Medical Is medicine still intellectually stimulating for attendings?

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GoSpursGo

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I am on the fence between medicine and another career. I have a year before I apply to professional school. I preferred my physician shadowing, but I liked my shadowing in the other profession too.

One thing on my pro list for applying to medical school is that I need a lot of intellectual stimulation in my life and that appeals to me about being a physician. I like that they use xyz RCT and actively apply that to clinical care.

I have heard that medicine gets boring when people reach a certain point. Does it get "mind-numbing" though (I'm sorry I can't think of a better word)?

Thanks!
I think it totally depends on what field you go into. I would say that every field has their own "bread and butter" that you start seeing day in and day out. Your practice setting also matters (academic vs. stand alone hospital vs. private practice). One good thing about medicine is that you have a lot of flexibility to pick a field where you actually like treating that field's bread and butter, and you can generally choose what kind of setting you want to practice in as well.

I love my job and find it very intellectually stimulating. But it did take me a long, long time to complete my training, and I chose an academic path where while I get to treat a bunch of very complex and interesting patients I also have to deal with everything that comes with academia. That might not appeal to everyone.
 

TheBoneDoctah

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I would agree with @GoSpursGo. There are so many specialties to choose from and when you factor in location, specialty, and setting, this makes it so that you can literally customize the way YOU want to practice.

I think if you are shadowing and think you like it you probably will. What is the other career?
 

lord999

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From today's NEJM.

Seeing the burnouts (and having to deal with them professionally in terms of reassignment recommending separation), I would not necessarily agree as a generality. @GoSpursGo works in a job where s/he makes it a point to get something called "professional enrichment" and trades off financial considerations and time to achieve it. That's an exception, not the rule and there are tradeoffs as alluded to. I do similarly where practice is a portion, but not the full course duty set. Even ER docs get bored, complacent, and burned out from practice boredom. It's not usually an issue in the first decade or so (although high pressure ones are seeing that more often), but about 15-20 years in, you start seeing it.

The way I would phrase it due to @GoSpursGo and many of us, is that burnout is easier to prevent than it is to treat. If you are the sort of person who gets bored, you need to find a practice circumstance that has professional enrichment and work diversity. Academia has this. In private practice, owning a practice or a consulting concern helps. In the business, participating in clinical trials or doing community service/mission or charity work is an outlet. It does not have to be academia, but if not, you have to make your own opportunities. But if you wait until you burnout, there are scars that never truly heal even if you rediscover a spark.

Looking at the recent burnout statistics, not enough physicians take care of themselves in hours or work diversity. If you have these tendencies, you have to proactively address them. Do not let the environment lull you into the sense that forever is forever.
 
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AlteredScale

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Sounds like a you have a future career in academic medicine. Would agree that of the attendings I've talked to, not much really “excites” them about bread and butter cases however the likelihood of just treating simple straightforward cases that become “mind numbing” is pretty small if you become an academic faculty at a large tertiary uni hospital where they take care of very complex patients.
 
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