is residency REALLY that bad???

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by T.S.garp, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. T.S.garp

    T.S.garp Junior Member

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    i'm an undergrad...want to go into onc....anyway all i hear about these days is the horrors of residency...so is it really honestly that bad? or is it tough, but people tend to blow it out of proportion???
     
  2. Laryngospasm

    Laryngospasm Trench Dog
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    Nope, it makes college look hard. Seriously, read the post a few topics down about "if you could do it over again etc" That might help you out. You sure you dont want to do pediatric cardiothoracic surgery?
     
  3. T.S.garp

    T.S.garp Junior Member

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    thanks. i read that thread already. i just wasn't sure wether the responses were totally honest...it seems like people tend to go overboard when they complain on message boards. i was just hoping to get a response minus the bull...but anyway thanks again for responding and please everyone else put in your two cents!
     
  4. not-on-fire

    not-on-fire Junior Member
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    Yes.
    It REALLY is that bad.
    Intern year nearly killed me.
    I still enjoy what I do, however.
    Miraculously.
     
  5. BigBadBix

    BigBadBix Senior Member
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    I haven't been through it myself, but a bunch of my close friends (former med school classmates) are current interns. They all consistently say it's the toughest work they've done. Whenever I see them they immediately tell me how tired they are, and that they feel like they know nothing and they will never be good at what they do. Brilliant people who never showed a sign of weakness in med school admit to crying after being yelled at all day. Some of the nicest people I know, who were full of passion for patient care a year ago, are now contemplating a career in research or administration or anything that doesn't involve taking care of sick people. So I think it really IS that bad...but I'll find out for myself in just a few months!! :scared:
     
  6. GoPistons

    GoPistons Senior Member
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    No it is not that bad. It really depends on which one you pick as there is wide variability. I am an intern now and have done 4 straight "difficult" floor months, and I am very happy. It is just great to be earning some money and not having to study all the time.
     
  7. T.S.garp

    T.S.garp Junior Member

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    thanks for responding...i know my question has been asked a million times so i greatly appreciate your time....and good luck to everyone.
     
  8. orientedtoself

    orientedtoself resident
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    Just for fun, try staying up all night every fourth night. Then do it for nine months.
     
  9. KidDr

    KidDr Senior Member
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    Then maybe take a 2 week break, and do it for 9+ months again.
     
  10. JR

    JR Guest

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    And add working and thinking really hard while staying up every 4th night in order not to kill/hurt someone :) .

     
  11. mackie

    mackie Senior Member
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    Yep, that just about it sums it up from my view.
     
  12. KidDr

    KidDr Senior Member
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    And just to add to the fun, right at 4 am when you've been up for about 22+ hours and can barely keep your eyes open, lay down in your bed, and just as your head hits the pillow and you're drifting off, have someone call you and make you get right out of bed again and go back to work doing meaningless paperwork for the next 8 hours. Repeat every 3rd-4th night. :)

    To the OP--c'mon, what are you really looking for? Is the the other current thread on this topic (all 20 pages of it, or whatever it's up to) really not enough info for you? Obviously people have different experiences in different specialities, and people's individual levels of how much they can tolerate in regards to workload differ as well. But common sense will tell you that working 30 hour call shifts and working 80+ hour weeks is really hard. And this is what residency, in many specialties, entails. Are there exceptions? Of course. Do some people not mind the hours, and all the other general frustrations of medicine, as much as others? Yes. Go to the other thread and read about it.
     
  13. T.S.garp

    T.S.garp Junior Member

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    [QOUTE]
    To the OP--c'mon, what are you really looking for? Is the the other current thread on this topic (all 20 pages of it, or whatever it's up to) really not enough info for you? Obviously people have different experiences in different specialities, and people's individual levels of how much they can tolerate in regards to workload differ as well. But common sense will tell you that working 30 hour call shifts and working 80+ hour weeks is really hard. And this is what residency, in many specialties, entails. Are there exceptions? Of course. Do some people not mind the hours, and all the other general frustrations of medicine, as much as others? Yes. Go to the other thread and read about it.[/QUOTE]

    seriously. no need to be rude. it was just a question. you're not obligated to answer. i've read the other thread....all of it...and yes i've heard a million times that residents work 80+ hours a week, but i've also heard that every program is different and i only know a few residents myself, but they only work 60 hours a week (i'm sure they're probably just lucky). i was just asking if people tend to exaggerate that's all. which is different than the other thread.
     
  14. erichaj

    erichaj Membership Revoked
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    Few things:

    1. You are an undergrad. this is not bad but you have no idea if you want to go into onc. because you have no real idea of what onc is like. You won't know until you have been properly exposed to it. I don't say this to be mean or put you down. I feel that as an undergrad you should keep all options open.

    2. to answer your question. YES. It's hard from many angles. You are going to be exposed to the most severe learning curve of your life. You are responsible for peoples lives. You have the more experienced residents and even worse the attendings watching you all the time. (this may be a good thing at times). You get s h i t for sleep and even the hardest exam you ever took in undergrad with the bigggest ass hole prof. will not come close to your intern year.
     
  15. texdrake

    texdrake Stand-Up Philosopher
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    So what does that take....like 3 years or something? :laugh:
     
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  16. cardsurgguy

    cardsurgguy Senior Member
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    How do you know the OP doesn't have an idea if s/he wants to go into onc? How do you know that the OP hasn't been exposed to onc?? Maybe the OP has been a tech for several years on an onc floor of a hospital and knows quite a bit about onc.

    Just because he/she is an undergrad does not mean s/he does not have a right to talk about which specialty they want to go into.

    Had to rant, since I get this difficulty all the time since I do know the specialty that I want to go into, despite having experience to the extent that I was recently told my a physician on a med school interview that was very surprised at the amount of experience I have that "you have more clinical experience than most med students".
    It annoys the hell out of me when people who don't even know me or what I have done automatically think I have no idea what I'm talking about.

    On the other hand...
    I understand where you're coming from and don't think you're trying to put the OP down, since I (graduated from ugrad in 04 will be starting med school next fall) will agree with you that most ugrads have no idea about medicine. ie-hearing things on this site such as "the physician I was shadowing prescribed beta blockers for preventing blood clots or something like that" or hearing from friends in real life that want to go into medicine that a 16 hour shift is a long shift.

    This is due to most people get absolutely no clinical experience whatsoever prior to med school! (which is kind of a pet peeve of mine)
    Most people "volunteer" or shadow which is nothing more than paper pushing and observing (not doing). These experiences are meaningless when it comes to actual clinical experience.

    However, there are some of us out there (albeit a small percent) who actually do know about medicine and do have a right to comment on speciality choice, so please don't assume that anybody who has not gone through rotations during med school doesn't have a clue what they are talking about.



    Actually, I do plan on going into pediatric cardiothoracic surgery.
    And, this may shock you, I do have a right to say that (despite the fact that I'll be starting med school next year) since I have the experience and knowledge of the field to back that up.


    It's actually 5 gsurg + 2 cardiothoracic + 1 year fellowship in peds CT

    Although this is changing since the American Board of Thoracic Surgery is starting to implement a combined 3+3 residency to cut off a year (3+3 as opposed to a 5+2) off of residency. So by the time I do it will most likely be 7 as compared to 8. :D
     
  17. cardsurgguy

    cardsurgguy Senior Member
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    and no, I'm not going to try to answer the OP's original question, since I'm not a resident/intern, and therefore am in no position to talk about how difficult residency is b/c I have no idea how difficulty residency is

    So I'm not the stereotypical "thinks he knows everything" person that people will probably think I am due to the above post
     
  18. cardsurgguy

    cardsurgguy Senior Member
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    oh yeah, and one more thing

    just b/c someone likes an area and wants to go into it does not mean he/she is not keeping their options open
    I'm keeping my options open and am enthusiastically looking forward to every rotation in med school (even my medicine rotation... ;) )

    I'm smart enough to know that anybody can change and that you can't predict the future

    so if I change, I change, BIG DEAL...

    who knows, even though I say peds CT now, I may wind up in primary care after med school
    if that happens, then so be it, I follow wherever my passion leads me

    (however, the chances of this happening are rare, but nothing is impossible)
     
  19. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hey there,
    I am a PGY-4 General Surgery resident who plans a fellowship in Vascular Surgery. Residency has not been bad at all especially now that I am at the senior resident level. I actually enjoy all of the learning and rushing around. I guess that why I chose surgery. Anyway, I did internship pre-80hour work week and I still enjoyed myself. There are still times when I feel like I do not know anything but most of the time, my instincts are correct when I follow them.

    It's always good to be aware of what you do not know. People are entrusting their bodies to you. Would you hand over the keys of your car to a perfect stranger? You can always get another car but you only have one body. Once I cut something, it is never the same as before. I do more reading and studying as a resident than I thought I would but that's the nature of medicine and surgery. All of those little details that I though I could forget are the important things that I have to KNOW now.

    njbmd :)
     
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  20. Poety

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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: You go dude, you're like ripping everyone apart before anyone even responded to your post!! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    Good luck next year ;)
     
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  21. cardsurgguy

    cardsurgguy Senior Member
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    uh, yeah, sorry...
    I just reread my post and I did kinda go a bit overboard...

    I was pissed about something else when I posted, so that combined with how it just annoys me that people assume that just b/c I haven't started med school yet, I must not know what I'm talking about
    the two combined together caused me to go on a little too long :D

    how old is the baby?
     
  22. EctopicFetus

    EctopicFetus Keeping it funky enough
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    The amount of people that change what field they choose is huge. That being said I dont think it is bad to have an idea as what you want to do. You should go through it with an open mind. I think most undergrads just have no idea how hard medicine is and what these fields really entail. I dont think I would have believed the hours of medicine rounding if people told me, just as I wouldnt have believed that certain people in medicine are just so incredibly rude and out of sync with the average person that they treat. I am a 4th yr and while I dont have the experience of the residents who post on here I can say that when I relay these stories to my non-medical buddies they are astounded. Our educational process is quite "different" than any other field. Whats crazy is we make no money doing it. All that said I am super happy that i went back into medicine after working a little bit. Nothing as satisfying as really helping someone. I think medicine is tainted by people who go into it for the wrong reasons (family pressure, assumed prestige (which is no longer that great), and of course $$$).
     
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  23. tigershark

    tigershark Senior Member
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    It all depends on what you do. It's kind of like asking "Is life in the business world hard?"

    Some residencies kill you (surgery) and some are like 8-5 jobs (derm, path, rads, etc.)
     
  24. yg1786

    yg1786 Member
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    sorry to get off track, but i'm going to medical school next year and wanted to know how I can get some "real" clinical experience like you said in a variety of different fields. You really can't blame pre-med students because I've tried to get more substantial experience in medicine and while tho my most worthwhile experience (EMT) has been great, it has been really hard to even find good shadowing experiences that let you understand the life of a physician. if you've got any tips on any interesting summer jobs that might help, let me know.
     
  25. cardsurgguy

    cardsurgguy Senior Member
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    you have clinical experience

    I personally think being an EMT is one of the best clinical experiences
    you get a lot of patient care (especially with patients in bad conditions) and you do things, and make clinical judgements, rather than observe

    I was more referring to people who have no patient care experience or may have volunteered or shadowed for a month or two, which is also not really providing patient care or interacting with patients, which is the fundamental aspect of medicine, and think they know they want to go into medicine.

    The viewpoints that people have who want to go into medicine amazes me sometimes
    It's truly astonishing how little people know about what they are getting themselves into
    For example, the one I originally mentioned about a person who thought a 16 hour shift was a long shift and was surprised that someone would work that "all at once" as this person said, but who knew they wanted to go into medicine
    Or a person who says that they don't like being around sick and dying people because it's too depressing and doesn't know if they would enjoy or be able to handle being around sick and dying people for a career, once again, somehow knows he/she wants to go into medicine

    What I wonder is how in the world can you know you want to go into medicine with thinking a 16 hour shift is a long shift or not knowing if you can handle being around sick and dying people? :confused:

    Research too is so big in the premed population when it's USELESS!!! (that is, if you want to go into a career as a clinician, and not a researcher)
    Being in a lab all day doesn't give anybody any knowledge of what it's like to deal with patients. It's the biggest overrated activity among premeds.

    There are so many people who go into medicine without the ability to talk to patients...


    The pet peeve comment was kinda misleading. I truly don't mean to "blame" premed students as you put it, I don't or never would do this and this was not my intention. I wouldn't blame anyone since I'll be the first to admit that a couple of my experiences have come by sheer luck.

    The comment referred to that fact that it sorta bothers me that so many people who don't really have a passion and an outright love for medicine go into medicine. Reasons like (this one is soooo common) "my parents want me to go into medicine" or the prestige and respect (even though this is not really there anymore) or the money and so on....
    This is what I meant by the comment.



    Call me crazy, but I have this weird idea only people who have a passion for medicine and a feeling that if they didn't go into medicine and had to do anything else on the face of the earth, their quality of life would decrease as a result (me personally, my quality of life would be 0 if I wasn't in medicine; I'd be miserable all the time). People who have a feeling that they simply have to, not want to, practice medicine. Those are the people who should go into medicine.
     
  26. cardsurgguy

    cardsurgguy Senior Member
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    PS-

    I forgot to answer you're question on summer jobs


    Personally, I'd recommend critical care. You learn a lot and see the most complex patients in the sickest states. The level of care, be it pharmacological or technological (ICP monitors, vents, and what not) is amazing. The pathophysio you see is also amazing.
    Try to find a SICU or MICU. Being a surgical person, I'd go SICU, but both are good and you'll see plenty of stuff. PICU is also good if peds is your interest.

    I would go cardiac critical care (I'm totally biased). The stuff you see is awesome. Intra-aortic balloon pumps, left ventricular assist devices, not to mention other common ICU staples like vents and various types of dialysis machines (regular straight dialysis and CRRT dialysis). Learning about cardiac medications such as inotropes and antirejection meds (my case since I was on a Heart Transplant Unit). My interest is cardiac stuff, so this was great.
    Various types of cardiac critical care are CCU, open heart ICU, and Heart Transplant ICU.

    Then there's the OR. That's kinda self explanatory why that's amazing. I had a job assisting with CT surg for a summer. As I said, I'm a cardiac guy, so I was in heaven. :)

    If you have any more questions, PM me.
     
  27. Strap

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    Seriously, at what other time in what other profession does your job require you to work twelve hour shifts during the week, then a THIRTY HOUR shift on the weekend?

    And I'm not talking about sitting on your butt for those 90 hours; I mean constantly running around, and getting yelled at by everyone including nurses and patients/parents that "you aren't doing anything to help me!" when all you've done for the past twelve hours is try to help them. No one seems to understand that just because you aren't in the room with the patient holding their hands that you aren't working on getting them better. I am five months into it now, and it has been the most frustrating experience of my life by far.
     
  28. T.S.garp

    T.S.garp Junior Member

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    hi and thanks cardsurgguy for coming to my defense. btw i am a she. anyway what i meant was i am most interested in onc at the moment, but i am not 100% because i haven't had enough experience with it and i am just a lowly premed student so i am def. keeping my options very open.
     

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