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stress in physician career

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by asdasd12345, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. asdasd12345

    asdasd12345 Membership Revoked
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    i heard that along with dentists, doctors as a profession have the highest number of suicides, alcholism, drug abuse, heart failure, ect, ect than any other profession. is this true? i can imagine this could be true for ER doctors or neurosurgeons, but family practice, i couldnt imagine it driving you to drink.
     
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  3. ad_sharp

    ad_sharp Senior Member
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    I've heard things similar to this myself (especially about doctors and substance abuse), but I don't know of any one particular study that has these correlations. Did you know of anywhere that this info is available?
     
  4. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    My personal family physician who ran his own practice once told me that his wife commented saying, "... the kids are sad, and cry because you're never home." He also commented that he works approximately 90 hours a week, and has to deal with secretaries that steal from his medicine cabinets.

    To me, that sounds like stress.

    For the most part, I think the general rule of thumb is this:

    Medicine = Stress :thumbup: or :thumbdown: if you prefer.

    If you can wrap your mind around that, everything else will be peachy. And who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and find the one physician job in the U.S. that doesn't have stress. :D
     
  5. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    You can't let it get to you. Just do your thing, and let the cards fall where they may, but don't stress about it. Sounds trite, but it's the truth.
     
  6. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    What are you talking about? The process of applying alone has already driven me and countless others to hit the bottle. If anything, it's the application process and not the career that causes all these problems. :scared:
     
  7. freaker

    freaker Senior Member
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    Actually, lawyers take the cake by far. They're far more likely to report being depressed, far less likely to like their jobs, more likely to divorce, and far more likely to abuse alcohol.

    I'll see if I can dig up the stats.
     
  8. Meritina

    Meritina Member
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    I think like Alexander, these applications and other bs are the problem

    But this translates to life-long stress from
    -applying to medschool and taking MCAT
    -taking the USMLE
    -kissing everyone's butt during the 3rd year so you can get a decent evaluation [easier said than done]
    -applying for internship
    -applying for residency
    -taking USMLE PART 2
    -taking USMLE Clinical Skills exam [1000 dollar exam, heard it's tougher than it looks]
    -going for interviews during your rotations
    -Match day, scrambling if there is no match
    -Intership year is hell
    -USMLE step 3
    -applying for fellowship and having enough research experience for it
    -I don't know a whole lot from beyond this, but I heard finding jobs/making your CV, etc is very stressful in itself. So is billing your patients and trying to get reimbursement from insurance companies, and sending patient bills off to collections.

    so no i'm not surprised physicians die before their time.
     
  9. Marina9

    Marina9 Senior Member
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    While all of this true, physicians do have a lot of things to worry about, I wonder how much of the stress is self-inflicted. If you think about, many people who go into medicine have this "work, work, work" mentality. Add to this a perfectionist attitude, and you can create a lot of stress on your own, no matter which career you choose to pursue.
     
  10. Cerbernator

    Cerbernator Retired
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    i think a good number of physicians are simply whiners who have no experience with the real world. Is being a physician stressful? Of course it is, yet at least as a physician you have financial security, at least moderate prestige, and a lot more professional autonomy. As for the hours, yeah they can be rough but i'd say most professionals work more tahn 40 hours a week. Hell, try working in a restaraunt - for ~33k you can expect to work a very ****ty job at least 60 hours a way (as a manager).
     
  11. Well a hot nurse or a hot medical school chick can make things better. I'd say lack of hot chicks around can drive one crazy j/k :laugh:
     
  12. Cerbernator

    Cerbernator Retired
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    Another thing, from my experience in a hospital trauma unit, the physicians very rarely seem stressed because of the patient unless its stress from them being pissed off that ER/Medicine/insert specialty "skirted the patient" onto them because they are lazy/incompetetant/insert insult
     
  13. Linz925

    Linz925 New Member

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    About a year ago, my former pediatrician stabbed stabbed his wife and then killed himself by jumping off the balcony of his apartment. Sorry I didn't leave something more encouraging, but I just couldn't help myself...it fit the thread so well. Besides, it may have been something other than his career that drove him over the edge.
     
  14. St. James

    St. James Buffster
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    I don't know of any primary sources offhand, but Dr Abe Verghese wrote a nonfiction book about doctors/drugs/destructive behavior called the Tennis Partner, and in it he gives all these stats on professionals and suicide.

    i think with docs it has something to do with easy access to drugs and the degress to which docs can be ostracized in their own field for admitting to an addiction or mental illness. schooling and residency are really grueling and you're supposed to suck it up and be tough cuz that's what doctors do...
     
  15. Cerbernator

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    YET MORE INSIGHT!!!!

    I also think it has something to do with the type of people going into medicine. I think medicine appeals to quite a few people with psychological profiles that encourage whining and depression.


    BPM:
    Many people go into medicine for the money and the prestige only to find that they are not rich and that getting spit on by a crack addict is hardly "prestigous". This is the BPM, who will ruin his life by ignoring everything aside from academics and scholarly prestige. He will gun to get into the best medical school because he truly believes that better people have better pedigrees. This wont make him happy though, he'll need more as the future is much more appealing than the present and begin gunning for the top residency program. Eventually he will realize that he went into medicine not for medicine but because he felt if he didnt his life would be inadequate. He will realize that future accomplishments will leave with him only the emptiness he has found in his accomplishments of the past.

    Martyr:
    Then there is the "martyr" which I tend to relate more to. The martyr views it as absolutely essential that his life has a purpose, that his life has meaning - he feels in himself a certain emptiness that he needs to fill. The martyr sees medicine as his duty, he believes that somehow by "sacrificing" himself (his marriage, youth, etc) he will find purpose. A main characteristic of this premed is that he is trying to escape through medicine; He is trying to mask his own life by consuming himself with his patients (i.e. it is much easier to ignore the depression of your life when you are focusing on a bullet hole in someones chest).

    Misguided:
    This guy was very naive about medicine and what it would entail - he was probably pushed into medicine because of family pressures. He went through hell only to find himself in a job he doesnt really care for and didnt expect.
     
  16. BioChemDork

    BioChemDork ASA Member
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    Stress from patients and long hours can be eliminated by realizing the following things:

    • you can't help everyone that you want to
    • you can't save people from themselves
    • you can survive on less than $100k.

    Now, if somebody could give advice on surviving med school and residency, that'd just be peachy. :)
     
  17. Fumoffu

    Fumoffu Senior Member
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    *ends self after reading this thread and seeing what's in store*
     
  18. curlycity

    curlycity Guest

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    *forces charcoal beverage into fumoffo*

    *gets vomit on shoes*

    *feels stressed*

    *goes shopping for new shoes, feels BETTER! :D *
     
  19. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    Considering just the process of applying drove me to drink, I'd say it's a safe bet that the career would drive many to drink.

    If you drink though, you probably don't have to worry too much about suicide. Life seems too good when you've hit the bottle to end it. :)
     
  20. Nike

    Nike Senior Member
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    dude, that's college. :smuggrin:
     

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