Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Sign in to follow this  
medicine200000

Not happy in medicine.. Not sure what to do?

Recommended Posts

I have worked so hard to get into medical school, but now that I am in clerckship, I feel that I don't  like medicine; nor do I think it is what I anticipated it to be. I am in a 3 year program and I am currently in my 3rd month of clerkship rotations. 

I'm currently doing MTU, and I continuously feel incompetent. In addition, I don't feel medicine has as much patient interactions as I imagined it would have. I spend at least x5 times more time documenting/doing discharge plans than speaking/interaction with pts. I'm also doing my MTU rotation with a preceptor who makes me stay past 26 hour call shift to give me feedback on spelling mistakes or minor mistakes that I wrote on my admission note at 3 AM ... I just don't feel that I like medicine... I initially thought that I was interested in internal medicine, but after going through this rotation, I am quite turned off... I am not sure what should I do in medicine....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm only in first year, so perhaps my comment will be naïve (though I'm non-trad, a bit older, and didn't come into med school with rose-coloured glasses). I have days where I wonder why I'm doing this, and days where it feels amazing. I think that's part of the process. The better you get at something, the more you tend to enjoy it. So being incompetent now and feeling bad about that are not how you'll always feel if you keep working hard to get better. It also probably wouldn't be different in any other job. You'd also feel incompetent in another occupation in the beginning.

It's also worth wondering how much these thoughts stem from you rather than medicine. People who are self-critical will be that way no matter what the setting is. Not saying that's the case for you, but it may be, especially if you're thinking "I would've been happier doing X" (which is usually just a fantasy that people conjure during the worst of times; i.e., grass is greener phenomenon). I was on track for a different career before medicine, and I'll tell you, regret over one's career choice is present in all fields, maybe especially in high-status fields (e.g., law, medicine, finance), because people with ambition usually find ways to be unsatisfied and therefore strive for even more. But it's worth remembering how lucky we are to have been accepted and have access to a job with a level of pay, stability, respect, and impact that many others would love to have.

More practically, it sounds like you don't like internal medicine or the hospital setting. Maybe things will change during another rotation, such as one in a clinic with more reasonable hours. Medicine is really diverse across many dimensions. It also sounds like you don't like your preceptor. I've been told not to let my opinion sway because of a good preceptor vs. bad preceptor. Your environment and lifestyle can have a huge effect on your wellbeing, so when you find an environment and lifestyle that fit you, I'm guessing you'll feel better and remember why you chose to go into medicine.

Hope things get better for you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, medicine2019 said:

I have worked so hard to get into medical school, but now that I am in clerckship, I feel that I don't  like medicine; nor do I think it is what I anticipated it to be. I am in a 3 year program and I am currently in my 3rd month of clerkship rotations. 

I'm currently doing MTU, and I continuously feel incompetent. In addition, I don't feel medicine has as much patient interactions as I imagined it would have. I spend at least x5 times more time documenting/doing discharge plans than speaking/interaction with pts. I'm also doing my MTU rotation with a preceptor who makes me stay past 26 hour call shift to give me feedback on spelling mistakes or minor mistakes that I wrote on my admission note at 3 AM ... I just don't feel that I like medicine... I initially thought that I was interested in internal medicine, but after going through this rotation, I am quite turned off... I am not sure what should I do in medicine....

MTU sucks everywhere, and your preceptor sounds like the students in med school that people roll their eyes at. Don't let your first 3 months paint  the whole picture -its a transition, and you will get better. Then you will be a resident and feel incompetent again, but it too will get better. 

IM has so many options and so many variations with who you work with, weather its MTU or consults/community IM etc etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, medicine2019 said:

I have worked so hard to get into medical school, but now that I am in clerckship, I feel that I don't  like medicine; nor do I think it is what I anticipated it to be. I am in a 3 year program and I am currently in my 3rd month of clerkship rotations. 

I'm currently doing MTU, and I continuously feel incompetent. In addition, I don't feel medicine has as much patient interactions as I imagined it would have. I spend at least x5 times more time documenting/doing discharge plans than speaking/interaction with pts. I'm also doing my MTU rotation with a preceptor who makes me stay past 26 hour call shift to give me feedback on spelling mistakes or minor mistakes that I wrote on my admission note at 3 AM ... I just don't feel that I like medicine... I initially thought that I was interested in internal medicine, but after going through this rotation, I am quite turned off... I am not sure what should I do in medicine....

It does get better. As a resident, you will get less feedback and less criticisms and the hours while worse will also be more efficient as you aren't repeating what others have already done. Also, you will be making money. In the community, once you are staff,  you make money for every consult you do, and i've seen their notes, a few scribbles and a dictated consult note, it can take you less than 20 minutes to make 190 dollars or so. No one in the community pushes back on consults because they bill. You can choose your hours, sleep in, travel the world, locum wherever you want etc. 

Right now, you are seeing the worst of it, but it gets better and eventually you reap what you sow. 

While you probably don't love CTU, IM is much broader than just CTU, you just have to get used to it until you can finally do what you want. When you take a step back, you'll realize that its so easy to get complacent in medicine and see the negatives rather than the positives. Our jobs are stable, well paying and in some cases very flexible. You can't get that in any other industry. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought I would comment as well as a new internal medicine resident. I have done a lot of MTU especially for 4th year electives, and I would say it is one of the hardest rotations in regard to the learning curve and amount of responsibility, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it’s not going as well as you would hope. You will still improve a lot over the course of your rotation. Also I find the preceptor for MTU to make a huge difference and have found the experience to be awesome with a great preceptor and not so much with other preceptors. The spelling mistake comments are a bit odd since most preceptors are more understanding about that type of thing when you’re doing consults at 3 am. Also remember that many of the sub specialties of medicine are very different from MTU, so I wouldn’t rule it out just based on your MTU experience, but if you want something with more consistent patient interaction, I would maybe consider family med. unfortunately, pretty much every specialty has a lot of documentation, but it will get easier and you can be less detailed as a staff/ later on in residency. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Training is finite, and your current rotation is temporary. This perspective is important regardless if you are a student or resident. You will not enjoy everything equally. It is not required or expected. You thought your IM experience would be one thing, but it turned out to be another. Your expectations of medicine are starting to hit up against some of the realities. This is normal.

When things get difficult, it is helpful to keep in mind that most personal struggles boil down to one binary decision; you either keep going, or you quit. This might sound callous, but it is by far the most important decision to make, and the decision most people are actually wavering on in their minds, whether they realize it or not. You always have the option to do one or the other, so make the decision first, then you'll realize things get simpler after that initial mental hurdle.

For the sake of discussion, let's say you keep going. Now make the next important distinction. What things do you have control over, and what are the things you don't? It is wasted effort and energy to worry about things you have little or no control over, such as which rotation you're on, who the attending is, how they act, etc. What you do control is your own work ethic, attitude, and response to criticism. This type of stoic reflection is helpful to peel the layers of a problem, and also for one's own mental health, but it is skipped by 90% of people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, 88risingsun said:

OP, you posted just this past April asking about whether you should mention your hobby for brewing beer in your med school apps/interviews... are you really in clerkship? Doesn't add up + sounds like BS to me lol.

Yup. There are even more previous posts  where OP implies being a premed.

To the posters who provided advice to the OP, I’d like to still thank you for your wisdom as someone who is just about to begin med school!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first clerkship rotation was IM and it was brutal, definitely the low point of my medical career. I didn't know anything, didn't know what I was doing, and the culture was terrible. Everything I did after was much more enjoyable. In hindsight it basically tainted adult medicine for me lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think medicine is the ultimate job that society likes to portray it is. Some people will love it, some people are okay with it, and some people will hate it just like any other job. I like what I do and I work with others who are content but I also work with others that dislike their jobs and are trapped.

I think it's important to figure out how much of your unhappiness is due to the lack of control from training and how much of it is from the hours/subject material/etc.

Often things get better as a Staff but if you don't like the core aspects and characteristics of medicine then I don't think it really gets better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/4/2020 at 8:41 AM, Intrepid86 said:

Training is finite, and your current rotation is temporary. This perspective is important regardless if you are a student or resident. You will not enjoy everything equally. It is not required or expected. You thought your IM experience would be one thing, but it turned out to be another. Your expectations of medicine are starting to hit up against some of the realities. This is normal.

When things get difficult, it is helpful to keep in mind that most personal struggles boil down to one binary decision; you either keep going, or you quit. This might sound callous, but it is by far the most important decision to make, and the decision most people are actually wavering on in their minds, whether they realize it or not. You always have the option to do one or the other, so make the decision first, then you'll realize things get simpler after that initial mental hurdle.

For the sake of discussion, let's say you keep going. Now make the next important distinction. What things do you have control over, and what are the things you don't? It is wasted effort and energy to worry about things you have little or no control over, such as which rotation you're on, who the attending is, how they act, etc. What you do control is your own work ethic, attitude, and response to criticism. This type of stoic reflection is helpful to peel the layers of a problem, and also for one's own mental health, but it is skipped by 90% of people.

Love this! It's great general life advice as well, not just for med school....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/4/2020 at 1:57 AM, Findanus said:

I think you should consider doing some rotations in diagnostic fields like pathology and radiology. You might enjoy them more than internal medicine. I know I did.

I would not advise OP to go into pathology and radiology since AI is moving into these field (i know ppl are going to argue about whether this is true but why take the chance, and this is just my opinion).  I would advice OP to try more handy things like surgery. A lot of people were set on internal medicine but many will probably enjoy something else (and maybe perform better). Not being in medicine is not the end of the world. Do what makes you happy and what you are good at. Life is long, picture yourself doing the job (whatever job that is) for the next 40-50 years and ask yourself whether this is for you. 

Good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/4/2020 at 1:11 AM, medicine2019 said:

I have worked so hard to get into medical school, but now that I am in clerckship, I feel that I don't  like medicine; nor do I think it is what I anticipated it to be. I am in a 3 year program and I am currently in my 3rd month of clerkship rotations. 

I'm currently doing MTU, and I continuously feel incompetent. In addition, I don't feel medicine has as much patient interactions as I imagined it would have. I spend at least x5 times more time documenting/doing discharge plans than speaking/interaction with pts. I'm also doing my MTU rotation with a preceptor who makes me stay past 26 hour call shift to give me feedback on spelling mistakes or minor mistakes that I wrote on my admission note at 3 AM ... I just don't feel that I like medicine... I initially thought that I was interested in internal medicine, but after going through this rotation, I am quite turned off... I am not sure what should I do in medicine....

Hey there, you only started clerkship. As others have already mentioned, it gets better. Trust me, it really does.

It's normal to discover that you dislike something and actually really like something else. Give yourself some time. You might fall in love with a field that you thought you'd hate within a few months. 

Also, it's perfectly OK to not like internal medicine. It doesn't mean you don't fit in medicine because of that. Many people aren't fond of CTU internal medicine. Keep in mind that academic centers are quite different from community settings.

Also, pretty much any med student feels '''stupid'' during their first few months of clerkship. It's perfectly normal. You don't even know how a hospital works, and you keep changing services, and now as a junior clerkship student, you get to see super complex patients with multiple comorbidities on your IM rotation. It's normal to feel overwhelmed. Even junior residents are often overwhelmed on those services. All I'm saying is: you are not stupid, and you are not incompetent. It's normal to feel that way, but remember: you aren't incompetent.

I'm sorry you had to deal with someone like that, but just like in every field, you will unfortunately, and inevitably, have to deal with the occasional annoying pedantic micromanaging supervisor. And yes they will waste your time telling you how you should leave a space here and there in your notes, instead of helping you to improve your clinical skills. Remember, your interaction with that person is only temporary. These people aren't easy to work with. Smile, do as you are told and you will do just fine.

Remember, it gets better.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...