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Parent Problems

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by sleepymed, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. sleepymed

    sleepymed The white Hard24Get 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 24, 2005
    And by this I mean mine!

    Just some quick background, my father is a neurologist, my mother is a pediatric neurologist. They are both super old school (so old school my father got grandfathered out of one of his boards) and were doing their residency in the era where everyone had to moonlight in the ED. Another little tidbit to add, my mother would love for nothing more than for me to match into optha or derm and just the thought of me being in either racks me with shudders.

    So anyway, as i've been making my way through medical school, i've come to the startling realization that I'm a cutter, a butcher if you like. I quickly narrowed down my choices to EM or surgery. So I break this wonderful news to my parents (this has to have been at least 8 months ago) and they pretty much freak out "Do you know how crazy it is in the EM, it's super stressful, why would you want to do that, there's no prestige in EM, you can't really advance anywhere in EM, the best part of medicine is seeing what happens to your patients, etc etc etc." One time I called my parents because I was ecstatic that I got a hundered percentile on my neuro shelf, my mother responds with "why are you wasting such great grades on EM."

    Fastforward through several months of EM jabs and my mother tells me to try a week of ENT and if I don't like it, then she will support my decision to go into EM. Of course, I try it for a week and I barely make it through without killing myself, and when I tell her that on the phone the other day she drops the ultimatum, "don't go into EM, go into anything other than EM, if you love me you'll go into anything else, if you love me you'll go into general surgery."

    My parents love me, and I know they think they know what's best for me, but dealing with this is exhausting. I know that at least a dozen people will have snide comments to make so i'll preempt that by saying, yes I know I'm an adult and this is my choice to make and yes I know I'm pathetic.

    So I guess the point of this huge point is to ask if any of you have had any similar experiences, and if so, how did you deal with it.

    Thanks :)
    -SM
     
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  3. paramed2premed

    paramed2premed Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 22, 2003
    Nutmeg State
    My mother is a doc, graduated school in '62, still working.

    I don't know where your parents got this "prestige" bullsheet from, but it sure wasn't from my mom. Frankly, she was deathly afraid of duping me into thinking medicine was anything other than potentially soul-corroding.

    Just out of interest, what happens if they decide not to support you?

    Best of luck.
     
  4. paramed2premed

    paramed2premed Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 22, 2003
    Nutmeg State
    Oh yeah, by the way, you're not pathetic, nor are you (I suspect) in a unique position. I have a friend with parents who are both docs, forget which kind, and they have made there share of supercilious observations about EM.
     
  5. EM2BE

    EM2BE Elf 7+ Year Member

    Thank you for this post. You make me feel like my parents are wonderful and very supporting, even more than I thought. Then again, neither of them are docs and they seem to admire me for even trying. Good luck with everything!

    My advice is follow your gut feeling of what is best for you. I'm sure your parents won't disown you because you didn't choose the profession they wanted you to do. I would like to believe that after the decision is made and everything is finalized, they would accept it and support you through it.
     
  6. Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer 7+ Year Member

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    May 7, 2003
    Let's review, shall we? Mom says IF you try ENT for a week and still don't like it THEN she'll support you in EM. You try ENT for a week, and you still want EM. So then she changes the rules. That's the part that's pathetic.

    Also, if your mother loved you, she'd stop using that ridiculous "if you loved me..." construction. That's emotional blackmail, and it's childish. My folks never put me in this kind of position, thank goodness, but they did at one time flood me with their naturally aggressive personalities and put me in the awkward position of wanting to be a good son while also maintaining my own standing as an adult.

    And that's what you need to do: behave like an adult (as you seem to be doing already), and then do NOT settle for less than the respect that you, as an adult, have earned from them. If they refuse to give it, that's their choice and you did all you could. Don't give it another thought.

    If they're paying your way, go out and get some loans. Go rent Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? and watch Sidney Poitier's speech to his dad near the end of the movie a few times.

    They might be hurt, and moan about it for a few months, but they'll come around.
     
  7. IntheDraft6

    IntheDraft6 7+ Year Member

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    Feb 13, 2007
    Land of Choas
    Wow, tough spot. Turn the tables on them. Tell them that if they loved you that they would respect any decision that you make whether they agree with it or not. They are your parents and are supposed to love you unconditionally. Pretty superficial of them to judge you for what you want to go into. Prestige is for someone who feels that they need to show off something. Do it because you love it and not because it looks good. In the end, you are an adult and it is your life to live, not theirs. You do what you feel is best for you and pursue whatever field interests you. If they really love you they should accept your decision unconditionally.

    PS- My mother (GED educated) always thought I was making a mistake by going into EM. "You should become a surgeon because they make millions.":(
     
  8. trkd

    trkd 10+ Year Member

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    San Diego
    I couldn't agree more. I think you should do what makes you happy. I am sorry if this sounds harsh but I am fairly blunt person... your parents will die eventually and you will be stuck with a specialty you hate. Stand up to your parents. Don't be awful and disrespectful. Just firm. Good luck.
     
  9. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon 7+ Year Member

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    May 1, 2006
    Your parents are coming from a really old school when EM probably wasn't even a specialty. In their mind what is clearly important is being a doctor with a patient base and some degree of a name. While it sounds like they are acting childish, I can sort of understand their point that EM is not like being a "regular doctor."

    I have an FP in my family who worked in ED's for awhile. While he is supportive of my decision I know (from various comments) that he thinks that an EM doc is basically an FP who doesn't know how to manage chronic disease.

    Tell your mom that you'll be home for alot more dinners if you don't do Gen Surg.
     
  10. Faebinder

    Faebinder Slow Wave Smurf 10+ Year Member

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    May 24, 2006
    Pennsylvania
    You are going to hate me for my opinion. You are lucky enough to have parents in similar fields who can easily set you up in their business once you finish residency as a neurologist. I think it's immature to go after EM when you have your parent's work ready for you to take over. I wish my parents had this sort of practice ready for me to take over. At least you are garaunteed that they will not screw you over (like a new set of partners in another specialty, who have no problems taking advantage of a the new attending who is trying to join the group.) You will be garaunteed you wont be screwed over taking the bad calls times of the years and everything is already set in place for you. Really this has nothing to do with your "genetically inherited" talent.

    And in all honesty, when you are 55, neurology is a more relaxing career than EM and doing those 12 hour shifts is burning (yes yes the EM guys will jump at my throat, because they are still young and got energy) and having everything laid out for you on a golden plate is not something you should just toss away.

    I know one guy whose father is an allergist with a great setup and he insisted on doing pathology. Down the road he thought about it and switched back to IM so he can go Allergy/Immuno. The thing is you have to understand that down the road, you really are better off following in your parents footsteps. Sure it might not make you feel like "wow, I made myself from scratch" but believe me "making yourself from scratch" is overestimated. Ask those who are struggling as new attendings trying to take extra calls to cover expenses for the "still building" setups they have.

    On the other hand, I dont understand their dislike towards EM, it might be a reaction of frustration that you did not choose neurology as a career. If you are not going to do what your parents are doing for living, then you might as well do something you really really like. Good luck with your choice.
     
  11. trkd

    trkd 10+ Year Member

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    Dec 23, 2002
    San Diego
    Wow, I can't believe some people think this. I mean, I respect your opinion but it just boggles my mind sometimes. I have no problems with reaping the benefits of your parents hard work but to choose your life's work because it will be easy to slip into your parents job. So if your parents own a drycleaning place, should you not go into medicine so you can run that when you finish college?

    Sorry, I don't mean to be so judgemental about your opinion. It means as much as everyone elses opinions. I just STRONGLY disagree.
     
  12. EC3

    EC3 Member 5+ Year Member

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    Aug 6, 2006
    hundred percentile, eh?
     
  13. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    Febrifuge is right on. Your parents are being childish and using that horrible "If you loved me..." argument, which isn't a decent argument at all. You can politely call them out on it, and tell them that sort of thing will no longer be acceptable. EM when they were starting out is not the EM of today, and your goals may not coincide with their goals and there's nothing wrong with that. Do what you love.

    I couldn't disagree more with Faebinder. While being a neurologist might be more "relaxing", for me, "relaxing" is the same as "stultifying" or "boring as hell". Yes, yes, I know you'll say I'll feel differently when I'm older, but if my parents are any judge then I won't. My folks both work hard at jobs they love; my father puts in 12-hour days M-Th (he's home on weekends), and my Mom's job has hours that vary widely. But they both love what they do. However, I would hate having either of their jobs and never had any pressure to follow in their footsteps. If you're drawn to fields like EM and surgery, then a 8-4 office job is probably not for you. Sure, the hours are more predictable and "easier" but an easier job doesn't mean you'll be a happier person.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  14. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    I'm willing to let this FMcFP warning slide...their question was decent. We'll see how this plays out...
     
  15. sleepymed

    sleepymed The white Hard24Get 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 24, 2005
    I'd like to start by saying thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to my post!

    Paramed - Regarding the prestige issue, it's not the prestige of the medical field per se, it's the way that the other departments view EM docs. While I do not agree with the judgement, hence me career choice, you do have to admit that EM is not the most respected field in the hospital, it is a field where someone else is always more of an expert than the EM physician is, and that's where my parents are coming from. They just don't understand, that I don't WANT to be an expert on just one narrow part of the body, as one of my proffs here calls it, I don't want to specialize in just the left kidney, which is where medicine is headed nowadays!

    Faebinder - While I thank you for the post, and I'm sure many people feel the same way as you, let me tell you, if i had to do only neuro for the rest of my life I think I would volunteer to be placed in a persistent vegitative state!

    EC3 - Yup, a hundered percentile! I'm not saying it as a FMcFP point, and I didn't make that point in relation to whether any programs would accept me or not. The reason I brought it up, was because I called my parents because I was ecstatic when I recieved that grade, just because I thought it was just so darn cool and instead of being happy with me, they used it as an opportunity to bash my career choice. I was an average student during my pre-clinical years, just run of the mill passes, very blah, but I just get the clinical stuff, I love it. Part of the reason i'm so attracted to EM is that i've done well in all of my rotations and I have liked them all very well, and I feel like I want to go into a field where I get to make the diagnosis!

    Sweat Tea - I agree with what you said completely. I've been ruminating on this for a while and I'm pretty much set on EM. Just the thought of going into it makes me happy, it's exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life.

    So after I posted this, I decided to call my mom, she apologized for her earlier comments. We spent an hour discussing all of the different issues that she had. I explained that the field of EM is a new one, and that doctors in the EM have more and more control over their patients nowadays, that EM docs even manage the airways now, I went on to explain that EM was what I wanted to do and I didn't think I would change my mind. She apologized for pressuring me earlier, I know she doesn't understand why in the world I am attracted to EM, but I think for the sake of our relationship, we're just going to agre to disagree. Now I need to try to make my father, grandmother, etc. come to terms with my choice!
     
  16. Phishfood

    Phishfood Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    wait wait wait. your grandmother?!

    dont tell me she's a neurologist too!

    now THAT'S old school.
     
  17. Faebinder

    Faebinder Slow Wave Smurf 10+ Year Member

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    We aren't talking apples and oranges here. We are talking different colors of apples. Dry cleaning and medicine are so far apart. Neurology and EM are still both medical fields which help/save people's lives but I understand your disagreement.
     
  18. Dr. Will

    Dr. Will 10+ Year Member

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    I personally think this is the immature route. My uncle is an OB/GYN, with a very busy practice in southern california. He, and most of my family, tried to get me to follow in his footsteps to take over his practive once he retires. Everyone said "it's easy, all set up for you already," "there's an established patient base," etc, etc. I HATE OB/GYN!!!! I've worked my a$$ off for how many years to have my pick when it came to what I wanted to do and where I wanted to do it. I've never taken the easy route, and that is exactly what the above is in my opinion, the easy route. Besides, if you don't love it, what kind of satisfaction will you have when you're 60? Or better yet, just 5 years down the line? Not only will I be unhappy, but my patients will not be served as well as they could. To me, that's immaturity...and the opposite reason as to why we entered medicine.

    To the OP...do what you love and don't let anyone convince you any differently. You are the one that will have to wake up daily and face your patients, not your parents.
     
  19. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    Awesome! Glad to hear that your mom is coming around.

    And dude, it's SWEET tea, not SWEAT tea. Sweet tea is a delicious, refreshing drink with a nice sugar and caffiene kick. Sweat tea just sounds nasty. :laugh:

    it's funny how many times i've been called sweat tea on this forum, but maybe y'all are trying to tell me something...
     
  20. sleepymed

    sleepymed The white Hard24Get 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 24, 2005
    Sweet Tea...

    Actually it's dudette, and I thought you looked a little wet, a little "sweat-y!"

    I'm tired and I don't think when I pound on my keyboard...
     
  21. sleepymed

    sleepymed The white Hard24Get 7+ Year Member

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    Just read the fine print...

    As members of the medical community, we're more used to writing out the word sweat, it's much more biological... on the other hand, if we lived a couple hundered years ago, we could have been tasting urine and may have been more familiar with the spelling of sweet, regardless, I hope no one used the urine in their tea, that would have been a little bit gross. Only just a little though.
     
  22. Not as gross as some of the things people have admitted (confessed?) to eating in the "Gross foods" thread...
     
  23. wrested

    wrested 2+ Year Member

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    Do you mean hundredth percentile, or one hundred percent? There is a big difference between the two. The hundredth percentile would mean that NO ONE else in the entire country did as well as you... very unlikely, and I don't think that scores are even reported above the 99th percentile. You may have gotten a 100 percent, but I highly doubt that your report stated "100th percentile". I think that was the point of EC3's question.

    That said, either way it would be a fantastic score, so congratulations.

    Oh yeah, and EM is awesome. You should do that. :)
     

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