Darkskies

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All right, I know that there have been numerous threads dealing with this topic and even a recent one titled 'If you could do this again, would you?" but it has always irked me that such titles suggest whether one would be willing to go through the process of medical training twice. I know this is an issue of semantics but my question to all of you is the following: Now that you have completed medical school and are in the midst of(perhaps even finished with) residency would you still elect to pursue this path if you could go back in time knowing what would be in store for you down the road?

Thanks,
Darkskies
 
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All right, I know that there have been numerous threads dealing with this topic and even a recent one titled 'If you could do this again, would you?" but it has always irked me that such titles suggest whether one would be willing to go through the process of medical training twice. I know this is an issue of semantics but my question to all of you is the following: Now that you have completed medical school and are in the midst of(perhaps even finished with) residency would you still elect to pursue this path if you could go back in time knowing what would be in store for you down the road?

Thanks,
Darkskies
Ok, there are many factors to consider: (all of them based on your own interests), but bcos you asked, for me these are my reasons if I had your age I would

1....well, besides if I had enough money, I would afford my dreamed career (music)
2. If you want to feed your ego, go for a scientific career, medicine requires a lot of effort, and sacrifices, so better work hard on a "difficult" area, doing research, something related to medical area, do a phD and, you can have some "status"
3. If you are "altruistic" there are many ways to help people!!
 

Old_Mil

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All right, I know that there have been numerous threads dealing with this topic and even a recent one titled 'If you could do this again, would you?" but it has always irked me that such titles suggest whether one would be willing to go through the process of medical training twice. I know this is an issue of semantics but my question to all of you is the following: Now that you have completed medical school and are in the midst of(perhaps even finished with) residency would you still elect to pursue this path if you could go back in time knowing what would be in store for you down the road?

Thanks,
Darkskies
Absolutely not.
 
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Absolutely not!!! In retrospect I would have become a psychologist. I never really cared about the money, but the politics and the paperwork, documentation, etc with compounding stress of watching myself and others practice defensive medicine. It really isn't that satisfying. Too bad, b/c I have a butt load of loans to pay back......
 

mig26x

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Seen how they are giving less prepared professionals almost the same rights to practice medicine as me the answer is YES. Its getting to the point of feeling abandoned, we dont have a society/movement that represents physicians as a whole, AMA is a joke and looks like a baby compare to ANA.

Its getting very fustrating to see how RN's are been given little by little this benefits/rights than in no matter will be equal to a physician. In 5-10 years if nothing is done Nursing school will be the hot thing to do since it seems you can become a physician through an easier pathway!!!
 

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I seem to meet more disgruntled residents these days who wish they could get out of medicine. The unfortunate reality is that most are tied down by significant loans and they lack any work experience prior to medical school, so they feel unemployable if they were to leave clinical medicine.

Residency is a difficult time for all, but it can get much better once you're out of residency. I encourage those of you who are feeling to hang in there, find the support that you need, and look forward to a brighter future at the end of the tunnel.
 

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Yes, I would. I would feel miserable if I didn't have the status. I need the status, so no a-hole can discredit my worth and accomplishments. I couldn't think of anything else that guarantees status like medicine does. If it wasn't for the status, there would be no chance in h3ll that I'd do medicine. I don't care about patients. I don't care for any of those I am working with. I have no sense of loyalty, and I have no sense of worth at work.

I think an alternate option would have been chemistry or computer science.
 

badasshairday

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At this point no. But I am only a second year student studying for the first step of the boards. I would have gone to dental school if I could go back in time.
 

MOHS_01

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I have to say no as well.
 

mig26x

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Seen how they are giving less prepared professionals almost the same rights to practice medicine as me the answer is YES. Its getting to the point of feeling abandoned, we dont have a society/movement that represents physicians as a whole, AMA is a joke and looks like a baby compare to ANA.

Its getting very fustrating to see how RN's are been given little by little this benefits/rights than in no matter will be equal to a physician. In 5-10 years if nothing is done Nursing school will be the hot thing to do since it seems you can become a physician through an easier pathway!!!

OOPS, my answer should have read NO.
 

Darkskies

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All the replies so far haven't been very encouraging.:(
Is it truly not worth it? Why do admissions standards and competitiveness keep rising year by year then?
 

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All the replies so far haven't been very encouraging.:(
Is it truly not worth it? Why do admissions standards and competitiveness keep rising year by year then?
cuz people are stupid and historically back in the day doctors were a lot happier than they are now
 

Darkskies

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Are the majority of physicians dissatisfied? Are there any on this forum that like or even tolerate the work and would not have chosen something else?
 
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I work for 5 physicians who run a Nephrology practice. After reading many of the posts on these forums of how dissatisfied some residents/attendings are with their careers, naturally I became concerned. Two of them are relatively young physicians, in fact one is just a year out of completing his fellowship. I talked to them about how I felt and they told me to take everything I read on online forums with a grain of salt. For the most part, they say these people are just venting at how frustrated and bitter they are with their residencies. Working long hours in a stressful environment with lots of debt and little pay will give anyone a reason to vent. I'm not pretending to understand what these residents are going through, but the doctors I work with say they are pretty happy for the most part now and residency is something everyone just needs to get through. Although, the youngest doctor who I talk to the most has told me he who never do it again but he is glad he did it. He tells me I will understand when I get through everything. Is this how most people feel on here?
 

Darkskies

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There are so many residents and attendings who visit this forum. It would be much appreciated if many of you could take the brief time to offer your opinion on my question. Thanks.
Darkskies
 

DrJosephKim

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I'd still choose a career in medicine. I really enjoy the scientific challenge and the ability to apply my knowledge and synthesize new approaches to common problems. I think those who are dissatisfied have experienced negativity from patients, a lawsuit, or they're simply burning out. There are other practice models or career options for such individuals who would thrive in a different setting.
 

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I would say yes. I am not crazy about medicine, but I love my specialty.

If you asked me at any point from my MS 3 year through my internship (maybe even through my PGY2 year), I would have definitely said no.
 

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Now that you have completed medical school and are in the midst of(perhaps even finished with) residency would you still elect to pursue this path if you could go back in time knowing what would be in store for you down the road?
Absolutely, 100% resounding - HELL NO.
 

typhoonegator

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All right, I know that there have been numerous threads dealing with this topic and even a recent one titled 'If you could do this again, would you?" but it has always irked me that such titles suggest whether one would be willing to go through the process of medical training twice. I know this is an issue of semantics but my question to all of you is the following: Now that you have completed medical school and are in the midst of(perhaps even finished with) residency would you still elect to pursue this path if you could go back in time knowing what would be in store for you down the road?

Thanks,
Darkskies
Yeah, I'd do it again. Being a doctor is fun, and being a scientist is even better. I get to do both, and I get to do it at an amazing institution. I certainly can't think of any other normal profession that would be much better. Most other people aren't constantly ecstatic about their jobs either. It's easy to think when you're working 100 hours a week in a hectic hospital setting that a 36h/week job as an claims adjuster would be wonderful. And it would be, for about a week.

Remember, you are asking your question to a bunch of overworked and underappreciated residents, so consider that when you review these replies to your question. If you'd asked me 2 years ago during my residency, I probably would have said "no" too.
 

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You know, if it wasn't for the debt, I think the process would be ok for us all. Unfortunately, it's come down to --- how productive are you? What are your numbers (which is shown in residency documentation).

I go to Grand Rounds, and it's 60 mins (-10 min for starting up, people getting settled). Information is rushed through. No discussion, no questions, no learning. I remember my father talking about grand rounds as if they were, :eek:, GRAND! 2 hours for lunch, presentation and discussion. He relates anecdotal stories that if you did NOT have a question, you were dumb.

I also believe that we're not in an appropriate business model either which frustrates people. Defensive medicine, high amounts of documentation to justify treatments (to a non-MD), long hours, lop sided reimbursement for procedures vs cerebral masturbation. Typically we see things being driven by supply and demand, this isn't the case in medicine.

So, backing off of my diatribe, if it weren't for the enormous debt incurred by medical school, I think those choosing this career path would be more at ease.
 

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I've said before and I will say again, at risk of sounding like the village Pollyanna: Yes. No question, yes.

I don't feel trapped or miserable. I feel excited to go to work and proud of the service I do for others. It makes me feel content about my place in the world to do good, and I know that I am doing good. I love the fact that I learn something every single day. I like people a great deal and it's a good fit for me to have a job in which so much of what I do is communicating and working with people.

I'm shocked and sad about the amount is discontent and disillusionment evident here - it makes me wonder what were the reasons you entered medicine in the first place and what you expected.
 

gutonc

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I'm with RTrain on this one. I'm pretty happy with where I am. Some days suck, some are awesome. Most are pretty OK. I'm not going to get rich but I'm going to be alright (yes, even in academics).

I actually don't know anyone at my institution who seems as miserable as the people posting here. I guess I chose the right place to train.
 

ForbiddenComma

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Knowing what you know now, would you decide to choose medicine?
Yes.

I know, I know, NPs will shortly be equals of physicians...

But it would have bothered me for the rest of my life if I hadn't gotten the "ultimate" qualification in my field, instead of skating by on a half-assed degree program that spends more time on "nursing theory" than science or clinical practice. Yes, the student debt I racked up makes me sad... but I'm glad I didn't sell myself short. I'm also glad I surrounded myself with the best and the brightest students in med school, as opposed to the mediocre, petty intellects one often finds enrolled in MSN or DNP programs.

Now as far as healthcare itself is worth it... well, I had to do it because I couldn't possibly imagine myself doing anything else. No matter how much it increasingly sucks. End of story.
 

Ludicolo

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I’m happy with the choices I’ve made. No regrets. I’m in a specialty and a practice that suits me to a tee. I live and work in a wonderful location, along side some amazing people, and (considering I’m in academics) I live quite comfortably in a place where the cost of living is higher than most. My support system inside and outside the hospital is strong, because I’ve worked damn hard to make it so. I have fun at work. I’m good at what I do. I diagnose, I formulate, I prognosticate, I educate. I think for a living – how cool is that? As Henry Ford said: “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it.”

As an attending physician, the ultimate responsibility stops with me. That’s what I signed up for. That’s what I’ve worked hard for. I understand it and I embrace it. I take care of thousands of patients a year, directly influencing thousands of lives. Because I teach, my students/residents/fellows take a little bit from me, and go on to influence thousands more. Because I lecture and publish, hundreds of physicians take what I have to say and go on to influence thousands upon thousands more. That is awesome.

Of course, there are good and bad days. Sometimes patients act entitled. Sometimes patients die. But often, because of what we know and what we do, they get better. Sometimes, patients even say “thank you”.

But I could do without some of the paperwork.
 

12345a

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I’m happy with the choices I’ve made. No regrets. I’m in a specialty and a practice that suits me to a tee. I live and work in a wonderful location, along side some amazing people, and (considering I’m in academics) I live quite comfortably in a place where the cost of living is higher than most. My support system inside and outside the hospital is strong, because I’ve worked damn hard to make it so. I have fun at work. I’m good at what I do. I diagnose, I formulate, I prognosticate, I educate. I think for a living – how cool is that? As Henry Ford said: “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it.”

As an attending physician, the ultimate responsibility stops with me. That’s what I signed up for. That’s what I’ve worked hard for. I understand it and I embrace it. I take care of thousands of patients a year, directly influencing thousands of lives. Because I teach, my students/residents/fellows take a little bit from me, and go on to influence thousands more. Because I lecture and publish, hundreds of physicians take what I have to say and go on to influence thousands upon thousands more. That is awesome.

Of course, there are good and bad days. Sometimes patients act entitled. Sometimes patients die. But often, because of what we know and what we do, they get better. Sometimes, patients even say “thank you”.

But I could do without some of the paperwork.
this post almost makes me want to switch back to pre-med. :oops:

to be quite frank, you sound like one of the lucky few that truly enjoys being a physician. Are your colleagues and residents as satisfied as you?
 

DarthNeurology

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I go to Grand Rounds, and it's 60 mins (-10 min for starting up, people getting settled). Information is rushed through. No discussion, no questions, no learning. I remember my father talking about grand rounds as if they were, :eek:, GRAND! 2 hours for lunch, presentation and discussion. He relates anecdotal stories that if you did NOT have a question, you were dumb.
Grand rounds were way different decades ago . . . it was a major production at the best hospitals. They would focus on diagnosis and treatment of a specific condition, often by bringing in a real patient, having a question and answer period between the patient and the audiences, in addition to prominent physicians being in attendance. You couldn't not have a question as it was very detailed and though provoking. Today for grand rounds it is shorter and you might get a prepackaged power point about some obscure point on hospital management by a bored non-clinician who is rambling.

Medical education has taken a turn for the worse in that there isn't as much attention paid to actually learning the science and art of medicine as navigating hospital politics is now more important.

I think this is an era of self-loathing for medical professionals!

Yes, if you go to a good hospital system for residency and maybe for your career afterwards then you won't notice this. But many of the high powered places are plagued by downright mean abusive tactics employed by superiors on their unsuspecting subordinates. Medical students no longer have the luxury of learning medicine well, but must placate their residents and attendings who are dealing with higher workloads and don't have the time (or mostly like don't want to) teach students. The deterioration, and loss of real "Grand Rounds" and proper education of students and residents also follows through to the ward. I think there is a frustration among some residents about not having learned enough and having been basically abused and ignored during significant lengths of their training.

Yes, some doctors love their jobs, but many of them who love their jobs also hate where they work, the hospital politics being a major problem.
 
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Eyesore

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Another way of viewing this question is this: now that I am where I am as an attending, was it all worth it? To me, absolutely!
 
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12345a

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Another way of viewing this question is this: now that I am where I am as an attending, was it all worth it? To me, absolutely!

The way I see it, all the crap and hardship that we all go through along the way are just stepping stones to where we eventually want to be. As a private practice attending, I realize I am very lucky to have found my perfect job. As such, if given the chance, I wouldn't change a single thing along the way. I wouldn't even want better grades, higher board scores, different residency, or fellowship, etc. I wouldn't want to risk being in a different field or even a different job in the same field. Putting up with all the hours in the library and dealing with the malignant personalities and ridiculous scut along the way were all part of the price it took to get me to where I am now. Again, I realize how lucky I am as I never thought I could have it this good.
but specifically, what's so good about your job that outweighs the bad?
 

Eyesore

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I love being in private practice because you are one of the owners. You get to make the decisions (along with your partners) on the direction of the practice. You are not at the mercy of the department chairman. The working environment is great and I get along great with my partners.

Did you have any other specifics in mind?
 
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Darkskies

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How common are malignant attendings/residents and are some specialties less likely to attract such personalities?
 

DarthNeurology

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How common are malignant attendings/residents and are some specialties less likely to attract such personalities?
Well, I think many would agree that there are a lot of malignant personalities in ob/gyn. The clinical rotation is six to eight weeks, but is regularly regarded as one of the worst in the entire third year and many students feel like quiting medicine after it, it can be that bad. Ob/gyns feel entitled to verbally harass, and even physically harass, students. It is really hard to figure out why it is this way at some places, some students/residents love ob/gyn, but yeah it is overall worst than most.

Surgery gets slammed a lot too, though not nearly as much as ob/gyn. Surgeons, i.e. residents and attendings take time to make your day difficult in many places and enjoy reducing people to tears.

There are malignant attendings in other fields as well, such as peds, IM, even family practice doctors can have a bad attitude.

It depends on the specific attending, if they are really bad then the whole place becomes sort of contaminated.

I don't think that some specialties "attract" bad attendings necessarily, but some allow for a greater degree of torment to be dished out to residents and attendings. Consider ob/gyn, important specialty that encompases medical and surgical aspects, its practitioners act often as though they have no soul and make life difficult for residents and students. This is due to a poor culture and engrained harassment which is sort of viewed as just the way things are done in ob/gyn.

Take the same sadistic attending and put him or her in another specialty (theoretically) such as family medicine and their behavior would be considered to be pretty bad and would might draw the attention of colleagues. In the ob/gyn department nobody cares if a residnet or attending harasses somebody else. I think in a way mean people are drawn into ob/gyn, surgery and IM because they hope it will allow them to act like pricks I guess? Because a lot of them sure hate their field!
 

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Did you have any other specifics in mind?

that sounds amazing! and yes actually :D

(if you don't feel comfortable answering any...it's fine)

what specialty are you in?
how many partners are in your practice?
how much call do you take?
there must be some friction when dealing with the affiliated hospital?
did you go to your top choice undergrad? med school? residency?
did you ever think of quitting when in training?
are you older than most of your partners?
are they as content as you are w/ your career?


i think that if more physicians spoke like you, I wouldn't have second thought my decision to go into dentistry.
 

Darkskies

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IM is one of the fields that attracts jerks? That's surprising.
Is it common for medical graduates to match into a residency that has kind, helpful, and sincere attendings/PDs? What I'm asking is whether bad attitudes and evil attendings can be avoided once in residency if one chooses wisely. If so, exactly how easy this is to do.

Well, I think many would agree that there are a lot of malignant personalities in ob/gyn. The clinical rotation is six to eight weeks, but is regularly regarded as one of the worst in the entire third year and many students feel like quiting medicine after it, it can be that bad. Ob/gyns feel entitled to verbally harass, and even physically harass, students. It is really hard to figure out why it is this way at some places, some students/residents love ob/gyn, but yeah it is overall worst than most.

Surgery gets slammed a lot too, though not nearly as much as ob/gyn. Surgeons, i.e. residents and attendings take time to make your day difficult in many places and enjoy reducing people to tears.

There are malignant attendings in other fields as well, such as peds, IM, even family practice doctors can have a bad attitude.

It depends on the specific attending, if they are really bad then the whole place becomes sort of contaminated.

I don't think that some specialties "attract" bad attendings necessarily, but some allow for a greater degree of torment to be dished out to residents and attendings. Consider ob/gyn, important specialty that encompases medical and surgical aspects, its practitioners act often as though they have no soul and make life difficult for residents and students. This is due to a poor culture and engrained harassment which is sort of viewed as just the way things are done in ob/gyn.

Take the same sadistic attending and put him or her in another specialty (theoretically) such as family medicine and their behavior would be considered to be pretty bad and would might draw the attention of colleagues. In the ob/gyn department nobody cares if a residnet or attending harasses somebody else. I think in a way mean people are drawn into ob/gyn, surgery and IM because they hope it will allow them to act like pricks I guess? Because a lot of them sure hate their field!
 
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Eyesore

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My partners are all happy.

Never thought about quitting. I felt I was in a good residency and fellowship. I enjoyed it a lot.
 
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Yes, I would unequivocally choose medicine again. I have been incredibly blessed to find a field, Radiation Oncology, that I am incredibly passionate about and could not see myself going into any other field (besides maybe Heme/Onc). Therefore, I understand a lot of the discontent portrayed on this forum b/c if I did not find a field (Oncology) that I was so passionate about, I would probably not choose to become a physician.
 

ForbiddenComma

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IM is one of the fields that attracts jerks? That's surprising.
Sadly, yes. For instance, the University of Kansas-Kansas City has a chief resident this year that is so malignant, she almost single-handedly has destroyed the reputation of that program. She became notorious in the region even before she was chief. I had to advise all my friends to not interview there, which is a shame because it has some great old-school attendings in renal and cards.

But at least it isn't as bad as OB/GYN. This is because it is literally not possible to be as bad as the typical OB/GYN department.
 

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Sadly, yes. For instance, the University of Kansas-Kansas City has a chief resident this year that is so malignant, she almost single-handedly has destroyed the reputation of that program. She became notorious in the region even before she was chief. I had to advise all my friends to not interview there, which is a shame because it has some great old-school attendings in renal and cards.

But at least it isn't as bad as OB/GYN. This is because it is literally not possible to be as bad as the typical OB/GYN department.
:eek:

Just out of curiosity, what constitutes that malignancy? It's hard for me to imagine a single person making residency so miserable for others.
 

45408

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M4 here, about to graduate. I'd say yes, I still would have. I've got to admit though - the glitz seems to have worn off. It's hard to say now (or during residency, when the hours are brutal) whether it will all pay off. I'm pretty tired though - not physically, just mentally. I've been in school for 22 years now, and I would really really like it to be over. 2009 was the first year since 1993 that I had no taxable income. I just want to get SOME money for my efforts instead of this torrential downpour out of my wallet.

At each stage, there's plenty of BS to wallow through. My day is full of "hurry up and wait" mixed with "none of what you're doing actually matters at all." I know an attending deals with all kinds of crap as well, but it's different. Hopefully better.

To quote the movie Layer Cake (good movie, btw):
Eddie Temple said:
You're born, you take sh**. You get out in the world, you take more sh**. You climb a little higher, you take less sh**. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what sh** even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake son.
 

Slack3r

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But at least it isn't as bad as OB/GYN. This is because it is literally not possible to be as bad as the typical OB/GYN department.
Why is that kind of behavior even tolerated? Stuff that would be grounds for lawsuits in other careers is tolerated with a shrug and a "well that's just ob/gyn, lolz".
 

jdh71

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All right, I know that there have been numerous threads dealing with this topic and even a recent one titled 'If you could do this again, would you?" but it has always irked me that such titles suggest whether one would be willing to go through the process of medical training twice. I know this is an issue of semantics but my question to all of you is the following: Now that you have completed medical school and are in the midst of(perhaps even finished with) residency would you still elect to pursue this path if you could go back in time knowing what would be in store for you down the road?

Thanks,
Darkskies
If I could go back and do it again would I? Definitely! Knowing what I know now, though, I would do some things differently. Yeah, it's a hard, often thankless job, with long hours, and I will have more debt and make less money than those who came before, but . . . I ****ing LOVE my job.

I would definitely have studied more than I did, gotten involved in more research earlier on, hell . . . maybe even gone MSTP. I'd still go IM - I didn't "settle" for IM, I like it, but I think if I would have applied myself a little more (just like just about anyone in medical school who really tries) I could have gotten the top grades and scores to get into a top 5 place. I'd still apply to pulm/cc. I'd still want to be a physician scientist.

I don't know. I guess too many people get into this for the wrong reasons.
 

ForbiddenComma

Tanned for Bowling
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Why is that kind of behavior even tolerated? Stuff that would be grounds for lawsuits in other careers is tolerated with a shrug and a "well that's just ob/gyn, lolz".
Beats me. I just know they get away with abuse that wouldn't even be tolerated in surgery. Surgeons like to haze... OBs are just plain mean.

There was only one nice OB resident at our program, an intern. The rest were pregnant Hitlers. (seriously, about half the residents were pregnant at any given time... you would think that working OB would be a powerful contraceptive.)

Needless to say, the one nice intern beat a hasty retreat out of the program after her PGY-1 year.
 

MJB

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IM is one of the fields that attracts jerks? That's surprising.
In my experience...I'm not sure I'd call them "jerks"...I'd just say they don't have many interests in common with me...at all, in general.

I'm still looking for these evil OB/GYN's everyone keeps talking about. I'm sure they are out there...I just haven't found them yet.