What are the main challenges you expect to face as a doctor?

  • Pharmacy Job Market Webinar

    Are you considering applying to pharmacy school but are concerned about job prospects when you graduate? Join us on Wednesday, July 28th at 8 PM Eastern to hear from three PharmDs about their experiences and options outside of retail pharmacy.

sirus_virus

nonsense poster
10+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2006
1,254
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
I was just curious what specific challenges you guys expect to face as a practicing physician.
 

QuantumMechanic

Avatar=One of the Greats
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 23, 2005
2,455
3
Hilbert Space
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
decreasing reimbursements and liability

:sleep:

the ****ing sky is falling, doctors are going to make less than nurses one day!

skyfalling.jpg
 
About the Ads

Schaden Freud

MiSanthrope II
10+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2006
1,313
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Having this conversation at cocktail parties...

Stranger: So, what kind of work do you do?
Me: I'm a physician.
Stranger: Oh, you're a doc. Good. Hey, I got this weird rash on my back- mind taking a look at that?

I was just curious what specific challenges you guys expect to face as a practicing physician.
 

Davjc2009

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2007
286
1
Florida
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Patients that want to self-diagnose...

"I was reading WebMD/wiki and I think I have X"

Me: "No You don't"

"If you don't treat me for X i'll sue"

Wah Wah Wah.

Not the biggest challenge but something that would annoy me to no end.
 

etf

Full Member
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Apr 27, 2005
3,059
13
Status (Visible)
Having this conversation at cocktail parties...

Stranger: So, what kind of work do you do?
Me: I'm a physician.
Stranger: Oh, you're a doc. Good. Hey, I got this weird rash on my back- mind taking a look at that?

become a surgeon; that way you won't have time to go to cocktail parties.
 

geogil

Still training.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 1, 2006
918
21
Status (Visible)
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
Thinking of my own original answers to interview questions.... Now that I've gotten that out of my system, I think balancing family and work will be a challenge (specialty dependant). I think handling ambiguity as far as clinical outcomes; eg how do you define success as a doctor if you're just mitigating the symptoms of some chronic disease?
 

gujuDoc

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2004
13,864
38
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
  2. Resident [Any Field]
Patients that want to self-diagnose...

"I was reading WebMD/wiki and I think I have X"

Me: "No You don't"

"If you don't treat me for X i'll sue"

Wah Wah Wah.

Not the biggest challenge but something that would annoy me to no end.

:laugh: :laugh: I think the part about noticing signs and symptoms of a particular disease isn't a bad thing because it alerts you to get it checked out. However, I agree that if they assume they have it even after proper tests are done to prove they don't have those problems and continue to threaten to sue then that's just plain pathetic.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,876
10,044
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I was just curious what specific challenges you guys expect to face as a practicing physician.

Going to the bathroom when you've accidently tied too tight a knot in your scrubs drawstring.

Actually the hardest thing is going to be convincing folks you actually know what you are doing half the time. The amount of stuff you need to know is voluminous.
 

IWant2BeADoctor

License to Matriculate
10+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2007
319
0
Maryland
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
The fact that you'll never know enough to be able to give the right diagnosis to every patient.

Being faithful to my wife when their are so many attractive nurses/ health workers around.:D :p

The long hours and the stress of knowing that the decisions you make could mean life or death for those you treat.
 

gujuDoc

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2004
13,864
38
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
  2. Resident [Any Field]
While decreasing compensation for the amount of work and time we put in and the amount of debt we incur to get there unless we are one of the few fortunate ones who got a full scholarship is at the top of the list, I'd also say there are a few other things equally as big of a deal.

Let's see, there is insurance companies and/or govt role in healthcare that will increase the problems not decrease them because they put restrictions on what tests and procedures can be done sometimes hindering patient care because critical tests and diagnoses may not be able to be performed. Furthermore, if the govt does try to create socialized medicine then we'll have increased amount of patients without being able to give adequate time to each and every single one of them to treat them as a patient rather then just some object to be passed in and out.

Then there's the issue of money hungry lawyers and malpractice laws that are causing a lot of people to not go in certain fields coupled with the long call hours in some of those same fields (i.e. surgery, ob/gyn) which cause a shortage of physicians in those areas. Hence, this uneven distribution of physicians being trained in certain fields will probably lead to a shortage of physicians in certain fields when they are critically needed. The same can apply to people who go in these fields but don't perform certain procedures due to fear of malpractice lawsuits and/or long call hours if they add certain services. That again will affect patients in the long term.

These are what I'd consider some of the biggest problems facing healthcare today.
 
About the Ads

gujuDoc

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2004
13,864
38
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
  2. Resident [Any Field]
The fact that you'll never know enough to be able to give the right diagnosis to every patient.

Being faithful to my wife when their are so many attractive nurses/ health workers around.:D :p

The long hours and the stress of knowing that the decisions you make could mean life or death for those you treat.

Most the nurses I know are older and married and far from being the most attractive human beings on earth. I'd say a lot of them are overweight and the ones who are skinny are older and married with kids. I wouldn't count on finding many model looking girls as nurses if I were you.
 

gujuDoc

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2004
13,864
38
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
  2. Resident [Any Field]
Going to the bathroom when you've accidently tied too tight a knot in your scrubs drawstring.

Actually the hardest thing is going to be convincing folks you actually know what you are doing half the time. The amount of stuff you need to know is voluminous.

Yeah that would suck if you had to pee during the middle of a surgery or procedure that takes a long time.
 

braluk

SDN Surgerynator
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2006
11,823
65
The Big Easy
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Being faithful to my wife when their are so many attractive nurses/ health workers around.:D :p

Funny you mention this, my gf to be wife always has this fear :laugh:

Most of the challenges doctors face, unfortunately, will be negative things. However there may be a few positives here and there. They are:

Learning how to use new and emerging technology and putting in the hours to train and learn how to use it.

The aspect of the healthcare system in the future is a tossup in that we can still have a terribly disorganized system, we have can a more organized one, but with unhappy doctors, we can have one with government involvement, but with unhappy doctors. Whatever it is, something has to give way, and judging by the responses of many across SDN and the chief complaints given by doctors now, doctors will most likely have the short end of the stick.

Unless the law starts changing, or physicians start taking CMEs that deal strictly with malpractice laws, I think there will probably be some rise in lawsuits, but this is pure conjecture.

Treating patients with more complicated illnesses with rising obesity, cancer, etc..etc..

Balancing family and work. I have a strong feeling that a large chunk of physicians in the future will work longer hours to make money. Physicians may also resort to boutique/concierge type services.

Politics- so many issues, so little time.
 

DropkickMurphy

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2005
9,731
25
A bar room in Mombasa drinking gin
Status (Visible)
  1. Other Health Professions Student
I think handling ambiguity as far as clinical outcomes; eg how do you define success as a doctor if you're just mitigating the symptoms of some chronic disease?

The patient is the one with the disease. End of story.

Making a fatal mistake, especially if it is downright negligent.

You will eventually make a mistake that will kill a patient or cause a less serious negative outcome. Learn to deal with that idea now.

Decreasing compensation rates.

That is a real concern.
 

gsmithers68

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2006
334
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Being on call... studying all the time to keep up on new treatments and for recertification tests... dealing with pharm reps... dictating at the end of the day... raising a family... and somehow keeping a healthy marriage. All at the same time. Thats the challenge. I can't wait. :D
 

Robizzle

1K Member
10+ Year Member
May 28, 2006
2,831
10
Boston & NYC
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Deciding whether to buy the Bentley or the Maybach on my 1mil/yr salary!

Oh wait, I'll just get both!
 
About the Ads

tictaq

Never Follow
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2006
133
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
this was actually one of the questions on the uconn secondary
 

eekonomics

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2006
163
0
Status (Visible)
become a surgeon; that way you won't have time to go to cocktail parties.

Or you could go to cocktail parties and answer with, "Well, let's heat up this butter knife and get you on the table! We'll have that rash out in no time."

No doubt they'd stop pestering you after that!
 

geogil

Still training.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 1, 2006
918
21
Status (Visible)
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
The patient is the one with the disease. End of story.



That is a real concern.

I always wondered which one of us was the patient. Do you mean something like, let the patient determine when they've been successfully treated? what exactly are you saying ? How would you define success in the case of a chronic illness?
 

TMP-SMX

Senior Member
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2006
3,839
183
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I always wondered which one of us was the patient. Do you mean something like, let the patient determine when they've been successfully treated? what exactly are you saying ? How would you define success in the case of a chronic illness?

Reduction of pain and symptoms is all a physician can do. Whether the petient lets the illness run their life is out of the physician's hands.
 

DropkickMurphy

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2005
9,731
25
A bar room in Mombasa drinking gin
Status (Visible)
  1. Other Health Professions Student
I always wondered which one of us was the patient. Do you mean something like, let the patient determine when they've been successfully treated? what exactly are you saying ? How would you define success in the case of a chronic illness?
It isn't going to kill you if the patient dies. Do your best to prevent suffering and alleviate pain, but remember to check your emotions at the door.
 

Funky

This space is for sale
10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2006
3,661
5
NY
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
What about whether or not to get an MD license plate? Big decision there.
 

jaboyak

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2007
14
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Or you could go to cocktail parties and answer with, "Well, let's heat up this butter knife and get you on the table! We'll have that rash out in no time."

No doubt they'd stop pestering you after that!

Tried it. Works like a charm! :D
 

youngnflyy

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 31, 2005
255
0
35
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Deciding whether to buy the Bentley or the Maybach on my 1mil/yr salary!

Oh wait, I'll just get both!

You beat me to it, but my choice will be more sensible, Choosing between a new Lexus, or a new Range Rover!
 

sassykru

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2006
55
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Other Health Professions Student
Here's one: Being a resident and having patients doubt your credibility. I work in a dermatology clinic and patients come in all the time throwing a fit because they've figured that residents are not actual doctors. Granted they're in training, but it's usually un-called for, considering the idea that the residents never see patients without an experienced physician present. But, patients are always like "I don't want to see a young doctor". So all you 21 year olds starting medical school, beware of the disgruntled patient who figures that you're incompetant because you don't have wrinkles. :)
 
About the Ads

Vano

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2007
202
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Most the nurses I know are older and married and far from being the most attractive human beings on earth. I'd say a lot of them are overweight and the ones who are skinny are older and married with kids. I wouldn't count on finding many model looking girls as nurses if I were you.
This is where young good looking female techs/phlebotomists come in
 

BellyDancingDoc

Rump Shaker
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2006
491
7
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Most the nurses I know are older and married and far from being the most attractive human beings on earth. I'd say a lot of them are overweight and the ones who are skinny are older and married with kids. I wouldn't count on finding many model looking girls as nurses if I were you.

This is so true. In all honesty, most of the nurses I've come in contact with are overweight, chain smoke, and have painfully poor taste in scrubs.

That said, they are great nurses ad care a lot about their patients. However, they definitely ain't where it's at in terms of general babe-a-liciousness. :D
 

Brigade4Radiant

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 13, 2006
1,301
507
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Most the nurses I know are older and married and far from being the most attractive human beings on earth. I'd say a lot of them are overweight and the ones who are skinny are older and married with kids. I wouldn't count on finding many model looking girls as nurses if I were you.


You could say this about American women in general when they get older...
 

gujuDoc

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2004
13,864
38
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
  2. Resident [Any Field]
You could say this about American women in general when they get older...

Well see that's precisely my point. Most nurses you run into at at any given hospital or clinic are older nurses not people who are fresh out of college model looking kind of types mostly because the rate of production of new nurses is not as high as the rate of more experienced nurses who aren't retiring due to the shortage that's already in existence. Not saying you can't find pretty nurses just as I'm not saying you can't find hot male nurses or hot male doctors, but the general population of them is going to be smaller as is true even outside of medicine.
 

gujuDoc

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2004
13,864
38
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
  2. Resident [Any Field]
Here's one: Being a resident and having patients doubt your credibility. I work in a dermatology clinic and patients come in all the time throwing a fit because they've figured that residents are not actual doctors. Granted they're in training, but it's usually un-called for, considering the idea that the residents never see patients without an experienced physician present. But, patients are always like "I don't want to see a young doctor". So all you 21 year olds starting medical school, beware of the disgruntled patient who figures that you're incompetant because you don't have wrinkles. :)

If those same patients feel that way they should go to a hospital that isn't a primary teaching hospital. Generally you can avoid coming in contact with students by going to a typical county hospital that has no teaching affiliations. You are liable to choose your own physicians based on the options presented by your insurance company, provided you have insurance. Granted there are cases where this cannot be avoided, i.e. VA hospitals, in a lot of cases it can be avoided.

But how do people expect people to become experienced physicians if they don't have the training first? Besides residents are physicians because they'e completed their MD degree. But yeah they need the training. If they are unsure hey ask the attending in charge or senior resident who's gained more experience.
 

gujuDoc

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2004
13,864
38
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
  2. Resident [Any Field]
Patients that want to self-diagnose...

"I was reading WebMD/wiki and I think I have X"

Me: "No You don't"

"If you don't treat me for X i'll sue"

Wah Wah Wah.

Not the biggest challenge but something that would annoy me to no end.

If they do that, then you can tell them to get a second opinion from a physician in the same field of expertise because that option is often there for patients. sometimes a physician may overlook something that is caught by another physician. so it is possible that a patient who has done their research may be right and often times the patients I saw when observing, who did research something, were often people who really looked to see the possibilities and weren't there saying things out of ignorance. If they sue even after a second opinion showing no evidence of the fact then that's plain sad. But don't assume the patient has no understanding of what may or may not affect them. Not all patients are uneducated people with no real understanding of anything.
 

ExKitty Doctor

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2006
213
0
California Dreamin'
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Being on call... studying all the time to keep up on new treatments and for recertification tests... dealing with pharm reps... dictating at the end of the day... raising a family... and somehow keeping a healthy marriage. All at the same time. Thats the challenge. I can't wait. :D

You don't have any obligation to deal with pharm reps. Just tell them politely that you don't take calls from reps. You have no obligation to listen to their schpiel. Did you know that pharm companies get back 10 dollars for every 1 dollar they invest in direct-to-physician marketing? That free lunch is NOTHING so don't feel guilty about telling them you don't take calls.
 

IWant2BeADoctor

License to Matriculate
10+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2007
319
0
Maryland
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
You don't have any obligation to deal with pharm reps. Just tell them politely that you don't take calls from reps. You have no obligation to listen to their schpiel. Did you know that pharm companies get back 10 dollars for every 1 dollar they invest in direct-to-physician marketing? That free lunch is NOTHING so don't feel guilty about telling them you don't take calls.

Yes but you make thousands of dollars if you take them up on their offer.
 

TheCybermen

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 8, 2006
107
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
You don't have any obligation to deal with pharm reps. Just tell them politely that you don't take calls from reps. You have no obligation to listen to their schpiel. Did you know that pharm companies get back 10 dollars for every 1 dollar they invest in direct-to-physician marketing? That free lunch is NOTHING so don't feel guilty about telling them you don't take calls.

important to keep in mind :idea: :
1) many, many felllowship positions in academic medical centers are financed if not entirely, then in large part by the pharmaceutical industry

2) with the fledgling NIH budget for clinical and basic science research, industry-sponsored research (meaning not developing industry drugs solely, but getting the industry to finance one's OWN studies as they relate to a mutual field of interest) is becoming more and more attractive.

academic medicine's relation to the industry must remain strong, and dealing with big pharma is bound to become only more and more a "requisite" part of the life of academic physicians. the challenge of balancing or otherwise circumventing conflicts of interest is one for the present and future generation...and erasure of "perceived" conflict of interest is nigh impossible as it is.
 

Tired Pigeon

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2007
940
4
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
That is ridiculous. You are a human being, not an automaton. Empathy and compassion are things med schools look for for a reason.

I interpreted DKM's post (DKM, correct me if I'm wrong:) ) to mean that you can't let your emotions interfere with your obligation to perform your job to the best of your ability. This doesn't mean being an automaton, but without maintaining that professional distance your medical judgment can easily be compromised. Your role is to provide the best medical care you possibly can, not to be the patient's friend.
 

ExKitty Doctor

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2006
213
0
California Dreamin'
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I interpreted DKM's post (DKM, correct me if I'm wrong:) ) to mean that you can't let your emotions interfere with your obligation to perform your job to the best of your ability. This doesn't mean being an automaton, but without maintaining that professional distance your medical judgment can easily be compromised. Your role is to provide the best medical care you possibly can, not to be the patient's friend.

Oh I fully agree with you. I think there should be a level of distance - to keep a clear head and make the best decisions possible. But completely checking one's emotions is not giving the best care to the patient either. Bedside manner is important. Its definetly not a black and white issue, there is grey area.
 

ExKitty Doctor

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2006
213
0
California Dreamin'
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
In all my med school and residency interviews, I never once had an interviewer ask me a question designed to test my "empathy and compassion". Research, grades, test scores, future plans, coping strategies, ethics, all those involved long discussions. But the cutesy emotional stuff you're going on about, well, the only people I talk to about that kind of stuff is my mom. Not sure who you've been talking to, but I'll go ahead and second DKMs comment.

I didn't go on about anything cutesy or emotional. I just said that compassion and empathy are important qualities for a doctor to have. A doctor will need to be able to talk about serious issues with their patients, nothing cutesy, but emotions will be part of the equation when youre breaking bad news.

I have been asked questions during two of my interviews that touched on emotional subjects, like end of life care and how best to handle sensitive situations. Maybe you just didnt get those kind of questions on your interviews.
 

FemalesCANTDriv

LMAO
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2006
1,122
1
36
Where I go to school
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Most the nurses I know are older and married and far from being the most attractive human beings on earth. I'd say a lot of them are overweight and the ones who are skinny are older and married with kids. I wouldn't count on finding many model looking girls as nurses if I were you.

Haha... ya my sister who goes to Baylor was telling me that one of the biggest problems with Grey's is that they don't have enough middle-aged vietnamese nurses in the show. Apparently that's all there is in the TMC.
 

DropkickMurphy

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2005
9,731
25
A bar room in Mombasa drinking gin
Status (Visible)
  1. Other Health Professions Student
I interpreted DKM's post (DKM, correct me if I'm wrong:) ) to mean that you can't let your emotions interfere with your obligation to perform your job to the best of your ability. This doesn't mean being an automaton, but without maintaining that professional distance your medical judgment can easily be compromised. Your role is to provide the best medical care you possibly can, not to be the patient's friend.
Nope....you hit the nail squarely on the head.

It was intended to be an expression that you don't let your emotions cloud your judgment and you don't let your patients' conditions or outcomes damage you as a person. Learning to shed the baggage that comes along with dealing with others' problems is a vital skill to learn.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 14 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.