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i have come to the realization this career, this profession, whatever u want to call it...is bottom line... a j-o-b. there i said it. u put in your hours and they pay you. same transaction as any other job. but we hype it up to some "calling" or what not. u still have to get out of your comfy bed in the morning, show up to some McHospital, and be surrounded by a lot of unpleasant type-A personalities vying to climb up the hierarchy. but this thread is not to discuss/argue if this is a job or some higher calling like we're some naive premeds. rather i want to discuss...

the one positive that is the job security. u have to admit very few if any other careers has such nice job security for the relatively high income. that is once u make it to the attending level. before that u can be used and discarded as stories of such unfortunate residents litter this and other forums. but once you're an attending you basically write your own ticket.

so do u think it's all worth it if you don't love it but can tolerate it for the awesome job security? let me put it this way: i will never "love" any job. i would rather be a trustfund kid who never had to work and could do whatever he wanted with his time. i'll even take it a step farther and say if some benevolent dictator paid off all my loans and then paid me a modest yearly stipend with the stipulation that i would never practice medicine again... I'd take him up on the offer. but none of those are gonna happen. so my question remains: is it worth the great job security if you can tolerate it but not love it?
 

brotherman

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i have come to the realization this career, this profession, whatever u want to call it...is bottom line... a j-o-b. there i said it. u put in your hours and they pay you. same transaction as any other job. but we hype it up to some "calling" or what not. u still have to get out of your comfy bed in the morning, show up to some McHospital, and be surrounded by a lot of unpleasant type-A personalities vying to climb up the hierarchy. but this thread is not to discuss/argue if this is a job or some higher calling like we're some naive premeds. rather i want to discuss...

the one positive that is the job security. u have to admit very few if any other careers has such nice job security for the relatively high income. that is once u make it to the attending level. before that u can be used and discarded as stories of such unfortunate residents litter this and other forums. but once you're an attending you basically write your own ticket.

so do u think it's all worth it if you don't love it but can tolerate it for the awesome job security? let me put it this way: i will never "love" any job. i would rather be a trustfund kid who never had to work and could do whatever he wanted with his time. i'll even take it a step farther and say if some benevolent dictator paid off all my loans and then paid me a modest yearly stipend with the stipulation that i would never practice medicine again... I'd take him up on the offer. but none of those are gonna happen. so my question remains: is it worth the great job security if you can tolerate it but not love it?
I think some other person on this board made a good analogy to the "security" in medicine. Likely I am butchering this, but I believe its along the lines of "Job security in medicine may be present, but its like being a passenger in a highly reliable jet in very turbulent weather. You'll get to your destination, but the ride will be highly bumpy". Something like that. I believe, after a few years out, one comes to the realization that ultimately, any income earning activity is "just a job", no matter how much we "loved" the subject matter as undergrads, med students, residents, ect.

In addition, I'll make the conjecture that the overwhelming majority of medical students entering the profession are biology majors whom upon nearing graduation from their undergraduate education, see a paucity of relatively decent paying stable opportunities as B.S Bio majors. In other words, they believe that the only way they'll ever get a "decent" job is to become a doctor.
As for me, I do believe its "worth" it. Its a profession that is "stable", requires aptitude in subjects for which I have interest, and believe or not, was the "path of least resistance".
Other "regular" jobs would have a lot less security, pay a lot less, and I'd have a lot of stress worrying about my next paycheck being there.
Also, no matter what job you do, there will be hierarachies, type A personalities, "politics", nasty superiors, ect.
 
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lowbudget

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Having a j-o-b beats having no j-o-b which is what a lot of non-medical Americans these days face. Technology & business cycles every 5 years, sometimes coinciding with election years.

Medicine's nice because you (as a doctor) are a revenue generator. Without you seeing patients, there's no money coming in. So organizations need you. It's unlikely that you'd get "laid off" because of downsizing. You just don't bite the hand that feeds.

The other nicety is that in Medicine, you can assume as much business risk as you want. You can start your own practice as a sole proprietor or you can be an employee or some in between hybrid. I can't think of any other job where it is that easy to set up shop & take on risk than medicine.

With job security & stability comes predictability, & with predictability comes the ability to make long term commitments: mortgages, kids, private school, marriage... and allows you to make long term planning. All these other feast-or-famine jobs that are subjected to technology or business cycle can't claim that, because you just don't know when the next paycheck's coming in. But as long as America eat fatty foods & watch TV, I will always have a j-o-b.

I agree with you Postcall, that medicine is afterall a j-o-b. That's why we find a life outside of medicine & don't let despair ruin an otherwise beautiful day outside.
 

thedrjojo

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Medicine is a job, but it is, IMHO, a different type of job. I see it more along the lines of a service industry, something that doesn't escape you or isn't separate from you when you are away from the "job". Think of it like a police officer, polititian, judge, etc... other positions of prestigue and added burden even when not on the job. You will forever and always be considered a doctor regardless of what you are doing at the time...

I also see it along the lines of a teacher (which is another area with great job security, especially if you are tenured, just with worse wages). You are providing a service to care for other people. You are given intimate priviledge that no other field/"job" gets. Stuff surgeons do would literally be considered assult if anyone else did them. If you treat this like a waiter at your local favorite restaurant, or an assembly line worker, or name any other example you want, you are severely mistaken and wrong in my mind. While I understand it isn't the end all be all of your life, it is more than just a Job (somewhere in the middle ground between Job and "calling")
 

Sneezing

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If you choose to work for McHospital then, yeah, you will be working just a job. You will be just another hamster on the wheel.

I didn't go into medicine to be just another hamster. I am going to open my own practice and be free. Free from administrators and free from insurance companies. Psychiatry, primary care, peds, some general surgeons, and occaisional other specialty still have the ability to step away from the bureaucratic mess. I aim to pursue what it means to practice medicine, what it means to be an independent free thinking Physician. After residency, I will never work a job.

I will only work for myself and my patients, practicing medicine. This is a wonderful feeling. The feeling of freedom. I suggest you, too, seek it out.
 

turtle md

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My motto throughout my medical education has been "I have a life, I need a job!" And as far as jobs go, this is not too bad of one. The pay for the work is better than most. To answer the OP's question, I would say that it is worth it for the reason you ask.
 

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If you choose to work for McHospital then, yeah, you will be working just a job. You will be just another hamster on the wheel.

I didn't go into medicine to be just another hamster. I am going to open my own practice and be free. Free from administrators and free from insurance companies. Psychiatry, primary care, peds, some general surgeons, and occaisional other specialty still have the ability to step away from the bureaucratic mess. I aim to pursue what it means to practice medicine, what it means to be an independent free thinking Physician. After residency, I will never work a job.

I will only work for myself and my patients, practicing medicine. This is a wonderful feeling. The feeling of freedom. I suggest you, too, seek it out.
Yea, I wanna do this too. Until the govt mandates that you take their insurance or join accountable care organizations.
 

Sneezing

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That is unconstitutional. If this day were to pass, you fight it with all your might. But if it were to somehow remain a law, then you make a choice:
1) Conform
2) Go elsewhere
3) Resist

There are different ways to do each of those options. I will not choose number one. I am not a public servant. I am not a slave. Therefore, I do not fear pursuing my goal.
 

Slack3r

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That is unconstitutional. If this day were to pass, you fight it with all your might. But if it were to somehow remain a law, then you make a choice:
1) Conform
2) Go elsewhere
3) Resist

There are different ways to do each of those options. I will not choose number one. I am not a public servant. I am not a slave. Therefore, I do not fear pursuing my goal.
Judging by the current law, minor things like "constitutionality" don't seem to bother Congress anymore.
 

Law2Doc

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i have come to the realization this career, this profession, whatever u want to call it...is bottom line... a j-o-b. there i said it. u put in your hours and they pay you. same transaction as any other job. but we hype it up to some "calling" or what not. u still have to get out of your comfy bed in the morning, show up to some McHospital, and be surrounded by a lot of unpleasant type-A personalities vying to climb up the hierarchy. but this thread is not to discuss/argue if this is a job or some higher calling like we're some naive premeds. rather i want to discuss...

the one positive that is the job security. u have to admit very few if any other careers has such nice job security for the relatively high income. that is once u make it to the attending level. before that u can be used and discarded as stories of such unfortunate residents litter this and other forums. but once you're an attending you basically write your own ticket.

so do u think it's all worth it if you don't love it but can tolerate it for the awesome job security? let me put it this way: i will never "love" any job. i would rather be a trustfund kid who never had to work and could do whatever he wanted with his time. i'll even take it a step farther and say if some benevolent dictator paid off all my loans and then paid me a modest yearly stipend with the stipulation that i would never practice medicine again... I'd take him up on the offer. but none of those are gonna happen. so my question remains: is it worth the great job security if you can tolerate it but not love it?
Having spent some time in another professional field, I have to say that no, medicine is not a "j.o.b." in the same way that the average American has a job. There is a lot that sets professions apart. There is actually a good reason a lot of med school applications ask folks to define a "profession" because there are no other jobs that function like this. You have duties, obligations and expectations far beyond that which the average WallMart stockboy or gas station attendant has. You don't get to leave your professional career at work when you leave the hospital. You have the duty to conduct yourself in a certain fashion, not just doing the minimum so you won't get fired. It's an expectation thing, stemming from the fact that this is an organized field, with governing bodies and internally generated rules of conduct and standards of care (in addition to the external legal rules). There's a reason folks have to be licensed, take and oath, etc in professions but not so much in the 9-5er world. So no, I'm not buying the whole -- "is bottom line... a j.o.b." You go in each day and get a salary, but after that the similarities really tend to end. I do think that a lot of folks who went straight to med school from college without really testing the employment waters may have a deluded sense of what a job involves vs what a professional field involves, hence the confusion.

As for just doing this for job security, I think that's moronic. You are saying that you are going to become one of the more educated people on the planet, but are going to take a career simply because you are afraid of being in the job market now and then? Please. Life is full of folks who hit a deadend on one path and find better success on another. The goal isn't to find a spot and stay in it forever. Life is a journey, not a movie theater where you sit in a seat and watch other people's journey. If you don't like something (ie you get jaded and start calling your profession just a "j.o.b." then it's up to you to change it, to leave, to find something better. But to say, "hey, I hate this, but at least I have job security forever" is ludicrous. The dude serving a life sentence in prison has great job security in the prison laundry too. That doesn't mean you want to be him.
 
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Having spent some time in another professional field, I have to say that no, medicine is not a "j.o.b." in the same way that the average American has a job. There is a lot that sets professions apart. There is actually a good reason a lot of med school applications ask folks to define a "profession" because there are no other jobs that function like this. You have duties, obligations and expectations far beyond that which the average WallMart stockboy or gas station attendant has. You don't get to leave your professional career at work when you leave the hospital. You have the duty to conduct yourself in a certain fashion, not just doing the minimum so you won't get fired. It's an expectation thing, stemming from the fact that this is an organized field, with governing bodies and internally generated rules of conduct and standards of care (in addition to the external legal rules). There's a reason folks have to be licensed, take and oath, etc in professions but not so much in the 9-5er world. So no, I'm not buying the whole -- "is bottom line... a j.o.b." You go in each day and get a salary, but after that the similarities really tend to end. I do think that a lot of folks who went straight to med school from college without really testing the employment waters may have a deluded sense of what a job involves vs what a professional field involves, hence the confusion.

As for just doing this for job security, I think that's moronic. You are saying that you are going to become one of the more educated people on the planet, but are going to take a career simply because you are afraid of being in the job market now and then? Please. Life is full of folks who hit a deadend on one path and find better success on another. The goal isn't to find a spot and stay in it forever. Life is a journey, not a movie theater where you sit in a seat and watch other people's journey. If you don't like something (ie you get jaded and start calling your profession just a "j.o.b." then it's up to you to change it, to leave, to find something better. But to say, "hey, I hate this, but at least I have job security forever" is ludicrous. The dude serving a life sentence in prison has great job security in the prison laundry too. That doesn't mean you want to be him.
the above is exactly what i mean by what we've been fed since undergrad about how this is so much more than a job/we're so above just a job. as for the "you don't get to leave your professional career at work when you leave the hospital" sentiment...EM, anesthesiology, and radiology would disagree, which is one reason they are popular j-o-b-s.
 

aProgDirector

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the above is exactly what i mean by what we've been fed since undergrad about how this is so much more than a job/we're so above just a job. as for the "you don't get to leave your professional career at work when you leave the hospital" sentiment...EM, anesthesiology, and radiology would disagree, which is one reason they are popular j-o-b-s.
If you think that people in these fields don't go home after a shift, review what they did, read more about some disease / problem, review what happened to people they signed out, etc, you are fooling yourself. Sure, fields that have more "shift mentality" rather than "continuity based" are hot now, for the reason that they are more amenable to "lifestyle", but I doubt people working at BigBoxMart go home and worry that they put the wrong price tag on the wrong item.
 
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If you think that people in these fields don't go home after a shift, review what they did, read more about some disease / problem, review what happened to people they signed out, etc, you are fooling yourself. Sure, fields that have more "shift mentality" rather than "continuity based" are hot now, for the reason that they are more amenable to "lifestyle", but I doubt people working at BigBoxMart go home and worry that they put the wrong price tag on the wrong item.
depends on the doctor really. there are those who totally check out once their shift/day is done (we all know of the type of doctor who turns his beeper off 15 minutes before quitting time and routes all incoming calls to the "go to the ER if you have any problems" message). i don't doubt that doctors ponder their patients/decisions once their day is done, but it's a stretch to make it sound like they go home and are constantly thinking over every detail and possible outcome. how many times have i heard ER doctors say stuff like "once the patient is out of my ER i don't have to worry about them anymore" or "i can work 2 weeks and then take the next 2 weeks completely off". i doubt they're thinking much about the patients they turfed out of their ER when they're skiing at some resort during those 2 weeks off.
 

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I am going to open my own practice and be free. Free from administrators and free from insurance companies.
Concierge practice, then?

What happens when the government decides to outlaw that? Habla espaniol? Costa Rica is looking more and more enticing, and may be necessary ultimately. They can't stop Americans from participating in medical tourism.

I am with you, Sneezing- I will not conform. I am not a public servant. I am not a slave.