Monday, May 2, 2016

Depression and low self esteem in residency

I make a joke that I don't really know what self esteem is anymore.  I felt sort of hopeless the past several weeks and unhappy with residency but I found someone to talk to who is about to graduate from my program, and I feel better and more enlightened after talking to them.

A lot of residents I know feel overworked, not very satisfied with their work, feel like interchangeable cogs in a giant machine, feel undervalued, and feel like they don't have a meaningful experience of being mentored.

Residency is tiring, the learning curve is steep.  It's hard being a beginner surrounded by a lot of experts who criticize you more than mentor and help you.  I see why so many people switch residencies or quit altogether.

Here's an article, if you're interested in a look at multiple studies on the following:
Prevalence of Depression and Depressive Symptoms Among Resident Physicians

I feel like the rest of residency will be clinging onto the hope that things will get better and that I'll feel okay and be valued someday.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

another week of residency

Doing my best to hang in there.  Steep learning curve as usual.  Trying to do my best for my patients while also trying to impress my attendings.  A lot of my days involve hoping I have a nice attending or upper level and that I don't get disrespected too much by them or feel too belittled.  I'm getting used to being treated like I'm of little value and I think it has been making things a little more tolerable.

Also, knowing that there is an end to residency in the next several years is comforting.  I haven't even started the hardest parts, but I'm hoping I'll be tough enough to transition well into them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Surviving residency so far

I'm so tired and feel so worn out.  My life is a mess.  I haven't been able to keep up with anyone important in my life and I basically have no relationships at this point.  I'm exhausted but I have to keep going.  I have to find balance somehow. I have to find happiness again 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Keeping your head above water

I'm overwhelmed at this point in my training and I know it'll only get worse.  I'm trying to just keep breathing and make it through this year.  Residency isn't what I thought it would be and i struggle to balance my life with my studying and trying to meet expectations at work.  

I talked to some buddies the other day who are residents more senior than me and they say they're just trying to survive residency too.  One of them said residency is a long punishment and that sometimes there are good days, but it's constant stress.  

I just have to be resilient and learn as much as I can everyday, treating this like a marathon.

Wish me luck 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Late on updates

I've been so tired lately.  Intern year has been very..interny.  Doing your own lab draws, collecting urine..sigh.  I'm ready for next year 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Disrespect in medicine

I think it's about time I write this entry.  Since I've started medical school I've dealt with a lot of difficult personalities, some who genuinely mistreated me and others, including patients.

I would always "suck it up" and never say anything back when someone said something unnecessarily critical of me or not constructive, especially in front of a crowd, and including patients.

As much as I'd like to think there's no room for disrespect in medicine, it's just a given fact that mistreatment, abuse, and ridicule happens on a daily basis to a lot of people in their training.

I hate how a lot of it comes from people who you can't challenge because they're so high up in the hierarchy or have been in senior positions for so long.

I hate hearing about friends of mine being mistreated and disrespected.

I and others shouldn't feel powerless though, because we can fill out evaluations on people like that so their behavior gets called to attention and something gets done about it.  I encourage everyone to do it.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Exasperating moments in medicine

This is less of a humorous entry and more about some serious situations I've seen in medicine.

-Finding out a patient was never told they have heart failure

-Finding out a patient was never told they have hepatitis C

-Finding out a patient was never told they have HIV

-Finding out someone else's notes were wrong and the patient actually has a pack-year smoking history longer than the years they've been alive

-Patients telling you they don't have any medical problems but chart review shows things like DM, HTN, HIV, HCV

-Trying to get critical information about a patient while pressed for time but they can't remember what year they had major surgery or when they finished chemotherapy

-Hearing your patient say they stopped taking the HIV medication or any other medication because "they felt better" even though being told they needed to be on it for life

-Consult service being rude to you for no reason (you have a good reason for consult and everything)

-Being shouted at by patients who are not yours, demanding a sandwich or juice

-Secondary gain.  'Nuff said

-People telling you they're in "excruciating pain" while playing on their phone comfortably and not even looking at you, asking for morphine

-People going to the ER instead of going to see their PCP they're scheduled to see in 2 days for a total non-emergency

-Getting screamed at by patients who then start making a scene because they want dilaudid and not PO pain medicine for their "2/10" headache

-People telling you they have 11/10 pain while talking on the phone to someone else

-People reacting with disgust when you tell them there's no indication for surgery

-People saying things like "my intestines are popped or something, I need to be in the hospital."  When their physical exam and all imaging and labs are normal

-People showing up to the ER because they are not taking their medication

-People showing up to the ER because they want prescriptions refilled

-Working in a specialty clinic and the patient complains about things that are out of your scope of practice even though you keep telling them that

-People who superficially Google searched symptoms and think they know more than you and they start demanding ridiculous and contraindicated interventions

so much more.