Menu

Medicine will steal your life

Home General/Welcome Medicine will steal your life

  • Avatar Anne 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1067
    Joined: 11/07/2017
    medical school scholarship sponsor

    I was wondering where my life went! Oh right, medicine stole it!

    The only thing that can really steal your life–is bad luck (e.g. a non preventable terminal health condition) or bad judgment (yours or someone else’s–e.g. an MVA). Otherwise your life will get spent some way or other. I have found medicine to be a worthwhile way to spend my life so far. I do work a pretty regular daytime schedule and don’t work nights, weekends, or holidays, and know everyone is not so lucky, so I can understand the bitterness that many feel. But on the other hand I have friends who are in the banking industry, and their jobs are pretty demanding too with bosses expecting them to be available nights/weekends for a variety of things that don’t seem all that urgent, at least to me.

    60 year olds complain about 30 year olds and vice versa. Everyone thinks they worked harder in their youth than they probably did, and everyone young thinks the older set is grumbling because of the mistakes they made that they won’t repeat, or that the older generation had it easy and mucked it up and now it’s harder. Ahh, the circle of life.

    fatlittlepig fatlittlepig 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 944
    Joined: 01/26/2017

    Medicine has not and never will steal anything from the Fatlittlepig. Medicine has however been very good to the Fatlittlepig. No regrets.

    #211780 Reply
    Avatar HikingDO 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 313
    Joined: 03/09/2017

    I don’t know, I have an excellent work life balance ( part time since finishing residency) and I still feel like I found my calling in psychiatry. I love my patients and the work. I try my best to go the extra mile for my patients and I give them the care I’d want my friends and family to receive. In general it feels like a privilege to me to be a doc. I still set firm limits and boundaries though. I don’t think the only options are to sacrifice everything for your patients,/ be walked all over by admin/ not see your family or to be a lazy doc that hates their job/doesn’t care about their patients. Moderation in all things. This black and white, all or nothing thinking is a false dichotomy. There’s a lot of gray in there where you can find personal and professional happiness while doing a lot of good as a doctor and living your life. I hope everyone can find that place for themselves.

    Click to expand…

    I think you’ve found the key to happiness in medicine, and that key is working less. Like you, my wife has worked part time since leaving residency, except for four full time years right after residency for her military commitment, and she seems to really enjoy going into work on Monday morning and enjoys her patients. Me, on the other hand, has worked full time for the last 20 years, and in the last year I’ve really started to resent my patients and my job and felt it starting to suck the life out of me. So like my wife, I decided to cut back to three days a week, and life is better! I still don’t love my job, but at least I like it a lot better now, and I don’t feel like it’s a leach sucking me dry every day!:) Balance is better.

    #211813 Reply
    Zzyzx Zzyzx 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 150
    Joined: 09/24/2018
    alpha investing

    Work is not life’s product, but its currency. What we choose to buy with it is the ultimate project of living

    https://amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/583441/

     

    It’s psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I’ll get a saw.

    #211831 Reply
    Avatar hightower 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1450
    Joined: 12/07/2016

    I don’t know, I have an excellent work life balance ( part time since finishing residency) and I still feel like I found my calling in psychiatry. I love my patients and the work. I try my best to go the extra mile for my patients and I give them the care I’d want my friends and family to receive. In general it feels like a privilege to me to be a doc. I still set firm limits and boundaries though. I don’t think the only options are to sacrifice everything for your patients,/ be walked all over by admin/ not see your family or to be a lazy doc that hates their job/doesn’t care about their patients. Moderation in all things. This black and white, all or nothing thinking is a false dichotomy. There’s a lot of gray in there where you can find personal and professional happiness while doing a lot of good as a doctor and living your life. I hope everyone can find that place for themselves.

    Click to expand…

    I think you’ve found the key to happiness in medicine, and that key is working less. Like you, my wife has worked part time since leaving residency, except for four full time years right after residency for her military commitment, and she seems to really enjoy going into work on Monday morning and enjoys her patients. Me, on the other hand, has worked full time for the last 20 years, and in the last year I’ve really started to resent my patients and my job and felt it starting to suck the life out of me. So like my wife, I decided to cut back to three days a week, and life is better! I still don’t love my job, but at least I like it a lot better now, and I don’t feel like it’s a leach sucking me dry every day!:) Balance is better.

    Click to expand…

    I think you’re right that it’s key to find the right number of hours/days you can work without feeling burnt out.  It can make a surprisingly big difference.  A lot of it has to do with the fact that we work longer hours than a typical job.  As a hospitalist our clinical responsibilities are usually 12 hours.  Even if we’re not in the hospital that whole time, we’re still answering calls and responsible for everything.  Work a typical full time schedule (16 days a month) and you’re looking at 192 hours a month, which is higher than a 9-5 M-F job would demand even though we get more days off.

    #211849 Reply
    Avatar FIREshrink 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 964
    Joined: 01/11/2017

    Our hospitalists only work 155-160 shifts per year.

    #211868 Reply
    Avatar Anne 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1067
    Joined: 11/07/2017

    I don’t know, I have an excellent work life balance ( part time since finishing residency) and I still feel like I found my calling in psychiatry. I love my patients and the work. I try my best to go the extra mile for my patients and I give them the care I’d want my friends and family to receive. In general it feels like a privilege to me to be a doc. I still set firm limits and boundaries though. I don’t think the only options are to sacrifice everything for your patients,/ be walked all over by admin/ not see your family or to be a lazy doc that hates their job/doesn’t care about their patients. Moderation in all things. This black and white, all or nothing thinking is a false dichotomy. There’s a lot of gray in there where you can find personal and professional happiness while doing a lot of good as a doctor and living your life. I hope everyone can find that place for themselves.

    Click to expand…

    I think you’ve found the key to happiness in medicine, and that key is working less. Like you, my wife has worked part time since leaving residency, except for four full time years right after residency for her military commitment, and she seems to really enjoy going into work on Monday morning and enjoys her patients. Me, on the other hand, has worked full time for the last 20 years, and in the last year I’ve really started to resent my patients and my job and felt it starting to suck the life out of me. So like my wife, I decided to cut back to three days a week, and life is better! I still don’t love my job, but at least I like it a lot better now, and I don’t feel like it’s a leach sucking me dry every day!:) Balance is better.

    Click to expand…

    I think you’re right that it’s key to find the right number of hours/days you can work without feeling burnt out.  It can make a surprisingly big difference.  A lot of it has to do with the fact that we work longer hours than a typical job.  As a hospitalist our clinical responsibilities are usually 12 hours.  Even if we’re not in the hospital that whole time, we’re still answering calls and responsible for everything.  Work a typical full time schedule (16 days a month) and you’re looking at 192 hours a month, which is higher than a 9-5 M-F job would demand even though we get more days off.

    Click to expand…

    Just a thought–I will be the first to admit I have a nice schedule, now.  But I worked for several years at a much less favorable schedule, but in an environment with good relationships and support, and I didn’t mind it.  I have also worked “bankers hours” in an environment where everyone was siloed and didn’t want to be bothered and it wore me down.

    My (non-physician) husband works way more than 192 hours a month.  I have no idea how much.  But he has a team that works very well together, has good relationships in all directions, they invest heavily in personal relationships and team building.  He has to handle stuff during non-opportune times, and has other elements that one would think might lead to burn out.  He is technically responsible 24/7/365 (although again, good support from his team).  But the work environment is healthy, and he has a decent amount of flexibility and autonomy.

    I feel like certain aspects of healthcare just have a toxic work environment, and you can only have so many hours exposure.   It’s a downward spiral because when people are embedded in a toxic environment they just silo themselves off further to make it through the day.   I think this is changeable, but it doesn’t seem to be a big priority at many places.

    #211870 Reply
    Liked by Dreamgiver
    Avatar Panscan 
    Participant
    Status: Resident
    Posts: 902
    Joined: 03/18/2017

    I don’t know, I have an excellent work life balance ( part time since finishing residency) and I still feel like I found my calling in psychiatry. I love my patients and the work. I try my best to go the extra mile for my patients and I give them the care I’d want my friends and family to receive. In general it feels like a privilege to me to be a doc. I still set firm limits and boundaries though. I don’t think the only options are to sacrifice everything for your patients,/ be walked all over by admin/ not see your family or to be a lazy doc that hates their job/doesn’t care about their patients. Moderation in all things. This black and white, all or nothing thinking is a false dichotomy. There’s a lot of gray in there where you can find personal and professional happiness while doing a lot of good as a doctor and living your life. I hope everyone can find that place for themselves.

    Click to expand…

    I think you’ve found the key to happiness in medicine, and that key is working less. Like you, my wife has worked part time since leaving residency, except for four full time years right after residency for her military commitment, and she seems to really enjoy going into work on Monday morning and enjoys her patients. Me, on the other hand, has worked full time for the last 20 years, and in the last year I’ve really started to resent my patients and my job and felt it starting to suck the life out of me. So like my wife, I decided to cut back to three days a week, and life is better! I still don’t love my job, but at least I like it a lot better now, and I don’t feel like it’s a leach sucking me dry every day!:) Balance is better.

    Click to expand…

    I think you’re right that it’s key to find the right number of hours/days you can work without feeling burnt out.  It can make a surprisingly big difference.  A lot of it has to do with the fact that we work longer hours than a typical job.  As a hospitalist our clinical responsibilities are usually 12 hours.  Even if we’re not in the hospital that whole time, we’re still answering calls and responsible for everything.  Work a typical full time schedule (16 days a month) and you’re looking at 192 hours a month, which is higher than a 9-5 M-F job would demand even though we get more days off.

    Click to expand…

    meh, plenty of people that work 50 hours a week and don’t feel like their job runs their life. I would think especially with hospitalists that the paperwork and bureaucratic crap is what bogs the job down more than the actual hours. writing discharge summaries, trying to get SNF placement, etc

    #211905 Reply
    Avatar treesrock 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 319
    Joined: 08/14/2017

    treesrock, You can still love your job and protect yourself from the drain that medicine can cause you. There is no limit to the amount of hours you can spend working in Medicine if you allow it.

    I definitely do not love my job though. I love my family and my life outside of my job. However, my job does provide some level of personal fulfillment given that I’m taking care of people everyday. We all like to be public servants from time to time.

    Click to expand…

    Very true.  Granted I’m only 3-years into this, but I’ll take my luck where I can get it.

    #211907 Reply
    Dreamgiver Dreamgiver 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 811
    Joined: 03/09/2017

    I firmly believe it is important to make hay while the sun is shining. For some reason I have a grim outlook on our reimbursements and tax rates. I want to be able to walk away and let Bernie and co. pay for their grand plans with someone else’s money. Plus what are bad hours? Is 60 hrs/week bad? That is what a lot of people in the normal world work without the professional, human, and financial rewards we earn. I for one am happy to keep picking up shifts (and I am technically an early millennial). In my group it’s usually the older folks who give shifts up though. I will be one of them 10 years from now.

    #211909 Reply
    Avatar llessac15 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 99
    Joined: 01/17/2016

    I think my original point has been turned into more of a burnout focus. Whether you like medicine or not, controlling your hours as you would like takes an active effort. Medicine is a 24/7 thing and will try to make you be that way too. If you want to give a whole lot of time to your work, that’s great. Go for it. Medicine sure will take it if you let it. However, I would prefer to give a whole lot of time to my family and my personal endeavors.

    My original post is just saying that Medicine will steal my time from all other areas if I let it. You have to be pro-active in drawing your line in the sand on your time.

    You only get one life to live. Live it wisely.

    #211915 Reply
    Liked by HikingDO, q-school
    Avatar burritos 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 433
    Joined: 04/23/2018

    Wonder if the majority of this board feels this way. I’ll guess it’s 50/50.

    Could the same be said of teaching, police, firemen, software engineer, accountant, law, hollywood, scientific research(the morale stories I hear at our local Amgen is quite bad)?

    #211919 Reply
    Liked by hatton1, q-school, Anne
    Avatar SValleyMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 430
    Joined: 05/12/2016

    Kind of a meh for me

    If you want a real 24/7 job imo be a small biz owner where your success is dependent on a lot of different factors and u have employees livelihoods completeky dependent on you (as your own as u likely lack another skill set)

    Sure a lot of PP docs run their own “practice/business” but if your practice goes under u go sign your 300k employment contract with your local hospital and end up fine..

    I get the point. Especially if you’re in a high risk or high call specialty or if you’re a family doc in a small town with a large pt panel but again it’s one of these things where a lot of other professions/jobs could make a similar argument..

    #211927 Reply
    Avatar G 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 1662
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    If anything, training stole my life, but I managed to have some fun with it anyway.

    Now I choose how much earned income I want.

    #211931 Reply
    Avatar hightower 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1450
    Joined: 12/07/2016

    I firmly believe it is important to make hay while the sun is shining. For some reason I have a grim outlook on our reimbursements and tax rates. I want to be able to walk away and let Bernie and co. pay for their grand plans with someone else’s money. Plus what are bad hours? Is 60 hrs/week bad? That is what a lot of people in the normal world work without the professional, human, and financial rewards we earn. I for one am happy to keep picking up shifts (and I am technically an early millennial). In my group it’s usually the older folks who give shifts up though. I will be one of them 10 years from now.

    Click to expand…

    You have a lot more to fear from the giant corporations that are slowly, but surely, taking over our health care system than you do from seeing any sort of Medicare expansion IMO.  It’s funny that I fully agree with your first sentence though, just for different reasons.

    #212061 Reply
    Liked by Dreamgiver

Reply To: Medicine will steal your life

In case of a glitch or error, please save your text elsewhere, clear browser cache, close browser, open browser and refresh the page.

Notifications Mark all as read  |  Clear