Friday, April 07, 2006

Is there a Doctor in the house?

So congratulations to me. I'm going to be a doctor, and I'm so excited about it I could just die. Or at least kill my younger self who decided this would be a good idea. Like at least 50% of my classmates I don't want to be a doctor anymore. But were all fucked because we owe so much money that there's no backing out now. It's less painful to pay back the mob then pay back medical school debt. At least the mob is willing to kill you and put you out of your misery. I graduate from medical school in two months and I'm already burned out. Oh yea, this is going to be a great year for me.
I'm starting internship soon. Also known as the worst year of my life. I get to have all the compassion and empathy squeezed out of me while enduring 30 hour shifts every three days, not sleeping for months on end and never seeing my family. Internship is supposed to mold you into this great all knowing doctor, or completly break your spirit - whatever comes first. So I thought I would let the civilians into the mind of what doctors are really thinking this first year. This won't hurt a bit.


DocBellaise said...

Wow, this is really interesting. I SO want to be a doctor...NEED to be a doctor-I can't see myself do anything else. This is good stuff you're writing- kind of like the future. Do you really regret your medical education? Congrats on the new addition by the way.

Nat said...

Totally agree with all the above... Luckily Ihave three years of med school to get through before I am traumatised..

Panda Bear said...

Oh man. You will not want to be a doctor on your first night of call. It is exactly how Irishdoc describes it. For my part, on my first night of call as an intern (General Surgery, VA Hospital) I would have rather have been anything else, anything at all, rather than to be left alone with fifty or sixty patients I knew nothing about, every one of whom was a ticking time-bomb.

And at the VA you are alone. We're talking tumbleweeds blowing through the wards. The nurses aren't even that good and can only bug you, never help you like they can in most ICUs.

Irishdoc is exactly right about the large percentage of medical students who don't want to be doctors any more. Now, it does get better. I'm a PGY-2 and having a little experience and knowing how to do things makes all the difference in the world. You actually enjoy being a doctor, a little, particularly when you relaize thatyou can indeed handle some medical emergencies without pushing the panic button.

But most people are acutely aware of their limitations and this worries them. Not to mention that intern year sucks, everyone knows this, and nobody looks forward to it.