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Reality Hits Doctors Too Late

Daniel Paull MD touches on the creeping, existential dread of becoming a physician.

January 24, 2024

A lot of doctors wouldn’t recommend for their own kids to go into medicine.

But if you spoke to them the day they got accepted to medical school they would have been happy beyond belief.

What happened?

 

A lot of physicians decide they want to be doctors at young ages, without really knowing the nuts and bolts of what it really is like.

They go through undergrad, get into medical school and just keep their heads down and plug away for a long time.

 

A lot of doctors wouldn't recommend for their own kids to go into medicine. But if you spoke to them the day they got accepted to medical school they would have been happy beyond belief. Click To Tweet

 

The first time reality kind of hits is when you are a third year medical student on clinical rotations.

You may see some unhappy grumpy doctors and hospital staff, vowing to never be like them. You put it out of your mind and carry on.

 

Residency exposes more harsh realities of actually practicing medicine.

But the feeling in residency is that if you can suffer through the training then it will be well worth it once your are an attending: quality of life improves, pay obviously goes up.

 

Fast forward to a few years into practice, the honeymoon effect is long gone.

The reality of the never ending grind sets in, along with the realization that systemic change are almost always for the worse, and that pay will tick down as time goes on.

 

Fast forward to a few years into practice, the honeymoon effect is long gone.

 

This is where the real existential dread starts. Many docs think that this is the only way to practice.

It’s not.

There are better ways to be a doctor that won’t make you unhappy, but they require leaving the miserable things behind: hospital systems, health insurance companies.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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One Response

  1. I agree, wholeheartedly. The only way forward is out. Into something that empowers your patients and you. The only way to not lose the traditional medical game is to not play it. Because, we will never win it. No matter how delusional we may be that we can out smart it.

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