DrDude

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2007
106
3
Status
I've met so many people who are miserable in this profession, from med students to attendings. I know the standard response is that every career has people who are unhappy, but I can confidently say this one has a lot compared to others from my experience and they really seem to dislike it (they're not just complaining for the heck of it).

Everyday I meet med students who complain about school, residents who are perpetually in a crappy mood and want to just get home as soon as possible, to attendings who seem to have little if any enjoyment about their career.

So why do you keep doing it if it makes you like this? There must be people on this forum who are like the ones I've mentioned and I would like to hear from them especially. How can you wake up every single day going to med school/residency/attending job you hate and being in a miserable mood day in and day out? Is it really that worth it to you?
 

DrDude

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2007
106
3
Status
The same 4 reasons why we got into it in the first place. Chicks, money, power, & chicks.
All kidding aside, whats the point of any of those if you're miserable even if you do obtain them.
 
About the Ads

Tn Family MD

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 3, 2006
146
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
It's called student loan debt. That's why I do it. Otherwise I would probably do a Ph.D in Organic Chemistry. Or maybe not. There are definitely days when it seems OK and seems to be worth it. But there are lots of days when it seems so pointless and awful. I do think if I had it to do over again, I would do a Ph.D in Chemistry. But with close to $200,000 in student loans, that is simply not a possibility.
 

Faebinder

Slow Wave Smurf
10+ Year Member
May 24, 2006
3,507
11
Pennsylvania
Status
Attending Physician
There is no turning back after med school... or at least not without risking all the loan disasters. I believe that many would simply walk away if their loans could be paid off.
 

smq123

John William Waterhouse
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2006
14,293
4,564
Status
Attending Physician
I've met so many people who are miserable in this profession, from med students to attendings. I know the standard response is that every career has people who are unhappy, but I can confidently say this one has a lot compared to others from my experience and they really seem to dislike it (they're not just complaining for the heck of it).

Everyday I meet med students who complain about school, residents who are perpetually in a crappy mood and want to just get home as soon as possible, to attendings who seem to have little if any enjoyment about their career.

So why do you keep doing it if it makes you like this? There must be people on this forum who are like the ones I've mentioned and I would like to hear from them especially. How can you wake up every single day going to med school/residency/attending job you hate and being in a miserable mood day in and day out? Is it really that worth it to you?
I think that, as a student, you're always holding out hope that "the next step will be better." I'm sure you've heard people on your rotations say hopefully, "Well, it sucks being a student, but it'll be better when I'm a resident/attending..."

My friends always seem to ask me "Hey, how's it going?" at the worst possible moments - i.e., when I've just had a really irritating run-in with a CRNA. Or the course coordinator has royally f***ed up something, and now the students are the ones who have to bear the brunt of her mistake. Or I've just gotten lectured by a nurse for a mistake that I...didn't...actually...make. :mad:

But there are good moments that I wouldn't trade. Joking around with the intern...really talking to patients who actually seem glad to see me...seeing the attending break into an impromptu dance in the middle of the OR...but for some reason, my friends never see me right after those things happen. So maybe you're just seeing the residents/attendings at a really bad moment?
 

gida

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 24, 2007
62
2
Status
Attending Physician
My experience:

A discrepenacy exists between what you are told, what its really like.

I was told in medicine you'd always have a job, which true. And the money would be very good, which is possible. And much of this was told by older MDs who were already wealthy, and had FUN back in the old school days!!
I suspect some of them would never go into medicine if they were 22 in the year 2005 instead of 1975!

No one tells you the down sides!!
You bust your ass to get into med school...but have NO idea what it's really like. Then you bust your ass and have no idea what residency is like.
The same can be said for fellowship. This whole med school thing is like getting on a NONSTOP train...and once it gets going there is NO WAY OFF!!

One of my best friends actually didn't go on to residency. He QUIT and started a consulting business...and he is much happier. Lucky for him though he no debt!!:smuggrin:
 

buckley

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2007
766
2
Status
Resident [Any Field]
i think people continue on because to quit would make the past years just meaningless...and that would be much harder to take...
 

nowanmd

10+ Year Member
Nov 18, 2007
137
107
Status
Attending Physician
Here's my take. I was a nontrad-went to med school at 39-finished up IM training at 46. Sure school/training was brutal- and now? Well Iwork in primary care- the money about $150 k/yr. My previous career MBA, and MS in chemistry I worked for many large corporations. To make $150 k/yr in a corp - you have to be at a director level. Your job is on the line every day. Politics, layoffs and other bullsh*t. Most corporate workers hate it. Believe me. Work is,well,work-otherwise they'd call it fun.

My colleagues take some pride in yourselves. You have a substantial profession. No one can ever take that away from you.
 
B

Blade28

But there are good moments that I wouldn't trade. Joking around with the intern...really talking to patients who actually seem glad to see me...seeing the attending break into an impromptu dance in the middle of the OR...but for some reason, my friends never see me right after those things happen.
:thumbup: :thumbup:
 

GoodMonkey

sproutmobile
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2002
6,792
6
banging your head against a wall burns 150 calorie
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
#1: ~$180K of debt.
#2: being an intern SUCKS AS$. med school, i liked. there were difficult times, yes, but for the most part, i liked it. i also went to med school after having a career in a different field - i chose to leave that field and really spent a few years thinking through the decision to go to med school. when i went, i had a pretty good idea what i was in for. so i don't feel like i "should have done something else," as the other things i seriously considered doing, i already did. and chose med school anyway. right now, my misery stems about 95% purely from being an intern and dealing with the bottom-of-the-totem-pole-sh!t-filter that is intern year. i'm in a field i really enjoy and see the upper level residents in my program enjoying what they do and i'm excited to actually get to practice medicine and learn my chosen specialty. it's a matter of just making it through intern year at this point.


But there are good moments that I wouldn't trade. Joking around with the intern...really talking to patients who actually seem glad to see me...seeing the attending break into an impromptu dance in the middle of the OR...but for some reason, my friends never see me right after those things happen. So maybe you're just seeing the residents/attendings at a really bad moment?
:thumbup:
 

Tired

Fading away
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 12, 2006
3,884
784
Because we keep telling ourselves it will get better down the road. And when it doesn't, we tell ourselves the next step will be an improvement. This delusion can be stretched out many decades.
 

Hoo\/er

if($profit){replicate();}
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2002
207
0
44
www.medschoolhell.com
Status
There is no turning back after med school... or at least not without risking all the loan disasters. I believe that many would simply walk away if their loans could be paid off.
I finished medical school with loans and said to hell with it. I just couldn't take it anymore. I hated everything about it including the patients, the nurses, the attendings and most residents. I had never met a more pretentious and miserable group of people.

I now do my own thing, making much more money than most attendings and I have more free time than I know what to do with. The loans aren't even an issue anymore.

It can be done -- you just have to want it bad enough.
 
About the Ads

oompaloompa

0.20 Blood Caffiene level
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2003
159
8
40
Dallas, TX
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Because we keep telling ourselves it will get better down the road. And when it doesn't, we tell ourselves the next step will be an improvement. This delusion can be stretched out many decades.
Another problem is that most of us were just ******* kids when the snowball started rolling downhill.

Age 17: Premed? Hell, why not? Have you seen "Scrubs" yet, I love that show. It's rough though, I had to read for an hour the other night and I have classes before 10am.

Age 20: This MCAT business is ridiculous and I can't stand OChem and Physics, why all the hoops for med school application? I wonder why I have to take Calculus. Well, it must be important or else they wouldn't make us take it. Besides, I'm too far along in my Biochemistry degree to change now and I refuse to end up as some lab rat or high school teacher. It will be okay, everyone says the hardest part of med school i getting in, smooth sailing after that.

Age 22: Well this is rather disconcerting, I never imagined med school would be like this. It's kind of like college only with a lot more reading and less drinking(with other people, I mean). Well, I'm going to be the best doctor ever, I can name all the coenzymes in the Krebs cycle. I can't wait to get out on the wards and practice "real" medicine.

Age 24: Hmmm, patient contact isn't exactly all its cracked up to be. When I stated my great love for humanity in my personal statement, I definitely wasn't thinking about these humans. If I see another 80yo who feels "weak and dizzy" I'm going to lose it. But's not all bad, and I'm sure I'll it will be better when I get to concentrate on what I like. Oh wow it's already 2pm, what am I still doing at the hospital? I still need to work out before I go home and relax and read for a bit.

Age 27: How the hell did I get here? How can I be almost 30 not realize what my career really entails until now. How is that a person as educated as me serves a mostly secretarial function? Why does everything I do require a f*cking form to be filled out? I always figured that as a resident I would have some sort of defense against that bitchy nurse or lazy unit clerk that I didn't as a med student. The truth is I'm more powerless and vulnerable than before. At least I'm finally being paid for my work, but everyone seems to make out like this is some special treat I don't really deserve. I just consolidated $120,000 worth of debt and by my calculations I make $6.70 /hr. The kid at Taco Bell makes more than me.
Well, it's not all bad. I do like my field and there often a few satisfying moments in the day. Everyone says it will get better.........

They say there's a light at the end of the tunnel, but it's really just an oncoming train.
 

lowbudget

7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2003
1,380
32
.
I feel the need to chime in. People are miserable? Perhaps. But I stopped listening long time ago.

People in medicine are the biggest whiners and complainers I have EVER met in my life. I noticed it in premeds compared to everyone else, then as a med student compared to everyone else, then in residents. Worse of all, when I hear it from attendings who theoretically has it better than everyone else, all I can do is shake my head.

It's not that there are other people worse off than you, because as always there are kids in China who are starving.

The problem is you. You are a victim of yourself. There's no escaping you.
 
B

Blade28

Another problem is that most of us were just ******* kids when the snowball started rolling downhill.
...
Everyone says it will get better.........
It doesn't end there...

Age 30: God residency is brutal. But at least fellowship will be better. I'll make more money, have more time, more power, and an army of residents to help me out.

Age 32: OK fellowship is just like residency, except a lot of the time there's no one else on the team. It's just me and the attendings. And the ACGME rules don't always apply, so I'm on home call every day. But at least when I'm an attending things will be better.

Age 36: I forgot that there's no 80-hour workweek when you're an attending. Now the ultimate care of all these patients falls on me, and it's my responsibility if something happens to them. If one of my fellows or residents messes up, I get blamed for it - and sued as well. Well I'm just a junior attending now...when I'm the department chair things will be better.

Age 45: Man being head of the department sucks. Now I'm in charge of making sure the department makes money, plus I have to mediate all the political battles between attendings. And I have to meet weekly with the chairman and board. Well at least retirement's coming up soon...

Obviously I say a lot of this with tongue in cheek. But we were told a similar (albeit toned-down) version of this during med school orientation, with the moral of the story being: live for the moment. Take up those new activities you've always wanted to pursue NOW. Keep up with your old hobbies. Maintain your friendships. Keep in touch with your family. Don't keep putting things off until "later, when things are better," because there's no guarantee they will be.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nn125

sophiejane

Exhausted
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2003
2,778
6
Waco, TX
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I know you don't want to hear from me, because I love my job. And I'm an intern--I'm supposed to be hating this.

I think a large part of it is expectations. I expected to work hard and struggle a bit, but I expected the rewards to be worth it. So far, they have.

Maybe it differs between specialties, but I've never heard so many physicians say they love their job as I've heard from family doctors. Maybe our expectations are lower, or maybe more of us got into this for reasons other than chicks, money, power, and chicks. ;)
 

Faebinder

Slow Wave Smurf
10+ Year Member
May 24, 2006
3,507
11
Pennsylvania
Status
Attending Physician
I finished medical school with loans and said to hell with it. I just couldn't take it anymore. I hated everything about it including the patients, the nurses, the attendings and most residents. I had never met a more pretentious and miserable group of people.

I now do my own thing, making much more money than most attendings and I have more free time than I know what to do with. The loans aren't even an issue anymore.

It can be done -- you just have to want it bad enough.
I gotta tell you HooVer. Your blogs are scary thoughts that happen to everyone in medicine.
 

docB

Chronically painful
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Nov 27, 2002
7,849
535
Las Vegas, NV
Status
Attending Physician
Money.

You get to a point in your life where you are really only trained in one thing and doing that will keep you in your house, keep your kids fed and the lights on. Yes every shift is a drag and you start to look at every patient as either a drug seeker or a potential plaintiff but that's the biz. Either sell the house, tell the wife and kids to get used to less and start making 1/3 as much if you're lucky or suck it up and gut it out. Only 23 more years to retirement.
 

abefromann

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2004
174
5
Somewhere in OH
Visit site
Status
Here's my take. I was a nontrad-went to med school at 39-finished up IM training at 46. Sure school/training was brutal- and now? Well Iwork in primary care- the money about $150 k/yr. My previous career MBA, and MS in chemistry I worked for many large corporations. To make $150 k/yr in a corp - you have to be at a director level. Your job is on the line every day. Politics, layoffs and other bullsh*t. Most corporate workers hate it. Believe me. Work is,well,work-otherwise they'd call it fun.

My colleagues take some pride in yourselves. You have a substantial profession. No one can ever take that away from you.
EXACTLY. I was in banking before this and although I agree that medicine is totally not what I thought it would be, it feels WAY more important and satisfying than the corporate race. That was not fun. I'd never go back. Although, the chicks were hot.
 

speeter

OMS-1
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2007
389
0
34
West Michigan
gvsu.facebook.com
Status
Medical Student
Despite the fact that I'm only 22, I have worked 6 years in engineering. I type this from my desk at an engineering firm. I hate the uncertainty of this job and the business world in general. I'm not saying medicine will be any better, but this sucks. At least in medicine you make a difference. All I do here is help make widgits to put on cars and widgits to put in chairs.
 

velo

bottom of the food chain
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 3, 2004
5,573
9
38
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Oh my god can everyone please stop their bitching? Am I the only one who has found everything to be much less of a pain in the ass then everyone makes it out to be?

The MCAT was supposed to be hard--it wasn't.

Med school was supposed to be killer--first year was a joke.

Well 2nd year will be much worse--it was more work but a lot more interesting and I had a great time

Well Step 1 will kick your ass--I studied for 3 weeks, no big deal, killed it

Well 3rd year will be hell--It was certainly a lot of work and there were times that were rough, but by and large it was a great experience and it felt good to start actually taking care of people. It is EXTREMELY doable.

Well 4th year...oh who am I kidding everyone said 4th year is awesome and they're right.

Intern year--I'm expecting it to be super hard, I'm sure it will be, and I'm sure I'll survive and learn an increadible amount. Whats the big deal?

I think, for whatever reason, people in medicine (from pre-meds on up) LOVE to put themselves on the cross and bitch about how hard their life is. The only way you can actually feel that way is if you were stupid enough to not really research this profession before you went into it and didn't realize that if you're smart enough to do medicine you can make more money faster and easier doing almost anything else you're capable of. Fine. True. But if medicine really interests you then you have the best job in the world. Nothing is as fascinating to me as medicine and I can't imagine a more rewarding career. And seriously, who was suprised to find out this was a lot of work?
 

AFSmiley

Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2005
296
2
37
Texas
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I've also met a few people who have the "Our life is so incredibly difficult. Much more difficult than ANYONE else's. Do you want to talk about it? Right now, at this party, even though we're around normal people who don't care. Let's talk about it." Complex. I can't stand it.

There's a time for school/study/work, and there's time for family/friends/hobbies. I enjoy both, but I also like them to be seperate sometimes.
 
About the Ads

velo

bottom of the food chain
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 3, 2004
5,573
9
38
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I've also met a few people who have the "Our life is so incredibly difficult. Much more difficult than ANYONE else's. Do you want to talk about it? Right now, at this party, even though we're around normal people who don't care. Let's talk about it." Complex. I can't stand it.

There's a time for school/study/work, and there's time for family/friends/hobbies. I enjoy both, but I also like them to be seperate sometimes.
Yeah, that drives me up the wall too. Maybe their lives are so miserable because they don't even know how to enjoy their time outside of the hospital...
 

gwen

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 25, 2002
423
2
Visit site
Status
people are miserable b/c

1. their expectations were totally off - this is not the good old 1970s/80s
2. parents forced them
3. they are lazy
4. they are dumb
 

Winged Scapula

Cougariffic!
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
20+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2000
40,031
28,416
forums.studentdoctor.net
Status
Attending Physician
Oh my god can everyone please stop their bitching? Am I the only one who has found everything to be much less of a pain in the ass then everyone makes it out to be?

The MCAT was supposed to be hard--it wasn't.

Med school was supposed to be killer--first year was a joke.

Well 2nd year will be much worse--it was more work but a lot more interesting and I had a great time

Well Step 1 will kick your ass--I studied for 3 weeks, no big deal, killed it

Well 3rd year will be hell--It was certainly a lot of work and there were times that were rough, but by and large it was a great experience and it felt good to start actually taking care of people. It is EXTREMELY doable.

Well 4th year...oh who am I kidding everyone said 4th year is awesome and they're right.

Intern year--I'm expecting it to be super hard, I'm sure it will be, and I'm sure I'll survive and learn an increadible amount. Whats the big deal?

I think, for whatever reason, people in medicine (from pre-meds on up) LOVE to put themselves on the cross and bitch about how hard their life is. The only way you can actually feel that way is if you were stupid enough to not really research this profession before you went into it and didn't realize that if you're smart enough to do medicine you can make more money faster and easier doing almost anything else you're capable of. Fine. True. But if medicine really interests you then you have the best job in the world. Nothing is as fascinating to me as medicine and I can't imagine a more rewarding career. And seriously, who was suprised to find out this was a lot of work?

People who have never held a full or even part-time job.

People who have never had to be somewhere on time or had real responsibilities.

Frankly, I see a lot of the above in medicine. Adolescents who never grew up and realized that its not ok to oversleep (more than once), that yes, you have to come in everyday (or almost every day), and that you work hard. If you've never had a job before, you'll work harder than you've ever worked before and you will make a lot less than you think you should or would and yes, that the tax man will take a LOT of your hard-earned money.

Maybe medicine is full of whiners or maybe its because there are a large contingent of people who never had to work outside of school or the home and didn't understand why people complain about it.
 
B

Blade28

Maybe medicine is full of whiners or maybe its because there are a large contingent of people who never had to work outside of school or the home and didn't understand why people complain about it.
Medicine can also be that stressful.

Very few jobs out there where people's lives are so directly affected by your actions. Air traffic controller, criminal defense lawyer, teacher - all important, but in a different way.
 

velo

bottom of the food chain
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 3, 2004
5,573
9
38
Status
Resident [Any Field]
people are miserable b/c

1. their expectations were totally off - this is not the good old 1970s/80s
2. parents forced them
3. they are lazy
4. they are dumb
Ah I guess I'm fine because...

1) I have no idea what things were like in the 70s/80s and don't care
2) Parents told my brother and I to be whatever we wanted to be and supported anything we showed an interest in--ended up with a doctor and a lawyer
3) debatable...
4) debatable...
 

gwen

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 25, 2002
423
2
Visit site
Status
exactly my thoughts!!!

People who have never held a full or even part-time job.

People who have never had to be somewhere on time or had real responsibilities.

Frankly, I see a lot of the above in medicine. Adolescents who never grew up and realized that its not ok to oversleep (more than once), that yes, you have to come in everyday (or almost every day), and that you work hard. If you've never had a job before, you'll work harder than you've ever worked before and you will make a lot less than you think you should or would and yes, that the tax man will take a LOT of your hard-earned money.

Maybe medicine is full of whiners or maybe its because there are a large contingent of people who never had to work outside of school or the home and didn't understand why people complain about it.
 

gwen

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 25, 2002
423
2
Visit site
Status
yes, but why is that a surprise to people?

Medicine can also be that stressful.

Very few jobs out there where people's lives are so directly affected by your actions. Air traffic controller, criminal defense lawyer, teacher - all important, but in a different way.
 

mlw03

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2003
3,127
127
38
Canada
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
we all have choices in picking what specialty we want to get into, and in 2007 it's easy to make those choices with a ton of information. lifestyle matters to me, and you bet your a$$ that's part of why i'm not going to be a surgeon or ob-gyn. i make no apologies for wanting to not be miserable. nor do i expect to be because i'm going into a field that i find interesting and i'm willing to work the expected number of hours during residency and practice. i'm not willing to work 80 hours per week for the next 4 years.

so to answer the main question, i keep doing it because i'm not miserable. i was miserable during certain med school rotations, but i sucked it up knowing it was a very short term situation. but to enter a specialty that you don't like, pays less than you're willing to accept, and requires more hours than you're willing to give, well that's just a bad choice.
 

thusell

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2007
53
0
Status
Post Doc
Oh my god can everyone please stop their bitching? Am I the only one who has found everything to be much less of a pain in the ass then everyone makes it out to be?

The MCAT was supposed to be hard--it wasn't.

Med school was supposed to be killer--first year was a joke.

Well 2nd year will be much worse--it was more work but a lot more interesting and I had a great time

Well Step 1 will kick your ass--I studied for 3 weeks, no big deal, killed it

Well 3rd year will be hell--It was certainly a lot of work and there were times that were rough, but by and large it was a great experience and it felt good to start actually taking care of people. It is EXTREMELY doable.

Well 4th year...oh who am I kidding everyone said 4th year is awesome and they're right.

Intern year--I'm expecting it to be super hard, I'm sure it will be, and I'm sure I'll survive and learn an increadible amount. Whats the big deal?

I think, for whatever reason, people in medicine (from pre-meds on up) LOVE to put themselves on the cross and bitch about how hard their life is. The only way you can actually feel that way is if you were stupid enough to not really research this profession before you went into it and didn't realize that if you're smart enough to do medicine you can make more money faster and easier doing almost anything else you're capable of. Fine. True. But if medicine really interests you then you have the best job in the world. Nothing is as fascinating to me as medicine and I can't imagine a more rewarding career. And seriously, who was suprised to find out this was a lot of work?
Wow, you sound amazing. Tests that other people consider to be difficult you took while you were inebriated and you purposefully even left half of the answers blank and you still scored higher than everyone else because you're just that good. Let me guess, you're going to parlay that into a lifestyle specialty and continue to talk about how hard everyone should work while you relax on the beach? Get over yourself, poser.
 
About the Ads

velo

bottom of the food chain
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 3, 2004
5,573
9
38
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Wow, you sound amazing. Tests that other people consider to be difficult you took while you were inebriated and you purposefully even left half of the answers blank and you still scored higher than everyone else because you're just that good. Let me guess, you're going to parlay that into a lifestyle specialty and continue to talk about how hard everyone should work while you relax on the beach? Get over yourself, poser.
I'm not, by any means, doing a "lifestyle specialty" and I'm sorry if my post came off like I was trying to talk myself up. I wasn't. I was trying to talk DOWN the difficulty of a career in medicine, which I think is over-played. I'm sick and tired of all the negativity.

Some people, for whatever reason, just LOVE to tell you how hard things get, how much their life sucks, and how much your life is GOING to suck. I was simply reflecting (and this is an attitude shared by most of my friends in the class) that the next level never seems to be anywhere NEAR as bad as people try to convince you it will be. I still think Medicine is a fantastic career for those who love it and am sick of these bitter little people who come out of the woodwork and post on these boards trying to tell me how terrible my life is (or, if I'm not unhappy now, how terrible it will be).

I look up at the resident/fellow/attending level and see 95% satisfied, happy, driven people loving what they do. I see (mostly at the resident and MAYBE fellow level) a few bitter ones bitching and moaning about this and that and I feel like those guys are over-represented on these boards.

Lets just be honest people. Its not THAT bad. Its actual pretty cool. Enough with the hate...
 

dutchman

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2006
1,106
6
Status
Post Doc
I've met so many people who are miserable in this profession, from med students to attendings. I know the standard response is that every career has people who are unhappy, but I can confidently say this one has a lot compared to others from my experience and they really seem to dislike it (they're not just complaining for the heck of it).

Everyday I meet med students who complain about school, residents who are perpetually in a crappy mood and want to just get home as soon as possible, to attendings who seem to have little if any enjoyment about their career.

So why do you keep doing it if it makes you like this? There must be people on this forum who are like the ones I've mentioned and I would like to hear from them especially. How can you wake up every single day going to med school/residency/attending job you hate and being in a miserable mood day in and day out? Is it really that worth it to you?


Because we are like prostitutes, and our pimp(student loans) insists we stay on the streets.
 

Faebinder

Slow Wave Smurf
10+ Year Member
May 24, 2006
3,507
11
Pennsylvania
Status
Attending Physician
i have yet to meet a miserable person in the specialty i'm going into... care to guess what it is?
Ya we know pathologists arent usually unhappy.. Good for them but try and spread the happiness and you will meet what Dr. Cox said in my signature.
 

mlw03

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2003
3,127
127
38
Canada
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
Ya we know pathologists arent usually unhappy.. Good for them but try and spread the happiness and you will meet what Dr. Cox said in my signature.
and i'll point out that in the 2007 match there were still more spots than US allopath grads. and that gen surg, among the worst lifestyles, is still quite competitive. people are seeking out these "miserable" speacilties. why they do that i don't know.

i try and spread the happiness... i'm a happy dude. not sure what you mean by "you will meet what Dr. Cox said in my signature" since that feature appears down at the moment. i can't see anyone's signatures.
 

Winged Scapula

Cougariffic!
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
20+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2000
40,031
28,416
forums.studentdoctor.net
Status
Attending Physician
and i'll point out that in the 2007 match there were still more spots than US allopath grads. and that gen surg, among the worst lifestyles, is still quite competitive. people are seeking out these "miserable" speacilties. why they do that i don't know.

i try and spread the happiness... i'm a happy dude. not sure what you mean by "you will meet what Dr. Cox said in my signature" since that feature appears down at the moment. i can't see anyone's signatures.
Sigs only appear the first time someone posts in a thread (go to post #5 to see Faebinder's sig).
 

speeter

OMS-1
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2007
389
0
34
West Michigan
gvsu.facebook.com
Status
Medical Student
People who have never held a full or even part-time job.

People who have never had to be somewhere on time or had real responsibilities.

Frankly, I see a lot of the above in medicine. Adolescents who never grew up and realized that its not ok to oversleep (more than once), that yes, you have to come in everyday (or almost every day), and that you work hard. If you've never had a job before, you'll work harder than you've ever worked before and you will make a lot less than you think you should or would and yes, that the tax man will take a LOT of your hard-earned money.

Maybe medicine is full of whiners or maybe its because there are a large contingent of people who never had to work outside of school or the home and didn't understand why people complain about it.
:thumbup: QFT
 

mlw03

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2003
3,127
127
38
Canada
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
Sigs only appear the first time someone posts in a thread (go to post #5 to see Faebinder's sig).
ah, thanks Dr. Cox. faebinder... harsh response, man. i wish other specialties could be as content as most pathologists i know. i certainly know happy pediatricians, internists, psychiatrists, and subspecialty surgeons, and i suspect there are happy gen surgeons and ob-gyns... but not that i've met around USF. misery is apparent, and i think it trickles down to students. we saw how miserable the residents and even many of the attendings were and that's why we have only a few people doing gen surg (but plenty of subspecialty). i'm not trying to revive a "bash on surgeons" theme here, but i do think my point plays into the original question. at my school we see misery in certain clerkships and we run the other direction. at USF the other directions include peds, IM, and EM, which are all much more enjoyable clerkships run by much happier attendings. this will be very obvious in march when our match list comes out. i think we have something like 15 gen peds, at least that many IM, and about 10 EM among our class of 115.
 

Pir8DeacDoc

Cerumen Extractor
15+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2004
1,596
320
Virginia
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
It's easy to wonder why eveyone doesn't choose your speciality. Don't make that mistake. Just because someone has a passion and love for general surgery doesn't mean they should be subjected to torture. People have to follow their passion, wherever that leads. It might not be what you'd choose, but maybe you were just lucky that you have a passion for a lifestyle and laid-back field.
 

docB

Chronically painful
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Nov 27, 2002
7,849
535
Las Vegas, NV
Status
Attending Physician
I think many of you are being unfair. People without a rosy view of medicine have been characterized in this thread so far as dumb, lazy, forced into medicine by parents, unprepared, never had another job and so on. Medicine is a tough racket. Running or administering a practice once you’re out is even tougher. Medicine demands more front end investment of years and cash that anything else. I’m not worried about getting laid off but those corporate guys aren’t worried about getting personally sued either. And if reimbursements drop I can get laid off. No other industry has such a jacked up business model where you do the work and then try to get “reimbursed” for what you did. Medicine is filled competing mandates. For example, the DEA will get you if you write for too many narcs yet you can be sued for not treating pain aggressively. Medicine is a hard business. The hours are long. The work is tough. The training is brutal. It’s possible, reasonable and valid to think you’re in the best specialty for you and to plan on sticking with medicine while seeing it for the mess that it is. So forgive me for paraphrasing Chevy Chase but I do think it’s Pollyannaish to be walking around whistling Zippity-Doo-Dah out of one’s a--h--- about what a great profession it is.
 

DrDude

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2007
106
3
Status
Some people are missing the point of this thread and going on tangents and criticizing those they label as complainers. This doesn't have to do with complaining about the career. It's about why people keep doing it when they don't in fact like it.

So far a few people have mentioned it's because they have to pay off their loans. What I get is that people are saying they're essentially trapped in the career because of their debt and are only continuing on to pay off those debts. So is it fair to say you wouldn't practice medicine and instead do something else if you didn't have loans to pay off?
 

mlw03

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2003
3,127
127
38
Canada
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
something i haven't seen mentioned is a sense of obligation. i'm not "miserable," but i have heard people who are say that they continue because they realize they have a relatively uncommon and very important set of skills or knowledge. they know that the job they're doing needs to be done and that if they don't do it their community may suffer.
 

Winged Scapula

Cougariffic!
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
20+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2000
40,031
28,416
forums.studentdoctor.net
Status
Attending Physician
So far a few people have mentioned it's because they have to pay off their loans. What I get is that people are saying they're essentially trapped in the career because of their debt and are only continuing on to pay off those debts. So is it fair to say you wouldn't practice medicine and instead do something else if you didn't have loans to pay off?
Quite possibly, or at least it was true at one point in time.

When I was miserable in residency and considering quitting, one of the reasons I didn't was because of the debt and the fear that I really wasn't trained to do anything else (or at least had been away from my former career for so long that I was no longer fit to practice it). Its terrible to feel trapped because of that.:(
 

secretwave101

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 13, 2001
679
16
47
Bruchmulbach, Germany
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
Quite possibly, or at least it was true at one point in time.

When I was miserable in residency and considering quitting, one of the reasons I didn't was because of the debt and the fear that I really wasn't trained to do anything else (or at least had been away from my former career for so long that I was no longer fit to practice it). Its terrible to feel trapped because of that.:(
Sure is the case for me. I don't, actually, dislike being a resident. Didn't dislike it as an intern, either, even though I did so much work. I just don't like coming to work and doing my job out of fear. Fear that if I lose my job I'll never have the ability to pay off my loans, that I'll never find as high-paying job (try getting yourself into a 140k/yr job in any OTHER field) and that my kids will grow up with lice and dirty fingernails because their Dad is a tool who couldn't stay employed.

I think I'd go to work either way, bec. the job doesn't entirely suck. But I'd like to do it without the element of fear that currently forces me out of bed every day.
 

tr

inert protoplasm
Gold Donor
20+ Year Member
Nov 17, 1999
1,863
1,105
Status
Attending Physician
lowbudget said:
People in medicine are the biggest whiners and complainers I have EVER met in my life. I noticed it in premeds compared to everyone else, then as a med student compared to everyone else, then in residents. Worse of all, when I hear it from attendings who theoretically has it better than everyone else, all I can do is shake my head.
Oh my god can everyone please stop their bitching? Am I the only one who has found everything to be much less of a pain in the ass then everyone makes it out to be? ... And seriously, who was suprised to find out this was a lot of work?
ITA with these posts, and also with the posters who say that most of the complainers don't have other work experience for comparison.

I kept expecting medicine to get really unbearably hard, and so far it hasn't (at least not for more than a couple of weeks at a time). I'm midway through intern year and feeling fine (and I write this post-call thank you). At this point I'm starting to doubt the wisdom of all the whiners I've heard from over the years.

Btw I freely admit I'm in a cush specialty (psych) so my intern-year experience is not comparable to, say, a G-Surg intern-year experience. I don't doubt that surgical residencies are draining. But you don't *have* to choose that road. There are plenty of specialties that don't require 100-hour workweeks, and they're not all impossibly competitive either - especially if you choose a community setting vs a high-powered academic hospital.

I think it's possibly relevant that the social cachet in medicine comes from working a lot of hours. If I recall, in undergrad the social cachet came from *not* working ("Dude, I partied all night and still aced that calc final!") Then all of a sudden in med school it was like "I worked 625 hours last week and I'm taking call q2" (yeah you slept 8h in the call room for no reason other than PR when you could have been in your own bed - I know med students who did this)

Perspective and balance have a lot to do with this. Comparing notes with other interns, I've found that intern A might consider a particular rotation hard while intern B considered it easy - even if intern B worked equal-or-more hours than intern A. Most rotations have something fun/interesting/of value if you can get yourself into a place where you can see that.
 
B

Blade28

I'm midway through intern year and feeling fine (and I write this post-call thank you). At this point I'm starting to doubt the wisdom of all the whiners I've heard from over the years.
Just out of curiosity, were these whiners in Psych, or another field?
 

mdjobexchange

Agitated
10+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2007
94
0
Las Vegas, NV
Status
Attending Physician
When I was a resident, I almost quit 3 times. All during internship. I had a B.A. in Classical Greek and Roman History, $60,000 of debt and no other skills to pay off that kind of debt. I kept at it and now am reasonably happy with medicine. Yeah, I do think about other careers, but most of the accountants and lawyers I know are not all that thrilled with what they do. A good friend of mine is on the partnership track at one of the big 5 accounting firms and he puts in 60-80 hours a week. He doesn't always have a smile on his face.

I guess the caveat is some of the mid-level jobs out there. You can be a clinical pharmacist and make $120,000 a year. Would I be happy doing that? I don't think so. I like the technical aspects of anesthesia. I like working with my hands and dealing with complex situations. I just had a bizarre case of massive hemolysis/hyperkalemia after a carotid endarterectomy last week that I barely skated out of. Those kinds of challenges are fun. I like being the end of the line and making the final decision in high stress situations. Yes, I had to trade 4 or 5 years of my life to be in charge, but let's be real, we are all living to 80 or 90, so 4 years is a drop in the bucket.

Being a resident can be a real drag. There is a lot of negativity out there. I think that if people choose their specialty and job right, they'll be fine.

Having high student debt can be a problem, but even if you want to do pediatrics and you have $250,000 of debt, choose pediatric anesthesia. If you want to do primary care, choose maternal fetal medicine. Making those choices can double or triple your income and still have a somewhat similar feel. Those specialties may be somewhat more hours during residency, but they can have much better hours after training than other specialties.

In the end, I think the debt is what makes us feel trapped. Once I paid off my debt and had the right job, I was fine with my choice. Only by paying off my debt was I able to take the job I wanted, which had fewer hours and less pay.
 
About the Ads