.

Also,

It's obviously incredibly depressing to me and of my course my family who had their hopes and dreams on me.
Not sure exactly what you mean by that, but taken at face value - that sounds really unhealthy. That's a lot of crushing, unnecessary pressure you really don't need hanging over you. Best of luck, sorry you're going through this!
 
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Jun 27, 2013
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I don't know if this is even compatible with your particular condition, but I have seen surgeons in standing wheelchairs operate in ORs.
 

*brobro*

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What is the autoimmune condition?

Also, Charles Krauthammer suffered a spinal cord injury during his MS1 year and has certainly done quite well for himself. Google for the deers.
 

Law2Doc

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I don't know if this is even compatible with your particular condition, but I have seen surgeons in standing wheelchairs operate in ORs.
They were probably already surgeons before the debilitation, not going in. I've seen many people steered away from surgical residency paths due to limitations.
 

Law2Doc

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Hello,
Two years ago, I quit my corporate job to pursue my dream of being a physician. My first two years of medical school were amazing - I was inducted in the honor society, top quartile of my class and loving every second of it. Four months ago, during my board preparation, I had a long term relationship fall apart and I began having some strange symptoms after getting a flu shot (I'm not an anti-vaxxer, get your shots!!) . Turns out, I have an autoimmune condition which leaves me incredibly fatigued and unable to walk or stand for long periods of time. I am unable to eat much due to gastroparesis. The worst is a dizziness that has become persistent and gets worse when I exert myself (aka walk or stand). Incredibly, I was able to do pretty well on step 1 under the circumstances (I studied mostly on my back to avoid the fatigue of sitting). Previously, I was interested in general surgery and had no problem standing for 15-16 hours a day - unfortunately that is not a possibility anymore.

My question is, what kind of opportunities are out there for MDs or DOs that are physically disabled and unable to handle the physical capabilities of a full clinic day. For example, do insurance companies typically hire physicians out of medical school? While I certainly would love to do something like family medicine, my autoimmune condition leaves me susceptible to infections and might accelerate (due to the stress of getting over an infection). I suppose an option such as radiology or pathology exists, however, to my knowledge there is still a year of clinical medicine that is required for both (please correct me if I'm wrong.)
I realize there are many people in a worse position that I am - perhaps I'm just getting used to the fact that this has happened to me recently. It's obviously incredibly depressing to me and of my course my family who had their hopes and dreams on me. However, I'm not willing to give up and will do anything to finish what I started. If anyone has any contacts or would even like to chat about a similar situation, I would love to talk.
Someone unable to walk after a long term relationship falls apart... Are you sure it's not a conversion disorder? It seems odd to even feel the need to mention the break up in your post.
 

Goro

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Check out ada.gov (Americans with Disabilities Act) which goes through the DOJ Civil Rights Division, to get some basic info about laws and what options are available to you. I'd definitely reach out to your school's administration or even a lawyer in this specialty to find out more. Sounds like you are doing great in school and there's no reason to give up on a good residency when you don't necessarily have to.
 

Crayola227

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Someone unable to walk after a long term relationship falls apart... Are you sure it's not a conversion disorder? It seems odd to even feel the need to mention the break up in your post.
Cruel. I call it kicking someone for all the reasons they have to be down.
 

Crayola227

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