I chose this profession for several reasons:
1 – My family expected some kind of professional job
2 – It seemed like it would be interesting
3 – It seemed like a challenge
4 – I thought it would make me like & enjoy people more
I have been practicing actively for 10 years. I hate this job and the whole medical world. I never felt as though I belonged. Most of the “successful” doctors in the community are arrogant bullshit artists who viciously attack other doctors to make themselves look better to administrators.
To be considered good at your job in this world, you have to work 80 hours a week, take care of inpatients, outpatients, be on call, put up with phone calls and visits to your home. I am done. I have had it up to here, and I am done. I don’t have any clue what to do after this. I have no training for anything else. I’m not qualified to be anything else.
I have been criticized (unfairly) so heavily by other doctors in the community that I know I mentally and physically cannot do this job. I am good at certain aspects of my job, and I enjoy procedures (working with my hands, minor office surgery, etc). I hate people. They all LOVE me because I can listen (basically I have nothing to say to them, and have very little skill at manipulating a social interaction – which is required in my profession).
I am tired, tired of lying, tired of being lied to, tired of people telling me deep dark secrets and expecting me to solve everything. I feel hate for the people who come in for a virus, come in for back pain and want narcotics, come in for anxiety, or because their child is unmanageable, or expect me to be their friend just because I am their doctor.
Many times, I have been at work with back pain, pneumonia, dehydration from a virus, severe anxiety & depression, influenza, chest pain and heart rhythm abnormalities. I cannot take a sick day, because I am highly criticized if I try to do so. I am expected to put away everything of myself to care for people who have fewer things than I to deal with.
I am expected to spend the time listening, then relive it all when documenting the visit. My documentation takes twice as long as anyone else. I have anxiety about documenting every detail to prove that what I have done is appropriate.
I know that my every treatment decision will be scrutinized by the “colleagues” in the practice with chart reviews. Chart reviews are supposed to be anonymous, but most of the time, everybody knows who it is because of handwriting or the wording of the notes. I look young, and I am the youngest person in the practice. I don’t know if that is why I am the outsider, but it is possible.
I am not good at asserting myself, and I’m tired of being shit upon because of it. I am willing to accept criticism and learn from mistakes. I am not perfect, but I also have never severely fucked up. I know in my own mind that most of the decisions I am making are right. I have doubted myself multiple times and researched things again. Most times, my actions were correct (because I researched before I did them as well!)
I cannot see as many patients as any other provider in the practice. I never have been able to. I feel like shit for it. A doctor recently told me that I was losing money for the practice, and the way payments are (numbers of visits seen per day), it is probably true.
But fuck it, I am good at what I do. I don’t fool myself into thinking that I know anything better than anybody else, but damn it, I can do a really good job with what I am trained to do. I can perform skin surgery very well, with very good results. I can think outside the box and have diagnosed many things that the high-patient-number people have missed. It means nothing.
I dread telling anyone, especially my fiance and my family. They are constantly saying how they are proud of me for my accomplishments (for what that’s worth), and I dread losing value in their eyes. I have approached the subject of changing professions with friends and family, and I get encouragement (“you are just having a bad day”) and disappointed looks and statements. They say “we will love you no matter what you do, but you should be strong and keep on trying.”
I have no pride in myself other than their acceptance and pride in my career. If they knew the things I was thinking about doing, they would be shocked, disappointed, and disgusted.
On the other hand, my fiance is always supportive. He has never said anything to make me think these things about him. I’m so afraid he will lose respect for me. I’m so afraid he will see me as weak and not the person he knows at all, even though he has always said he loves me for who I am, not what I do.
So, tl;dr I can no longer be a doctor, and have nothing else I know how to do. I am not the caring person everyone thinks I am, and I don’t want to be. I am clueless and stuck.
EDIT: Adding comment: I am overwhelmed by the thought everyone has put into their comments, all your caring and useful advice. Thank you for taking the time to read all this and to give your honest thoughts and opinions. You guys are awesome and very helpful. I actually feel hope again.
Link – https://www.reddit.com/r/offmychest/comments/1xc0qy/i_hate_being_a_doctor/