If you want to go into medicine, you should read this

ptolemy

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    As a 4th year med student, I thought you guys might want to know what you're getting into. I'm not trying to talk you out of medicine, because I love medicine, and wouldn't choose any other career, but the system is seriously screwed, and just about everyone is jaded. One of these threads pops up in the Gen Residency forum all the time, so I just thought you guys should at least want to know what's around the corner, so read away!

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=137995
     

    Surgeonizer

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      Sounds like that person just made a bad specialty choice. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. Some folks love general internal medicine. Plus there are plenty of options in terms of subspecializing after a medicine residency--cards, GI, heme/onc, etc. Many of these subspecialties are very well compensated and quite procedural.

      Medicine is a wonderful career choice. Don't believe all the crap in the media. Not all of it is true.
       
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      HumptyDumpty

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        ptolemy said:
        As a 4th year med student, I thought you guys might want to know what you're getting into. I'm not trying to talk you out of medicine, because I love medicine, and wouldn't choose any other career, but the system is seriously screwed, and just about everyone is jaded. One of these threads pops up in the Gen Residency forum all the time, so I just thought you guys should at least want to know what's around the corner, so read away!

        http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=137995

        I imagine there will be many such moments of frustration along the way, but I'm still willing to give it a shot! I know there are a lot of people who abuse the health care system and who are more interested in a quick, temporary solution than in making meaningful and healthy long-term changes in their lives, but if we can affect just a few people and improve their health and how they feel, I think we'll have done something worthwhile.
         

        vikaskoth

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          i read the book intern blues, about 3 residents first year in peds in the bronx, The first third of the book (journal entry format) the docs all sounded like this, they really seemed to be hitting personal and professional lows. As the year went on, they started to hit their stride, and while problems still existed they realized why they chose medicine and pediatrics.
          But it seems that stories like this are inevitable in medicine, i've read, heard about quite a few. However i think the same frustrations can come in other professions, research, law, business, i really dont think there are any higher education professional careers out there that wont cause significant amts of stress at times.
           

          TripleDegree

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            ptolemy said:
            As a 4th year med student, I thought you guys might want to know what you're getting into. I'm not trying to talk you out of medicine, because I love medicine, and wouldn't choose any other career, but the system is seriously screwed, and just about everyone is jaded. One of these threads pops up in the Gen Residency forum all the time, so I just thought you guys should at least want to know what's around the corner, so read away!

            http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=137995

            WOW - that was a fascinating thread.

            I think I read all 4 pages, and my thoughts are somewhat fragmented, but here are my impressions.

            - dang, it seems like getting into M-school is not the end of the road, there are a lot of uncertainties and frustrations ahead of us
            - bit worried about the fact that malignant personalities can play such a huge role in making the intern's lives miserable
            - everyone seemed to agree that minimizing patient contact (specialities like rads, anes, rad-onc etc) was the best way to go - doesn't this seem strange?
            - everyone seems to have gone through these blues at some point in time - so thats scary, I guess the comforting thing is that everyone will get through it - but all the same, i don't want to be thinking gosh darn it, have i done the right thing
            - IM took a real beating in this thread, unfortunately there is no other way to cardiology than thru IM - so that sucketh.
             

            ShyRem

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              Many paramedics go through the same process - one reason why the burn-out rate is so high. Those who survive paramedicine and stay with it usually get a rather sick sense of humor (I remember fondly a day where I was getting cor after cor after cor... I was singing this song "Start your day with a DOA, doo dah... doodah... end your shift with a cold dead stiff, oh doo dah day!") and have a bladder that holds a gallon of urine, the patience of a saint with clueless and ignorant patients, and patience of a tse tse fly with incompetent partners. You deal with the really really bad stuff by realizing how little you know and how much you can't fix, and by never talking about it. You have good days and bad days. If you're lucky you find a saint of a wife/husband/partner who loves you anyway and makes a damn fine cup of latte in the morning.

              Humor, while completely misunderstood by those not in the system, is a magnificent and necessary coping system. Along the way it is perfectly normal to feel abandoned by your family, who doesn't understand you anymore. Your friends stop calling because you're too busy and all you talk about it work anyway. Your partner feels neglected by you and you also feel neglected by them. You will find yourself thinking the only people who really understand you and know you are your hated/loved/needed peers. And sometimes it is necessary to take a "mental health" break and cry for hours, walk in the woods, and try to relearn how to love your family. And if the fiend of medicine is truly for you, you'll come back after the break and find that it's all worth it; then you realize you're going to be broke for the rest of your life and wonder why you didn't become a plumber. :)
               

              Fantasy Sports

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                Don't fret too much, if what some people are guessing the program the OP is at is correct, then it most certainly is a problem with the program.

                But until we know for sure the program the OP is at, I guess its better not to name it until then.

                But in general, there are definitely some malignant residency programs out there. But as long as you research well and find a program that fits your personality and academic pursuits, you won't have this problem-- at least to this degree.
                 

                Sarikate

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                  One of the reasons I delayed the application process for four years is because I was watching my sister go through med school and residency - seeing it firsthand was very difficult. She met some wonderful people and has a fantastic, supportive husband who is now a happy pediatrician, but she was miserable! She changed a lot during those years, not entirely for the better, because she was so stressed. She has told me several times that she is not sure she made the right decision for herself. I really struggled with making the same decision. I know there are bound to be some really rough times ahead, but I also know that if I don't give it a go, I will always feel like I am neglecting a huge part of me. Every profession has frustrations; we can't be naive about them, but have to move forward with optimism as long as we can!
                   
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                  als12179

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                    There is a book called "The House of God" that was written by a guy doing his internal medicine internship in the early 70's at a prominent program in the northeast. His experiences and feelings about the system are nearly identical to the person posting now. It is what it is.
                     
                    That same post could be written by anybody in middle-management, anyone who went to law school, anyone who works in academia, and nearly everyone who works in fast-food/low-end retail. Medicine may not be in its glory days any more, but it's sure a lot better than a lot of other things you could be doing.
                     

                    Blake

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                      TheProwler said:
                      That same post could be written by anybody in middle-management, anyone who went to law school, anyone who works in academia, and nearly everyone who works in fast-food/low-end retail. Medicine may not be in its glory days any more, but it's sure a lot better than a lot of other things you could be doing.
                      My exact thoughts. Still beats living the life of a poor orphan in afghanistan any day.
                       

                      TripleDegree

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                        TheProwler said:
                        That same post could be written by anybody in middle-management, anyone who went to law school, anyone who works in academia, and nearly everyone who works in fast-food/low-end retail. Medicine may not be in its glory days any more, but it's sure a lot better than a lot of other things you could be doing.


                        hmmm...not really. You don't have to go through 4+4+(3..7) years of training to be in middle management. Neither do you have a person's life in your hands. Most middle managers do not fear being sued - I know because I was one. Neither have you invested $150K plus the opportunity cost of all the lost income.

                        Bottom line - if so many interns have written about this, then the problem is REAL. And its very specific to the medical profession.

                        For those of us wannabe docs, it is very important to go into this with our eyes wide open. Information is power. What we know now will not come back to bite us later.
                         

                        KosmoKramer

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                          GI fellowships for IM are VERY competative to answer that question. It ranks up there with Cardiology, with Cardiology probably being a bit more difficult to obtain. I really do think that students NEED to know this stuff, read about it, and talk to many people about this decision to enter medicine. Everyone in medicine and other professions second guesses themselves at some point, this is true. However, few people really really really understand the long road ahead. Yes training consists of 4 years of med, 3-5 years of residency, plus probably 1-3 years of fellowship. At that point, you are a junior attending, with about 3-5 good years before you are finally confident, competant, and efficient at what you do. Yes, other careers are just as long, but the hard road that is medicine is a different animal all together. Looking at my med school class, I would say at least 20 percent of the class would have made other decisions had they really really known. The majority of us would still go into medicine, yes, but for some, its almost too late with so much invested. Really think long and hard about your decision. Talk to many people. Ask them about their relationship with their kids, how much time they spend with their spouse, how important medicine is to them now that they have families. This is all important in taking the plunge. Good luck, may the force be with you in making the decision.

                          KosmoKramer
                           
                          TripleDegree said:
                          hmmm...not really. You don't have to go through 4+4+(3..7) years of training to be in middle management. Neither do you have a person's life in your hands. Most middle managers do not fear being sued - I know because I was one. Neither have you invested $150K plus the opportunity cost of all the lost income.

                          Bottom line - if so many interns have written about this, then the problem is REAL. And its very specific to the medical profession.

                          For those of us wannabe docs, it is very important to go into this with our eyes wide open. Information is power. What we know now will not come back to bite us later.
                          I said "that post could've been written by anybody blah blah blah." The post did not address the time commitment or the level of responsibility - which you are. The post dealt with their flagging interest in the day-to-day routine of medicine, which could happen in nearly any profession.

                          It's not specific to the medical profession. Just look at lots of different sectors.
                           

                          j8131

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                            TheProwler said:
                            I said "that post could've been written by anybody blah blah blah." The post did not address the time commitment or the level of responsibility - which you are. The post dealt with their flagging interest in the day-to-day routine of medicine, which could happen in nearly any profession.

                            It's not specific to the medical profession. Just look at lots of different sectors.

                            Plenty of professions require long hours and hard training. Plenty involve lots of responsibility. And unlike medicine, not all guarantee a good salary and high job security at the end. Those are the ones you really need to "think about". Not that you shouldn't think very hard before you get into medicine, but you get the point.
                             
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