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Calopee

How happy are you with choosing medical achool and becoming a doctor? Êtes vous satisfaits d'avoir choisit la médecine comme carrière?

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Hi,

How happy are you with your career choice? If given a do-over would you do something else? Most doctors I know don't have alot of positive to say about the work climate associated with medecine (in quebec)....

Salut,

Êtes vous satiafaits avec votre choix de devenir médecin? Si on vous donnait la chance de recommencer et de changer de profession que feriez-vous?  La majorité des médecins que je connais ont peu de positif à dire sur la climat de travail au Quebec....

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Not a doc here, but curious about what the ones you know have said about the work climate for medicine in Quebec? I'm interested in practicing there down the line, but know very little about what's going on.

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I've been told they are under alot of pressure from the governement to meet unrealistic quotas. It's been stopped from what i gather but the health minister was going to cut 30% pay to all those who didn't meet the quotas. They say have to do fastfood medicine to meet quotas....etc. Go read la presse plus (an online newspaper).

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I heard bad things about the medical school programs too. That there is so much pressure that people hate going to school. That there are suicides because students aren't supported enough.

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8 hours ago, Calopee said:

I heard bad things about the medical school programs too. That there is so much pressure that people hate going to school. That there are suicides because students aren't supported enough.

I go to a medical school in Ontario, and my class’s mood is generally pretty good. The pass/fail grading system definitwly facilitates being more chill. 

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I don't think it's possible to generalize the work environment or the profession as a whole...

There are specialties that are known to be more laid back and friendly like FM versus more egotistical characters in surgical specialties. But even then, there are surgical departments out there that do great and get along really well. And I'm sure there are FM departments that are really toxic as well.

One thing that I can say is that, when choosing a place to practice you're an adult. People weigh the pros and cons of a work environment and make a decision. It may not be an informed one, but if it is that bad - they are free to move/look for other places to practice. Easier said then done, but happens in academic medicine all the time. Happens even more frequently in the States.
 

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I would totally go into medicine all over again, but I would do it the shortest route possible - get into a 6 year program out of high school, or possibly a 3 year med school and 2 year residency (family medicine).  

I'm currently in a 5 year residency program and it feels so long. 

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20 minutes ago, #YOLO said:

i wouldnt have done it again. really wish i listened to the people that told me not to in ugrad. could be making a nice 150k as a dentist right now, instead of having my hand stuck up a kids ass and being covered in diarrhea in the early hours of the day. 

feel free to get out buddy

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2 hours ago, #YOLO said:

i wouldnt have done it again. really wish i listened to the people that told me not to in ugrad. could be making a nice 150k as a dentist right now, instead of having my hand stuck up a kids ass and being covered in diarrhea in the early hours of the day. 

Pediatrician?

 

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Eh, still deciding.

Happy with the choice to go into FM for sure - enjoy the work, hours aren't great but could be a lot worse, and the two year residency program combined with a good job market means I'll be able to chart my own course sooner rather than later, with the side-benefit of a decent amount of independence and autonomy even this early into residency.

Whether medicine overall was a good choice will really depend on how the next steps play out. So far medicine has mostly been a negative experience, giving up time, energy, and motivation, all while taking on a lot of debt. The idea is that these sacrifices are investments that will pay off over time, in the form of a high income, opportunities for personal growth, and a meaningful career. The latter two have been disappointments thus far and while the former is pretty much a given, I'm skeptical it will be enough as a payoff on its own. Still too early to say though - my career is still being molded, and some pathways I'm exploring leave some room for optimism. Money also provides flexibility, which in turn can provide for some additional opportunities as well, both within and outside of a career.

Basically, I'm indifferent to how things are now being neither happy nor unhappy, I'm definitely not happy with how things were through medical school, and I'm mostly hoping that post-residency life will be worth the steps that came before it.

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3 minutes ago, ralk said:

opportunities for personal growth, and a meaningful career. The latter two have been disappointments thus far

Care to elaborate? Despite the rich source for medical humanities writing that patient care provides, I could see personal growth being limited by the same factors leading to burnout. So, I'm more curious about your disappointment on the meaningfulness front. Is it in the sense of the scale of the impact that you can have?

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32 minutes ago, Lactic Folly said:

Care to elaborate? Despite the rich source for medical humanities writing that patient care provides, I could see personal growth being limited by the same factors leading to burnout. So, I'm more curious about your disappointment on the meaningfulness front. Is it in the sense of the scale of the impact that you can have?

I wouldn't say medicine is meaningless work, not at all, just that it isn't particularly more meaningful than many, many other careers, including most healthcare professions.

I find medicine over-promises, both to prospective medical students and to patients. I fell for that over-promising, expecting my positive impact on others to increase as I went into medicine, and I've found that that really hasn't been the case - perhaps because I think I was having a decently positive impact on others prior to starting medical school. The over-promising to patients has been a sticking point for me as well, since expectations make a huge difference on patient outcomes, both perceived and actual. I might be able to help a patient in some way, but if they've been set up to believe I can be far more effective than I can, they're going to come away disappointed and undercut what good I am able to achieve. This has been a far-too-frequent occurrence for me thus far in my medical training. Compounding both these elements is the significant swath of physicians who buy into the profession's hype, thereby reinforcing that hype, and then proceeding to over-estimate their own impact (usually to justify something that directly benefits them, or to excuse their own poor behaviour). Honestly, if this profession was a whole lot more humble, and it resulted in patients having just a slightly more realistic idea of what we're actually able to help them with, I'd probably find my work a whole lot more meaningful. Being in FM has helped a bit in this regard, since patients tend to be a bit more willing to accept that we have limitations and don't expect us to perform miracles.

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I see, thanks for elaborating on your perspective comparing to another career path. Agree that the difference is often more in niche/quality than necessarily degree of impact - although the extra credential could be useful if going for public health/global heatlh/technology/politics to have a broader impact, which is what I had wondered about when reading your post initially. 

Having seen patient expectations in my personal life, I have always perceived this as a challenge in more treatment-focused fields, particularly FM as patients return to them after specialists have ruled out conditions in their subfields. As a diagnostic physician, if a test is normal, it's normal, and most patients seem to accept that :)

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4 hours ago, ralk said:

Eh, still deciding.

Happy with the choice to go into FM for sure - enjoy the work, hours aren't great but could be a lot worse, and the two year residency program combined with a good job market means I'll be able to chart my own course sooner rather than later, with the side-benefit of a decent amount of independence and autonomy even this early into residency.

Whether medicine overall was a good choice will really depend on how the next steps play out. So far medicine has mostly been a negative experience, giving up time, energy, and motivation, all while taking on a lot of debt. The idea is that these sacrifices are investments that will pay off over time, in the form of a high income, opportunities for personal growth, and a meaningful career. The latter two have been disappointments thus far and while the former is pretty much a given, I'm skeptical it will be enough as a payoff on its own. Still too early to say though - my career is still being molded, and some pathways I'm exploring leave some room for optimism. Money also provides flexibility, which in turn can provide for some additional opportunities as well, both within and outside of a career.

Basically, I'm indifferent to how things are now being neither happy nor unhappy, I'm definitely not happy with how things were through medical school, and I'm mostly hoping that post-residency life will be worth the steps that came before it.

I really agree with Ralk, maybe this is just the PGY-1itis but apart from the first two months (re-adapting to medicine after a short break and being able to put in orders) it's just...colorless right now. 

Throughout med school, I was never one to be an optimist. It was hard wondering whether all the hard work and risk would be able to put you into the match. I saw friends succumb to mental health issues (burnout, depression) and have to take time off, or even quit medicine. My best friend and I helped each other a lot to get through the really tough times, where we just pressed on and felt like "when we match, it'll be better...at least we will be safe." 

We matched and in residency, I can't say it's much better than medical school. Some off-service rotations have treated me really badly. Some days I would just go straight to bed without eating much for two or three days. My little rental apartment just feels like the safest place outside of the hospital. 

The salary is good, but it's barely enough with the debt interest and other payments to feel like you're able to get by. Just one thing and then your savings are gone.  I feel pretty bad for people with more debt and with family members to support than me.

I don't know if it's just the stages of grief but it's just now acceptance. There is really no good or bad in each day or action - just survival, and checkboxes on evaluation. Before I was angry and sad and depressed about the situation, but now, things just happen. You're just a cog in the massive machinery of the hospital thrust in at the start of the shift and thrust out when you're done. 

I just feel like we are too far down the hole to ever get out, and survival to the next day is the only joy out of life. Everything else just happens and is happening, and you wake up and wonder how you can make it to the end of residency/fellowship/staffhood...

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I would do it again and again. As many times as needed to be a physician.

I loved med school and Laval, in particular, didn't have any problems and never felt burnout. The Faculty is very supportive and they do whatever is necessary to help med students, not only with school-related things but also with whatever you need. There are always resources available and you feel they truly care about you.

I've always known what I wanted to do, why I want to do it and what my goals are. It's been a long ride but it's been fun.

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6 hours ago, distressedpremed said:

I really agree with Ralk, maybe this is just the PGY-1itis but apart from the first two months (re-adapting to medicine after a short break and being able to put in orders) it's just...colorless right now. 

Throughout med school, I was never one to be an optimist. It was hard wondering whether all the hard work and risk would be able to put you into the match. I saw friends succumb to mental health issues (burnout, depression) and have to take time off, or even quit medicine. My best friend and I helped each other a lot to get through the really tough times, where we just pressed on and felt like "when we match, it'll be better...at least we will be safe." 

We matched and in residency, I can't say it's much better than medical school. Some off-service rotations have treated me really badly. Some days I would just go straight to bed without eating much for two or three days. My little rental apartment just feels like the safest place outside of the hospital. 

The salary is good, but it's barely enough with the debt interest and other payments to feel like you're able to get by. Just one thing and then your savings are gone.  I feel pretty bad for people with more debt and with family members to support than me.

I don't know if it's just the stages of grief but it's just now acceptance. There is really no good or bad in each day or action - just survival, and checkboxes on evaluation. Before I was angry and sad and depressed about the situation, but now, things just happen. You're just a cog in the massive machinery of the hospital thrust in at the start of the shift and thrust out when you're done. 

I just feel like we are too far down the hole to ever get out, and survival to the next day is the only joy out of life. Everything else just happens and is happening, and you wake up and wonder how you can make it to the end of residency/fellowship/staffhood...

Put aside y'all quasi-adult turn of the millennium emo hating hats for a sec. If you like it, great. If it's shit, note the harmony of shit with your own life and flagellate your ears. Shout "mea culpa" at the top of your heads as the lyrics make you feel delusional as if someone read your thoughts. Cry a bit, get back to work. Repeat the same routine, predict the future, save the cheerleader, save the world.

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If the continuity of the thread is going to be interrupted, along with the discussion, I think I'll post a video by Canadian (now retired) hip/hop rap artist (and old friend) - which in my mind shares some overlap with your link, but a little more elegantly.  

 

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With all the negative talk out there about the stresses of clerkship and residency, I've been hearing many wonder whether going through medical school and residency are really worth the end result - i.e."giving up" some of the prime years of their life doing something they are marginally passionate about. They tell me that they feel trapped and don't have any other alternative career.   

I'm interested to hear of anecdotes of students who decided to leave medical school partway through in order to pursue a different career path, if anyone has any to share! 

 

 

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Maybe it does happen, but I have never heard of anyone willingly leave med school without finishing to pursue other stuff.  Its just too unlikely that you would be as financially successful, plus its hard once you've committed and have paid tuition so youre in more debt.

The only people Ive seen in an unrelated field are people who: were kicked out of med school, didn't match at CARMS, or occasionally didn't finish residency for family reasons (female resident married to another physician (surgeon) who decided it wasn't worth finishing).  

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