Archive | September, 2015

Tips for burnout

23 Sep

Obviously I’ve been feeling burnt out lately. Largely because of the stress that comes with working in an in-patient setting, feeling like there is drama and arguments and disappointment and passive-aggressiveness (and aggressive aggressiveness) with every step – with other doctors, consultants, nurses, nursing aides, case managers, etc. Everyone starting on the defensive and assuming the worst of each other. I was telling my mom about how it doesn’t all seem worth it to be a doctor. She told me things get better and that residency is the worst part of it. Here are some quotes I want to share and also keep to remind myself.

  • Only the patients count
  • U don’t get team players very often unless u pick your own team
  • The others position themselves to be your competitors if they have the unfriendly mind set
  • They sometimes have inferiority complex by attacking others it makes themselves feel better
  • Analyze them as if they are patients
  • They are not perfect (edit by me: and don’t need to be)

And my favourite:

  • Keep up the current events in the world so that what’s going on is like a tempest in a teapot

P.S. I don’t forget that I used to hear my brother and his gf (now wife) complain about residency and get infuriated that they would just complain all day when people like me were trying so hard to get into med school. Oh life.

Hello second year

4 Sep

I’ve started my second year of residency and this means a new transition to being the senior resident.

My specialty is one of the only specialties where you’re considered the senior as soon as you’re no longer the most junior.

So I have an intern (first year resident) who I’m trying to be a good mentor to, to teach how to work in the hospital, and medicine, and overall how to get the stuff that needs to get done, done. But I’m struggling.

I thought I really wanted to teach for my career but these few weeks have me questioning that. I guess it’s the first time I’ve had learners who are really struggling themselves and just have such a long way to go. I have my junior resident who is trying but just still on the very steep part of the steep learning curve. And I have my student who is learning how to do tasks quickly but is so inappropriate attitude-wise. I’m trying to look at this month with them as a way to become a better teacher myself, to find a better balance between showing someone how to do something, doing it for them (to get the work done!) and letting them struggle through to learn themselves. I don’t look forward to the (what I think will be) awkward conversation with the student, telling him basically his personality needs to change. Or at least be covered up while he’s in the hospital. Inappropriate jokes, too much singing, all that needs to stop when we’re trying to get work done.

Overall this past week I’ve had rough days. At the end of my workdays I think to myself “I hate my life” and question if I’m clinically depressed. I don’t feel like I’m learning, I feel like I just follow algorithms and take orders all day. I don’t feel like I’m becoming a better doctor. I don’t even enjoy the opportunities to try to learn (noon lectures, etc) like I used to, I just sit there arms crossed feeling annoyed that the material isn’t relevant to what I’m trying to deal with that moment. Then on my days off I feel so happy and really enjoy life. Am I just in the wrong field?

Tonight I met up with some friends and they are feeling the same way. I was told recently by a faculty member that residency is hard everywhere.. but we’re not trying to crush your souls. I’ve been trying to check in with myself — is this just normal shittiness of residency, or is my soul being crushed?

My family reminded me tonight that residency is short and I’m already almost halfway done. That once I finish, I’ll be expected to know things and I’ll probably miss all the learning opportunities that residency had for me. My brother said he wished he worked harder in residency, that he would have learned a lot more. I guess I’m feeling like I’m drowning in residency right now but I ought to remind myself it’s just a short time in my life, and that all this deluge of work and hours and sleepless time and pages and rushing is all temporary, and inside it all somewhere are opportunities to learn. From here I’ll try harder, be more grateful, and be less afraid of being wrong.

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