Jason O

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I have been an aspiring post-baccalaureate pre-med student. I have been volunteering for about 5 months now and kept a journal to record all of my thoughts, ideas, and reflections related to my volunteer experiences.

I made it a point to talk to as many doctors that I could. At the first hospital I volunteered at, out of 10 doctors (GPs and specialists), I didn't meet a single person who loved their job. So I went to a different hospital, a community hospital instead of a tertiary academic institution- same result. Then I talked to my own general practitioner at his clinic and also to all of his partners - they all had the same hesitation when answering my questions. Many said they were not sure if they would do it all over again if they had the option. :idea:

Has anyone else encountered these sentiments? I know many people have had the opposite experience - I just want to see if people had an experience like me. Any response is appreciated.

Thanks
 

guitarguy09

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I have definitely spoken with physicians about this and some have given similar responses, saying that medicine isn't what it used to be. So I asked what they would do instead, and they all replied, "nothing, I would still be a physician. I love it too much and the personal rewards are wonderful. Besides what job doesn't have some disappointment every now and again? I think if you are going into medicine for the right reasons in the first place then you will be satisfied. However, I really fear for those people in it for the wrong reasons, or the people that aren't even aware of what they are getting into. Those are the poeple that have problems later on."

This is the gist of what I've been getting as an answer through all of my experiences. I think physicians' opinions may also vary depending on their location of practice, as that may definitely affect their job satisfaction. Hope that helps.
 

Blue Scrub

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I've talked to doctors that love their job, as well as ones that are not as enthusiastic...but you'll meet those people in any profession, so i guess im not that surprised.....im sure it just depends on the person, and what their motivations were for becoming a physician in the first place
 
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Jason O

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Thanks alot for your responses. You remind me that there still is diversity in thought and in experience.
 

JimmyMallo

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their are alot of unhappy people in all walks of life. What matters is what YOU want out of life. You will be happy doing that thing that makes you happy and nothing else. If it is medicine that makes you happy then you will find happiness in medicine. Happiness comes from within :) :)

O.K. That was a little sappy, I think I'm going to ........

:barf:

ahhhhh, much better :laugh:
 

Pediacare

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I work for a peds guy. He's older and started practice in the early 70s - surely from the old school and part of the good ol' boys mentalltiy. We work 10-14 hour days routinely in the winter just in clinic. But he rounds before and after clinic, takes call at least 3 nights/week, and works about a Saturday a month. One day I asked him if he thought it was all worth it and if he enjoyued his job. He replied that he couldn't imagine doing anyhting else, and this was at the end of the day. He said that if your not going into medicine for the right reasons and soley for money and fame it's far from worth the effort and time. But if you geuninely care for the patients you treat, than you can enjoy gettign out of bed and doing it every morning.
 

futuredoc10

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Jason O said:
I have been an aspiring post-baccalaureate pre-med student. I have been volunteering for about 5 months now and kept a journal to record all of my thoughts, ideas, and reflections related to my volunteer experiences.

I made it a point to talk to as many doctors that I could. At the first hospital I volunteered at, out of 10 doctors (GPs and specialists), I didn't meet a single person who loved their job. So I went to a different hospital, a community hospital instead of a tertiary academic institution- same result. Then I talked to my own general practitioner at his clinic and also to all of his partners - they all had the same hesitation when answering my questions. Many said they were not sure if they would do it all over again if they had the option. :idea:

Has anyone else encountered these sentiments? I know many people have had the opposite experience - I just want to see if people had an experience like me. Any response is appreciated.

Thanks
I have a good friend who is the Chief Resident in Anesthesia at my top choice school and has told me how hard and arduous the medicine training has been for him. The late and long hours, the competition, the endless studying, but he still claims that he would do in all over again because he's so passionate about medicine. I think it all comes down to your devotion and motivation to pursue medicine that determines how happy you are with your career. Just my two cents.
 

Blue Scrub

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these last few posts are good....i feel almost re-inspired and reminded why I want to join the profession, thanks for your posts guys! :thumbup:
 

Doxie

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My doctor actually tried to convince me that medicine is not a very good career...it really made me doubt myself because that's someone I look up to as a mentor for encouragement. It is scary to meet some doctors who don't like their jobs, but honestly I can't imagine doing anything else. :)
 

JimmyMallo

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Doxie said:
My doctor actually tried to convince me that medicine is not a very good career...it really made me doubt myself because that's someone I look up to as a mentor for encouragement. It is scary to meet some doctors who don't like their jobs, but honestly I can't imagine doing anything else. :)
Wow! Doxie, I think I might be in the market for a new doctor if I were you :eek: When I meet people like this, that is people who will admit and tell everyone they hate their job while they are DOING their job for YOU, it makes me wonder if their is anything they would rather be doing or if they are just unhappy. I have asked this very question to a few disgruntled people and besides the standard "anytning would be better", I have never had ONE tell me anything SPECIFICALLY they would rather do. Some people are destined to hate their life no matter what. :thumbdown:
 

Frogmed

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Doxie said:
My doctor actually tried to convince me that medicine is not a very good career...it really made me doubt myself because that's someone I look up to as a mentor for encouragement. It is scary to meet some doctors who don't like their jobs, but honestly I can't imagine doing anything else. :)
Doxie, I shadowed 10 docs and they all tried to convince me that med is not a that great a career anymore. I also have a close friend who has been practicing only 5 years. He also told and tells me it isn't what he thought it was going to be. I felt the same way as you and had to do some serious soul searching. I read a wonderful book, "Mountains Beyond Mountains. The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer." His motivation for medicine is mine. In this book, this guy never, not once, complains of PPO & HMO. The reason...he's not in it for the money. He chose medicine as a lifestyle not a job...me too. Border's has copies of the book; I think it is on sale.
 

uptoolate

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On the other hand, I work in a research setting. My mentor was at the top of their career at a top (arguably the top) institution for the field-director of two divisions, full prof at a young age, grants up the wazoo- occasional Today show gig and all. What did they do a few months ago? Left it to go run a prevention clinic at a local not so famous at all hospital- why? This person missed seeing patients in a community based setting. Its the happiest I've seen this person in the six years I've been here.
 

akanene

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Jason O said:
I have been an aspiring post-baccalaureate pre-med student. I have been volunteering for about 5 months now and kept a journal to record all of my thoughts, ideas, and reflections related to my volunteer experiences.

I made it a point to talk to as many doctors that I could. At the first hospital I volunteered at, out of 10 doctors (GPs and specialists), I didn't meet a single person who loved their job. So I went to a different hospital, a community hospital instead of a tertiary academic institution- same result. Then I talked to my own general practitioner at his clinic and also to all of his partners - they all had the same hesitation when answering my questions. Many said they were not sure if they would do it all over again if they had the option. :idea:

Has anyone else encountered these sentiments? I know many people have had the opposite experience - I just want to see if people had an experience like me. Any response is appreciated.

Thanks
I totally know what you're talking about... i have always wanted to go into medicine, but i kept hearing all the horrible things about burnout and it just not being worth it anymore... i worked in a clinic last year and a lot of the residents coming through told me to not do it, go the PA route instead if i really wanted to practice... so i started having second thoughts, but then i talked to one of my college mentors about my concerns and he told me that from what he knew all that happens to people that are in it either for the challenge, fame, thought of money, prestige, etc. and really didnt become doctors for the right reasons, so thats why theyve become so unhappy because it is such a tough process. he told me to think about my reasons and if they were really in the right place... after a lot of thinking i talked to him again and he said that he knew i was in it for the right reasons, but that i had to figure that out for myself... if youre worried about it i suggest you talk to someone you maybe worked or volunteered with to get an outside perspective (friends and family are obviously biased), or someone who wont bull**** you about it, and obviously do some soul searching yourself (sounds lame but you know what i mean). in the end you'll be letting yourself down if you go into a profession for the wrong reasons.
 

drguy22

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you see this is why people say that make sure ur in a profession that you LOVE..not because it will make you rich....ya itll give you money and all but at the same time it will make you miserable. I think is safe to say that MOST of the doctors that dont really enjoy the profession is because their reasons for entering medicine were wrong and flawed from day 1.
 

PineappleGirl

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Pediacare said:
He said that if your not going into medicine for the right reasons and soley for money and fame it's far from worth the effort and time. But if you geuninely care for the patients you treat, than you can enjoy gettign out of bed and doing it every morning.
This is exactly what I've heard from the docs I know, especially the ones in the lower paying specialties.