5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2010
Resident [Any Field]
Hi I've posted in the past here so I guess this is an update. 5 months ago I became very ill with septic schock. I was in the ICU, intubated with multi organ failure. I went through surgery and was hospitalized for 2 weeks. Gladly, I came out alive. I pretty much forced myself to get back on rotation 5 days after discharge. I think this might have helped me recover faster as I was forced to get up and get going everyday. I didn't take a break and was able to graduate on time. I had no breaks in between graduation to start of residency orientation because I had to make up the days I was absent.

The main thing is I have been having headaches since after discharge. I thought it's going to go away but it didn't and now it's getting worse possibly due to increased stress of being a new intern. The headaches are pretty much almost daily, migraine like headaches. I never had anything like this in the past. I'm now being managed with neurologist and now on cocktail of meds including propranolol, indomethacin, and triptan. The thing is it only provides me with minimal relief and the medications make me sleepy, drowsy and mentally slow. I'm in medicine and currently in ICU rotation and cannot afford to be sleepy or stupid. I'm so stressed out right now and I really don't know what to do. I'm tempted to take a medical leave . I've discussed this with my program director already and he said it needs to be approved by my medical provider.

The deal is I don't want to quit but it's getting to the point that I'm in pain, overwhelmed and depressed. Should I just go ahead and take a medical leave or just suck it up? I guess this will delay my training too and probably ruin my chances for fellowship

Winged Scapula

Staff member
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2000
Attending Physician
I'm pretty sure the general consensus in the other thread was that you were harming yourself by returning to work too soon and that if it didn't get better you needed to take medical leave.

I'm not sure why taking medical leave would impact a future fellowship match. You had a documented critical illness with significant sequelae and you are unable to function at capacity. The reason your program director needs approval from your medical provider is that's what the GME office requires for anyone taking leave.


15+ Year Member
Sep 20, 2004
Attending Physician
take the have a real reason and you need to address it before you continue with your are doing no one any good, not you, not your co-residents, not your patients if the complications from a significant illness are affecting your ability to train.


Pastafarians Unite!
10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2006
Attending Physician
I realize that SDN isn't for medical advice. But, if you had any LP's or similar during your admission, make sure your providers consider a chronic CSF leak as the cause of your headache. I've seen a few of those missed, and they are amazingly treatable if found.