Sunday, October 09, 2005

I Hate Medicine And Want To Leave

so this blog - why?

ok so i work a senior house officer (a junior doctor, 2 years after graduation) in a large teaching hospital in London.

i went into medicine as a fresh faced (though not as handsome back then - i fucking age well) essex lad with hopes of "making a difference" and "helping people" even though everyone at the time said you don't really.

well 8 years later i'm hating it.

i love the subject, love the patients, love the intellectual aspect. the problem is i don't love it enough to justify spending a seventh of each year working nights/weekends/late shifts.

as each day goes by i'm resenting the fact that it takes up so much of my life. i would rather be travelling, listening/playing music, doing a job i enjoy.

i really don't know what to do. in a way i'm glad i'm being honest to myself that i'm not getting anything like as much out of it as i used to but i don't know what to do about it.

apparently i'm not alone in feeling this way.

what is it about medicine in the NHS/medicine today that is making it so unappealing? i'm getting pretty sick of defending the NHS (which i still maintain is one of the few good things left about this country) when i'm so miserable in it.

that and what to do now is the reason for me foraying into the internet. this blog is supposed to be a way of finding out why good people (hopefully me being one of them) are feeling so disillusioned working in what should be a blinding profession.

the plan

there isn't one really at the moment but here's as far as i've got:
  1. i finish my job in august 2006
  2. stick it out till then
  3. get some exams (you have to do post-graduate exams to go into a speciality) as if my life goes tits up then i've got something to fall back on
  4. take 6 months off, maybe a year
  5. travel - South America is calling
  6. er.......
  7. that's it....
  8. you should always have an even number of list points
for the record: I DO NOT WANT TO DO GENERAL PRACTICE OR GO TO AUSTRALIA/NZ - which seems to be the only advice people have.

so there you go

that's the point of this blog... vaguely.

only 14.5 hours before i have to get up for work tomorrow.
that, my friends, is depressing.

coffee time


[i have been listening to the bucket by kings of leon]

154 comments:

vk said...

wow....believe me I do understand what you are going through, I am in a similar situation except for the fact that I am in absolute denial....and the fact that I have not yet started residency....what to do? I keep hoping that life just kind of works itself out....anyway good luck....and if you come up with a viable solution, please pass it on.

Display name said...

Why do people tell you to go to nz? just curious as i live there you see.
And btw i know your career woes- im half way through a nursing degree and the idea of shift work makes me want to ditch it altogether

Anonymous said...

You are walking a very well trod path.
One line of reasoning is "I've put such a vast amount of work into this, I can't possibly give up on medicine now". (Sounds familiar, p'raps)?
It's a bugger, it really is. Checking out BMJ careers for alternatives within British medicine is an obvious move.

Unwelcome advice that it is, ultimately I would recommend leaving this "green and pleasant land" - if only for a six month job elsewhere.You'll be amazed how civilised medicine can be in other parts of the world.

Anonymous said...

Well, don't come to the USA. Trust me, things are no better here. I am sitting here at midnight, the day after christmas, trying to figure out how I am going to be happy in life. I am in my last year of residency, and unless things change A LOT after residency, I will have to switch careers to be happy. Switch to what though? I've never wanted to do anything else... Do drug companies hire doctors???

doclet said...

Doc..you're not alone.
I'm barely halfway through graduation and already questioning
the choice of career.
I love the subject.
Love the interaction with patients.
I love it all.
Can withstand the hard work.
What I can't bear is losing myself somewhere along this road.
I'm watching myself dissipate.Evapourate.
From a creative talented happy student.With good grades.
To someone I don't like
and refuse to recognise anymore.
Reasons:
No time for self/others.
Losing touch with own sensitivity/creativity
Unwilling to compromise too much on family life later.
Bad experiences with
medicine so far
Disheartened with rampant"bullshitting patients"..
The whole thing seems meaningless.
It's like after years of running..I've forgotten where I was running to and why.
Can't let the rest of my life be that.
I can't give up now.
I came in with many dreams.Much hard work.Visions.
But I can't let this go on..
Here's what I'm planning to do.
Get an MBA.Work within healthcare,but not as a clinician.

So far,that seemslike a wise choice.
Would love to hear opinions/advice/criticism.
cocaynne@yahoo.com
And you doc..
hang in there.
Things can only get better now. :)

Sam said...

I can't believe what I'm reading here - the doctors I work with seem to be such idealists. But I hate it.

I've just graduated and am now on a disorganized surgery firm where I start at 0730 and finish at around 7pm. My SHO and REG are nowhere to be seen, and I feel overwhelmed most of the time not by what I do, but by how much I have to do.

I love people and patients, love the learning in medicine. But not the oncalls and some of the days, when literally all you do is hand things in and chase things up. If you really want to be a caring doctor you'd never sleep. I now envy the majority of my colleauges who don't care about their patients and as a result are so efficient, making it work for them. I have drastically reduced the time it takes me to admit somebody down to 15 mins, there was absolutely no human touch, a pat on the back from the Reg I happened to be on with that day, and a bit of guilt on my part.

I forgot to add on a calcium the other day and my SHO asked me if i was plain stupid. I was about to ask him if he was born ugly or whether his look was a recent thing - but then I remembered the first rule in medicine: don't answer back, agree to everything, and never escalate things. Nobody likes a grass, they don't tend to get good references and all we can really do is silently take our place at the lowest level of this abused family and hope we, or rather I, because it's possible none of you feel like this, don't turn out the same way.
I am frustrated with the job and the lack of satisfaction when I really enjoyed being a student (and looked forward to running around on the wards)and I'm angry at myself for feeling like this. But I do. And as I write this, I'm kind of dreading going in tomorrow. I had a great weekend with my mates (this lot are non-medical) and saw the sun on the water, felt it on me, chatted nonsense to some random women and had a laugh. It was a million miles away from the hot sweaty ward where I've been jailed.
Anyway enough ranting and now for some doing. All I can say (mainly to myself) is our attitude shapes how we are, and I need to find that endless reserve of positive, people like Bruce Lee and Aristotle did say that situations don't get you down, YOUR reaction to it does. My reaction is going to be positive. I've decided. And I hope it lasts, cos the romantic in me is dying I think.

PS An MBA places you well to work within the pharmaceutical and banking industry, as well as an NHS manager who may actually know something.

Dazed & Confused said...

it'll get a bit better when you're and SHO. and (although i would have loved to do surgery) medics/anaesthetists are a lot more chilled out. less bullshit talk (like about your calcium omission) although you still get the wankers.

i really hope you do stay positive. it is fucking difficult at times.

enjoy your weekends mate (sounds like a good one just gone) and relish your time off. it keeps you going. i got stuck on friday night till 8pm partially cos my colleagues hadn't done what they were supposed to do. went out to meet an old mate for a beer. 4 years ago we'd have got wasted then danced the night away at some suitably kitsch indie venue but that night i was so knackered i left at 11 and was in bed by half past. and hurrah had the pleasure of starting nights afterwards.

the city/management/pharma i really don't think is the answer.

i don't know what is, hence this blog.

i guess somewhere deep down there is a part of me that still wants to do this.

welcome to the club, we've got t-shirts. enjoy MOADD

Anonymous said...

I found your site by googling 'I hate medicine.' I'm a 3rd year medical student at a Canadian med school. This year has been the best and absolute worst of my life. I also enjoy the intellectual aspect of meds and once in a while, even get that warm fuzzy feeling from knowing I'm 'helping people.' However, I'm disheartened to hear it can only get worse in residency. What bothers me the most is being on call/long days as well.
I think there should be a campaign to warn bright-eyed meds hopefuls about the often inhuman schedule/time requirements.

Anonymous said...

I am totally in for all this talk... its shit hole.... m 2nd year resident

Anonymous said...

It's Sam again, of the 0730 surgical starts and the SHO and REG nowhere to be seen.

It's 6 months on and I'm loving cardiology. But I still do 12 hr days atleast and hate the oncalls but, at least it's far more organized than surgery.

I just wanted to let you all know that it does get better, that the positive attitude I adopted did work, I even made time to go to theatre toward the end of my surgical rotation and made it work for me.

It's true, you can talk yourself into almost anything. Except for old people. Wards full of them. I love them, in my family, socially etc. But the minute they present with confusion that could be down to any infection and heaven forbid a stroke, it seems to be a window into our future.

And then I don't love them anymore. These are the forgotten you see on your oncalls that were given aspirin without even a CT scan so that they could bleed into what everybody hoped wasn't a haemorrhagic stroke, but f*** it, it was, and now that the GCS is 3 we'll just put it down to natural deterioration.

What I can't escape is that this is what will become of us 'learned' in 40 years from now, notwithstanding the fact that medicine will be able to deliver much more then.

Because, you see, once you, like the geriatric above can no longer speak, you can't stick up for yourself and then not many people do it for you.

So enjoy. I now care far less about my career than I used to and I'm seeing things slightly differently. Bring on the 3 day weeks and less oncalls, I'll take it if it means I'll be a little less angry and drustrated when nobody sticks up for me when I've had a funny turn.

Anonymous said...

I found this site also by googling "hating medicine". I'm a 1st year cardiology fellow and like most of you, started to hate medicine in during my first year of internal medicine residency. So why the hell am I doing fellowship if i hated it from the start? I"m not sure myself. i think I'm just too far in to quit though. And it doesn't really help when your program is malignant and makes u feel like a retard everytime they grill the shit out of u in front of everyone. Besides drug companies, any other alternatives?

Anonymous said...

hello there,

I'm a final med student due to graduate and start my internship in July. For the past few years I have grown more and more disillusioned with the path that I'm on and for the most part I was able to put those thoughts out of my head to get through exams.

After getting back this year to start the beginning of the end, I had had enough. I had had holidays, I wasn't wrecked. I just hated this all consuming job. I'm a student and I have missed out on things. I worry all the time about failing, exams and in being a good doctor. I just couldn't take it anymore. And anytime I voiced my concerns to relatives or friends, I got the same old spiel back: "Oh, you'll be finished next year and working, it will be much better then because you'll be earning." No it won't. It will be ten times worse.

So I sat down and wrote a list of the pros and cons of doing medicine. A real list,not the one I did when i was eighteen and had little idea about who I would be at twenty four and where my priorities would lie. The cons list still hasn't stopped for me.

I like patients, I like to work. But that doesn't make a life. I also love music, I love to go to the beach with my dog, go for dinner at my sisters. I have always wanted to write a novel. What is wrong with wanting that? Nothing.

I have lived a half life for the past five years. I've been numb. It is not for me obviously, a fool would have seen it earlier but I chose not to contemplate leaving because I have never quit anything.

Success is being happy with what you have got. It is not the most prestigeous job (come on, we were all a little attracked to the high regard this profession offers). At the moment,I am not a success.

So i'm going to sit my exams in april and walk away with a very good degree. I am going to enrol in primary school teaching and start a real life. I have never been happier with a decision.

I might even get to write that novel one day!

Anonymous said...

Hello colleagues,

I am a 5th year medical student in Australia and I am studying for my final exams in 2 weeks time. It was during my study of glomerulonephropathy and interstitial kidney disease that I decided to open up google and type I HATE MEDICINE and slam enter on my keyboard. This site came up and it gave me mixed feelings.

1st - its good to know that it is not just my friends and I that are like this, but there are other people in other places feeling crap as well.

2nd - its also good to know that there are degrees of hating medicine. some are worse than others and that it does fluctuate depending on the rotation.

3rd - this site has really made me not want to start work as this was the thing that was driving me to complete this crappy degree.

I guess, though, my situation is slightly different to some others in this blog. I hate studying crap. Crap that I know I will forget and will never use. I also hate certain areas of medicine. Things like surgical topics, cardiology, lung disease and GIT disease are great. Things like kidney, endocrine, haem, O&G, PAEDS, cancer and genetics are not. Henceforth, working will be a mixed bag I think.

Note, what keeps me going is that I know that my value as a person does not lie in the fact that I am a medical student / doctor. Not even if i am successful or not. But it is derived from other places apart from med. Unfortunately, this is very hard to remember always.

All the best... I should get back to reading about male genitourinary conditions or I will fall behind...

Anonymous said...

Man, I am in first semester medicine and I am starting to regret it. It drains the life out of you. All that you enjoy in life you to put aside for this field. Sometimes I wonder if it is worth it.

Despairing Doc said...

So what was the outcome? Did you manage to escape the nightmare of the NHS?

I totally empathise. 8 years I'll never regain. >£20,000 in debt. Sleepless nights. Constant exams/audits/courses. Total lack of social/love life. My desire to be totally altruistic and sell my soul to medicine all down the drain. Because guess what? The NHS don't want to give me a job.

How's that for gratitude?

Anonymous said...

I hate reading ALL the time! Why why why? When does it end? Haven't I missed enough weekends? Why are all my business friends off at 5pm and then just go off to socialize? Why do I have an endless reading list? What's with this feeling of always being inadequate and not knowing enough? I just want to have a normal social life.... I've already screwed over my social life back in 3rd year med school when I was gunning for a competitive specialty. And now whenever I try to rebuild my social life in 1st year residency I get screwed over with "you should read more" "Your knowledge base is lacking behind your peers". I'm tired of this work. Maybe I didn't realize how much work medicine would be. Maybe this isn't the best place for me. Maybe I should just work a 9-5er where I don't have to think and stress out so much. God damn, I'm just soo tired out.

PS: I'm glad to have found some colleagues who share my frustrations.. Thanks for letting me vent.

oMar.G said...

Hi all,,
i am a 4th year medical student, and i think that all of us have the same problem which is not that we hate medicine! it's that we dont know how to love it!! i am sure that everyone of us deep inside has an enthusiasm to medicine,, the big problem that we dont know how to deal with all the heaviness that lies over our heads,, we have so much reading,we have no time to do anything other than reading, we have no social life, we have an unbearable responsibility... we cant change our major not after spending all these years,, so we have to find a way to LOVE medicine and accept our life like this and try to adapt and i dont know how to be happy!! tc..

Anonymous said...

Well, I graduated in 1976, and have moved from pulmonary to general internal medicine, with hospitalism along the way. My practice is in the U.S. First, realize that academics is a different world from practice, and there is no correlation between them...some people from mediocre programs have been very successful financially. You have to protect yourself..I have done this by joining a large group that uses hospitalists, and owns its own lab and imaging facilities..so far laws in the US still allow us to distribute some of the profits..without this, primary care would be hell. I guess what I am saying is, in order to have a reasonable life in medicine you either have to be creative, or just accept it and get a government job. The other thing to consider is retirement. Does it make sense to get into mega debt, and just START to make $ when you are almost 30?? of course not..medicine really doesn't make sense in many of its forms..forget about altruism..do good medicine in a way you like and in a way that makes financial sense for you, otherwise you won't do yourself or the world any favors. Remember, you may be single now, but what if you have a family? Don't listen to academics they are biased in their own way..talk to physicians in the outside world, as much as you can, so you can get an idea of what can be done. Don't be afraid to get a career where you can make lots of $ and/or have a better lifesyle, especially if you have big loans. If you are self employed you will need to save a lot of that dough for retirement, and you will be starting late, and already in debt. Also, remember, what seems like an exciting sexy specialty, if it involves long hours, can get pretty tiresome as the old bod wears out.

Anonymous said...

I found this site by googling "I hate medicine."

I'm 3 years out of Med/Peds residency, trying to pay back the state of Missouri for helping my middle-class ass cover med school tuition.

You'd think that going to an "underserved" area that has a decent sized hospital would help. But it doesn't. The payer mix is horrible, so the hospital is rabid over recklessly increasing the volume of patients seen. Patient satisfaction is in the toilet, which they claim they don't like, but "if only you'd sit on the bed with the patient instead of standing in the door with the chart (who the fuck is doing that?) they'd feel like you spent more time with them."

And it isn't even just that. I'm 30 years old. I have given up a lot to get to where I am, and the last thing I need is a hospital cramming RVU numbers down my throat making me take retarded amounts of call and not get compensated for all the non-RVU generating lifestyle-wrecking sleepless nights.

I think I might be happy as a hospitalist, but in order to get loan repayment, I have to stay in outpatient medicine (while my hospital forces all this inpatient work on me). The carrot of loan repayment is nothing in comparison to the exorbinant factor more my subspecialist counterparts make.

So much for paying doctors to think. This country is going to wake up one day and realize that they're screwed for having fucked over primary care for so long.

Anonymous said...

I found this page when googling "hate internal medicine". I am an intern in an Australian hospital and reading through your post made me nod most of the time. Like you, I too walked into General Medicine with an altruistic mind, wanting the best for patients, but eventually became more "efficient" as you've said due to time limitations, a constantly ringing pager and a long patient list. I know some patients resent the fact that they don't get as much human touch as they require, and I resent that too but what can interns do about that? It's times like these which makes general medicine really unappealing. Like you I too look forward to weekends with non-medic mates with their differing view to life and work in general. Kinda sick of the back biting and politics going on even among interns which is a minefield I try very hard to avoid.

Anonymous said...

I also found this site by googling "I hate medicine". I can't even watch scrubs.

I am a final year student and I have done pretty well so far, but I fear that apathy is going to affect my grades.

Does ANYBODY like medicine? Everybody seems to hate it!

Anonymous said...

i found this site by googling "i fucking hate residency." i do. i never thought id say these words. as many of you i love(d) the science, the patients, the feeling like youre kind of making a difference, even the prestige of being called "doctor." and i still DO like that. but i fucking hate how much of our time it takes up, how it sucks the soul right out of us. i will work damn hard when im in the hospital but does it have to be fuckng 24/7. i have no time for family, friends, life, my life. i feel so empty. stupid fucking rules of when you can take time off...a fucking hierachy. fucking chief residents to get through to talk to the PDs. no one gives a shit about you, about your personal life. they act like they do. im gettng married...and i dont want to be on fucking call! is that too much to fucking ask. i feel so apathetic, i feel like not giving a shit, and if someone dies well fuck that. i dont fucking care. im so tired of this being my life. yes i understand that its residency but ... its just not worth it. lucky im a girl...i can quit this shit and depend on my future husband, but geez i couldnt do that. especially after being over 100,000 dollars in the whole. and id get bored. i see my friends. doing normal things that normal 20 somethings do. i still party but not like them, not like i wish i could. im in a fucking small town cuz there is where i go to fucking residency. if i were smarter i wouldve just gone to new york where at least my spare time would be at an amazing concert, or bar, or restaurant. or with cool NORMAL NON MEDICAL people. i never thought that residency would take over my wedding. yes that is why i am the most mad. as a girl you plan ur wedding ur whole life. and now residency is fucking with that too.

Anonymous said...

I am finishing my internship year and going into radiology next year. The sad thing is, I never even wanted to go to medical school. My mom really wanted me to be a doctor, and I wanted to please her. I hated medical school and I hate residency even more. I don't even feel comfortable touching patients, and the long days/weekends/calls I hate so much I fall into a horrible depression right before and after. Is this a way to live life? I am too terrified to leave. It;s almost easier to stay and be unhappy than to drop out and face the unknown.

Anonymous said...

Every time I have to get up at 5 am to go into my residency program, I fantasize that I am going to call them and say " I quit, shove your program and get someone else to do this slave labor." I wish I go do it, but I keep going back everday. I can't even sleep at night, because it makes me so sick. I hate medicine. Non-medical people think doctors get paid too much. Well, I think, who the hell would want to do this? Would these people do this for what residents get paid? I feel really stupid that I wasted my time and money in medical school. There are easier ways to make money without as much stress and abuse.

Anonymous said...

I too, am a disenchanted medic.. But I am actually leaving.. I've taken the plunge and told my postgrad dean that medicine is a pile of shite and I wish nothing more than to be as far away from hospitals as possible for the rest of my days..
I'm currently in orthopaedic surgery, which is a beautiful speciality full of earnest conversations, such as;
JHO: This man has gone into acute renal and liver failure simulataneously. I've done everything I can think of.
Consultant: How's his hip?
JHO: Ummm.. fine.
Reg: His check Xray was fine.
Consultant: Good stuff. I'm sure you'll deal with the other things..

Quite frankly, I am sick of the lot of it.. I'm sick of being treated like a dog by my seniors (some of them.. I have to be fair and say most of them are lovely, helpful, earnest, genuine people; but the ones that wake up every morning with the intention of making the JHO's miserable spoil it for everyone else).. I'm sick of fighting every day; with radiologists, with specialists, with my own consultants because aforementioned specialists will not come to review their patient at 30 seconds notice... I'm sick of everything being my fault (including things that happen over weekends when I wasn't working.. I've given up trying to explain that all Junior doctors are not, indeed, the same person and generally just apologise for my colleages mistakes).. I'm sick of everything being my problem; operation notes that consultants can't find, ambulances that nurses can't organise, in fact, just about everything (One of my colleages was paged on night shift by one of the nursing staff who could "smell faeces but couldn't tell which patient it was coming from".. Again, 90% of the nurses are wonderfully caring, lovely people; but the ones that aren't, make your life hell..).. I'm sick of being used as a sounding board for every little detail.. That well known phrase to JHO's "Just to let you know...".. (ie/ "Just to let you know, Mr X has a skin tag on his ear.." WHAT?!?!?!? I'm sorry.. If you want me to do something about it, if you are genuinely worried, ask me to go and have a look at it.. Don't just tell me things so you can write in your notes that the doctor was informed...
SO much of medicine is about toeing the line, covering your tracks and sucking up to everyone higher up the food chain..
And I, quite frankly, have had it...

People keep telling me (the nicer ones) that's its such a waste for me to be leaving.. That I'm a good Doctor and I care about my patients.. But you have to consider yourself too at some point..
If the NHS want me to continue on, they can sing for it...

I'm off to do an MA in journalism and enjoy a challenging, but infinitely more enjoyable career..
God bless everyone that stays.. You're stronger people than I am.. I, for one, have taken my last dose of crap...

Anonymous said...

Hahah...I googled "I hate residency" too.

I'm in my 3rd mo. of internship...fuckin MONTH 3 and I hate it. I used to love working up patients, getting their treatment underway, learning about all the different disorders/diseases and I still do...but less and less. And I agree w/ just about everything above. It's the constant politicizing that goes on, the specialists and consultants that punt responsibility to one another. I hate constantly feeling inadequate, never feeling like things will change. I hate seeing my friends get married and having normal lives when I'm stuck at the hospital and have to come home to an empty house. There's no escape...no way to leave. I just have hope that things will get better, but that's also fading too.

Why does it have to be so miserable?

Anonymous said...

sorry to hear so much discontent among young doctors. I'll have to say however that this is not really surprising. The legal profession and western governments and media have widely spread negative propaganda about healthcare and providers that has, over the past 20 years or so, taken much of the prestige and money out of medicine. This is not unique to England. A friend from Africa who practices in USA has a lawyer father in Africa who told him 20 years ago not to go into medicine because the lawyers in international meetings were saying they were going to crush providers.

If you can accept the pay then try to demand reasonable hours and overlook the negativity or it will be a long and potentially unrewarding career since the negative forces are great and the stresses are even greater. Try to focus on the greater good and the moments when success is so sweet. Most occupations never have the kind of deeply emotionally rewarding moments that physicians used to have frequently and still have occasionally (treasure them)

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I am even writing this...
I wanted to do this shit since I was 5, I caned my ass thru school and med school, passed with merit and absolutely murdered my postgrad exams within 2 years of qualifying..
Now I'm 27, stuck bouncing from non training reg job to reg job, been f&&ked by the training system, in debt (40k), trying to get married avoiding sucking up to the stuck up W22kers, living in fear that they are just being nice to me to stab me in the back.
I love my job, I love operating and being there is the only thing keeps me going. I can deal with the hours, but I cant take dropping pay to go to a "prestigious" job where now my 4 year sjunior fiance earns a lot more than me despite I am her senior and have busted my balls all the way through. I am sick to death of it. I am going in during my annual leave to attend courses and clinics.
It sucks. I want to do the thing sVERYONE on here has said. I love music, reading, general kowledge, science, time to myself, drawing.... I can't do anything I am becoming a drone... I hate it hate it hate it...
maybe one day it will get better. I dunno.. but as we all say... where do we go? Locked in.

Anonymous said...

Wow. It sounds like lots of us are feeling frustrated. I, too, googled "I hate residency" but I really should have googled "I hate residency today." When I read what folks are writing, it sounds like most of us DO like parts of medicine or residency or practice, but hate the parts that seem to come with it-- poor reimbursement, not enough time spent, rules and paperwork and pages and lost sleep and lost time...
But I have a few things to remind folks of:
1) Plenty of folks have jobs that take up this much time and are much less rewarding and they are just doing them to get through life... I think they aren't as disappointed because they never started with an idea that their job would be a prestigious, humanitarian, gratitude-filled, lucrative job... and most of us started medicine with at least some of those ideas. My dad-in-law works in a paper mill, is on call all the time, switches shifts all the time, and hates his job, and only gets $14 an hour and never gets to talk to people. ICK! I'll take my job anyday. (except this one).
2) My dad is a Family doc and it took him a little while, but he has been creative and sacrificed a little money and has put together a great life-- he plays guitar, goes on great vacations, has taken up irish fiddling, plays with his friends, and works 4 days a week. not bad. He doesn't drive a BMW, but that's OK with him.
3) residency and medicine DO suck sometimes, and we DO need to change them. But think about how much things HAVE changed. I know a doctor who trained in the 1940's who did anatomy on deceased prisoners (who didn't donate their bodies), saw over 50 people per day in the wards, and stayed up for at least 40 hours at a time routinely. If we all keep stating what's wrong and finding what's right about medicine, maybe we can keep fixing it.
OK, this is totally preachy and Pollyannaish, but I really do think that if we view medicine as partly just a job and partly as an opportunity to get some good change going and do the things we like, then maybe we can still have fun.
And if we can't, then there are LOTS of other options with an MD-- teaching, insurance work, hospital or medical consulting, depositions or legal consulting, private "boutique" clinics, more school and another degree, working urgent care part time, consulting for medical tech companies or medical conferences... oh the places we'll go.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should all give up medicine and become malpractice lawyers in USA. There we would be heroes, make hundreds of millions, be considered a razor sharp genius work out til 10 am every morning and never lose a nights sleep. Oh yeah!

Anonymous said...

i started hating medicine as a last year medical student for ALL of the abovementionned reasons. Then I discovered anesthesia and life suddenly had a new meaning, a more tolerable one. I love anesthesia: so intellectual and ingenious. So instantly gratifying. No chronic patient bullshitting or never ending rounds or all-consuming work and commitment. you just intellectually "get off" all day long by momentarily abolishing the natural physiological function of your patients and taking control of their physical life for a few moments and then return things to normal and just give your patients back to whomever is "really" taking care of them. You then go back to your normal life and head home at 5:30 PM feeling content of what u have accomplished. You help people instantly by removing their pain and anxiety for a short period of time and then you go on to the next, promising temporary bliss. Your patients love you for it and you love yourself for giving them a taste of paradise. No strings attached....

Anesthesia was my escape from medicine people and I am not ashamed to say it. Please feel free to offer/share other solutions that have worked for you. I am sure mine is not applicable to everyone and certainly i do not pretend that it should.

Anonymous said...

I strongly suggest to everyone that posted on this site to try anesthesia for a week or 2. u will discover another face of medicine, one that just makes everyone happy.

Anonymous said...

I also came here after googling "I hate medicine" in frustration.
And I really do have it, the whole deal. I came into this thinking that it would be an interesting, rewarding, and well paying job for a fairly intelligent guy.
But it's not interesting. Not even a little bit.
The description I gave above doesn't even begin to touch on the reality of medicine. A far more accurate summation of what was ahead of me would have been: "Memorise a phone book worth of abstract information, then deal with a bunch jerks of on either side of the stethoscope for the rest of your life."
And, like everyone else, I'm too dissatisfied with this job to stay, but too far in debt in terms of time and money to leave. And I already live in New Zealand, so going there wont do much good.

Anonymous said...

I found this site by googling "I hate residency" and I'm a 2nd year resident in Canada.

I hate hoop jumping. I'm not a freakin' circus monkey.

I want to tell my program and everyone I'm supposed to "look up" to in this twisted hierarchy to shove it up their ass.

Anonymous said...

God Bless Google.ca... hahah :)

My initial aspiration in university was to pursue B.Ed studies (i/s chemistry & math) upon completing my M.Sc. (in chem). I wanted to do this ever since high school, and all the way through my undergrad years.

I found myself in a very bad position (hint: it was not thesis nor TA related) about 2 months into my first year of MSc studies. Upon consulting with an Ombudsperson & the university psychological services, I had three options:

A - I could have fought & pressed charges, facing the very probable risk of becoming blacklisted from many university/employment opportunities in N. America
B - Quit & follow another path, or

C - stay within the department & watch my back.

I chose "C" because I was determined not to bruise my pride. I essentially worked nocturnally & kept an eye over my shoulder the rest of the time. I went to Scotland to just get away and get as much work completed as possible. By the end of the two years (with exception of the 3mo. I was away), I was absolutely miserable & wanted nothing more to do with chemistry. I never told my family (would've made things more difficult) & the only friend I confided in was my housemate in Scotland. My supervisor in Scotland had brought up the idea of medicine at a point when I was desperate to find another path. It was a way out into a completely different discipline and I was accepted the following year. Up to that point I had never even considered it.

Although I do hold a genuine interest in the medical sciences, I really do not feel a definite passion towards any particular speciality. I also very consciously chose against the biological or medical sciences when I was determining my B.Sc. route. I feel as though I have thought of the neurosciences or internal medicine only because I have had real life connections. What I was thinking... is about perhaps completing about 3 years of residency & then taking a leave to go to Teachers College. At that point, I would have a sample of both paths.

Pharmacolgical medicine has been suggested to me as an alternative, but I am really not interested in that either. It has also been suggested to me by a third party that teaching may not 'stimulate' of offer the satisfaction I may need.

Anonymous said...

I hate medicine as well. I'm in my first year of medical school in the caribbean, and it sucks. If it wasn't bad enough in medical school you don't have much of a social life or free time, it's worse when you're on an island with nothing to do and so far away from home, friends, family and all the modern conveniences you love.

Medical school feels lonely because people just stay in their room and study. You have friends but it feels like you don't have close friends, so it really sucks being here because you don't have your close friends from home to rely on and you can't really make any friends outside of medicine because there is only medicine. I feel often like I'm losing myself and becoming emotionless.

I find myself hating medicine and often forgetting what I'm here. I'm only in my first year but I often wonder do I get out now while I still can?

Anonymous said...

Reading all of these blogs makes me consider on giving up trying to pursue medicine. I have always wanted to help people. So when i started undergrad school i thought for sure that is what i wanted to do. Most of you are already past these easier years, and are in residency. But am on my second year and I no longer want to do this, but its hard trying to tell my parents. They already have an image of me becoming a doctor, and everytime I try telling them that I no longer want to be this they just ignore me. I think I am just going to help people in another manner. I guess medicine is just not for me at all.

Anonymous said...

I freaking hate hospital medicine. Nobody cares about you. The only thing they want from you is to make sure the job is done.

You work long hours and you've to study for postgrad exams. Holidays are so difficult to arrange. If you're a junior then forget it. You've no say.

The only reason why I stay is because of financial situation. I've loans and bills to pay and parents to look after.

I'm trying to get out of this shit hole as I know that if I keep going I'll probably kill myself.

Verecundium said...

I also googled " I hate med"

I have just finished my second week of internship. It is enjoyable in parts, but the sacrifices are something I am just beginning to understand.

Knowing what the sacrifices are, and understanding them are two different things.

I've just ended my second week of being a paperwork bitch (internship on a surgical ward). I finished at 6 (standard). I'm tired, have to pack up and drive home for 2 hours (doing a rural term atm, so live away from home during the week).

I can't be stuffed driving back. I'm screwed after a week of hard work.

Friday night, usually a time to relax, and enjoy time with friends is now recovery time. Saturday is free, so is half of Sunday, before I have to get organised for Monday/Drive up to the country/get ready for work. Hmmm 1.5 days of leisure time out of 7 days. Life shouldn't be like this at 22!

Really, if I'm working 10 hours min on weekdays, there really isn't much I can do on weeknights, except exercise.

Weekends (I work 1 in 4) are the only time I get off. To get onto a training program, I'm meant to do some research in my "spare" time.

Here is the thing. This is one of the BETTER schedules that interns have. This is as GOOD as it gets. Every year after gets worse.

What the hell is the point of working MORE than this? I don't want half a million when I'm in my Mid thirties. I'd rather have time now to enjoy my youth!

What will I do with that money at that age? House? Car? Or even worse, that self-perpetuating cycle of pointlessness, investment?

Before you know it, you've wholly misspeant your youth, and are very far down the well trod path of marriage, two kids and a private clinic.

But really, what do you have to show for your efforts? Big house... Nice car.... Nice clothes...


These things; are they really worth it? I used to think they were. I don't think so anymore. There is more to life than this.

Bill, Greg, and Micah. said...

I don't hate medicine. I hate the business and law of medicine. I love helping people - I don't even mind some of the really, really screwed up hours. But I HATE the grumpy drunk pricks that I have to be civil to, and I HATE that even the most non-compliant patients can find blood-sucking attorneys. I HATE that my "colleagues" will take money to tell a jury that I suck - no matter how good I am - and I HATE that at least 40% of what I do is about forming a defense of my actions as a practitioner.

I don't think the real world has any idea what doing this is like. Or how much we suffer to get to a point where we sacrifice everything. It isn't worth the big house. No way.

Anonymous said...

7 month into internship and just want to quit. at least i'm doing peds so my pateints aren't generally contributing to their health problems, but hours are way too long and haven't done anything but work for months. totally agree that i am loosing myself as a person, am a crappy mother/wife and where the hell are my 20's...
am thinking long and hard about if i will carry on although the 100,000K in loans makes it hard to stop.
my dad always wanted me to do something other than medicine, which he'd told me exactly why. although i should have read more into the fact that he was at work all the time and now I am doing the same to my kid.....
suck!

Anonymous said...

So glad to see this site! It's nice to see people get a chance to vent. As for you people with the "Pollyanna" lecture on how we should see all the great things about medicine...you annoy me!
I love medicine but residency is freaking miserable! You are seriously abused to no end and it is true- nobody gives a flying crap about you. You are there to be a scut monkey for everyone else. And you will never satisfy anyone.
So frustrating.

Anonymous said...

I came across this site from google too. Just before i begin my rant though, the white letters on the black background really hurts your eyes when you spend a prolonged period of time reading it.

Anyway, the thing I find most frustrating about medicine is being constantly mistreated. I'm a 4th year medical student and everytime I give a case presentation or throw random facts during discussions, there is nothing but criticism and 'things that can be done better'. I thought I was a smart person, came pretty much top in high school in everything, duxed the school, came top 10 in the state for subjects. Now I feel like a piece of sh%t day in day out. I have no time for exercise, no time to leisurely reading, no time for music, no time for writing (I love writing), no time for friends and family. It seems as if any moment not spent studying is a wasted moment that I should be feeling guilty about.

Yes, medicine is about helping people. At times we can underappreciate the things we do for patients. You'd soon realise how much doctors can help once you are on the other end and end up as a patient yourself in hospital. However, you soon lose this appreciation once you're on the wards again. I try to draw motivation from my own experiences as a patient to help me develop as a doctor, and to justify my sacrifices. No matter how much I try, I just can't.

Is 4th year too far in deep to quit? My program lasts 6 years, its an undergraduate course. It's difficult to stay but equally difficult to quit. Parents and friends have expectations and the question of what am I going to do if not this arises.

I can identify with a lot of you. The feeling of being a 'drone' of feeling depersonalised and empty. I'm not a person anymore, I'm a machine. I guess the phrase 'too smart for your own good' really does have an ounce of truth to it. I wish i was dumber, at least I'd be able to enjoy my life to a fuller capacity.

Anonymous said...

6 years, 1 month, 19 days, 12 hrs, and going.Thats the precious amount of my time that Medicine has killed and Guess what? Its not even over yet. Next come a specialization and the super specialization. And what's the worst part of it? You don't get enjoy the fruits of your skulldruggery. Most of you are better of, since the ultimate tragedy of my life is I am in India. That sure will make most of you feel that God has had some mercy on you.
It sucks to be a Doctor and sucks even more to be a doctor in India.
There is not a moment I regrett of making a choice of taking up medicine. They say Medicine is for obsessive and compulsive people, well it is also for all those people who are bored of thier lives and have no joy in life.
I wonder why I did'nt figure that out 7 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Found this site by googling "I hate residency". Sad thing is that was a year ago. 13 months later I'm still a surgical resident and I still hate residency with a passion. I thought a change in attitude would help, and it did for a brief period of time. Unfortunately I couldn't sustain that sense of false optimism without feeling like the biggest fraud in the universe. I've been hating medicine since my first year of medical school. Every year I convince myself it will get better but it hasn't. I feel that the person I was before I entered medical school was creative, bright, well-read, curious and someone worth getting to know. Now I am a shell of that former person. Medicine has consumed my whole life and unfortunately become my identity. Even my long term friends refer to me as 'Doc', a nickname I know they use in endearment, and maybe out of pride, but nevertheless makes me cringe inside. I hesitate to even bring up my career in conversation because I fear all the assumptions that people will immediately make about me. I know I am supremely unhappy professionally. Yet, I stick with it, out of stupidity and fear of leaving the one thing I wanted to do ever since I was a kid. What happens when your dreams turn out to be nightmares? How can I trust any decision I make if one of the biggest decisions I made in life turned out to be a colossal mistake? I wish I didn't hate surgery. I wish I wanted to be a surgeon. I wish that some aspect in medicine would catch my imagination and allow me to envision some sort of future. I wish I loved my job. I wish.
I hope anyone who comes here for the same reasons I did take heart that you are not alone. Unfortunately, resident and medical student dissatisfaction is real, and maybe schools and programs should do more in improving morale and providing options for those who want a way out even with the 100K in debt.
As for myself, I feel like I am in a failing marriage. Divorce is looking like the only good option to save my sanity, youth and energy.

Anonymous said...

I too found the site by googling i hate medicine. I have felt like this for some time. Mostly, its to do with me - I love medicine and people but I can't cope with the anxiety and stress. I constantly worry I've missed something or that I've done the wrong thing, or prescribed the wrong dose, or the wrong medication. I'm only an SHO1 but i've already had enough. I don't want to waken up in 20 years and hate my life as much as I do now. So, my plan is to do a PhD. Its a way of doing all the bits of medicine I love - research, disease process - but without the clinical malarky.

I think that there is a way that everyone can enjoy medicine - it doesn't have to be all about giving it up completely. And I too was worried about what my friends and family would say when I told them I was leaving. And when I did, they all said they'd noticed I hadn't really seemed happy for the past 2 years but they didn't know why! And everyone has been really supportive.

But I suppose the reason I am posting is to say - if medicine is what you love, there is always a way you can find a way to enjoy it, without all the dross that we all hate. Its just sometimes hard to find and might take a bit of a risk to find it, but when you do, it will be worth it :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making this site, it is truely the only place I have found where people share the same opinions about Medicine and is keeping me just a bit saner!

I feel utterly trapped and depressed within Medicine. I know when I applied for this degree I was very wet behind the ears idiot and didn't really understand what I was signing up to. I've hated every year of it, and have just passed my finals, just. I graduated this evening. I'm a sociable confident person but I've become more and more isolated and withdrawn from my peers in medicine as I hate it so much and every year has been a struggle to get through, but I can't give it up as I'm scared I think.

Perhaps it's the prestige or the part of me wants to do something that means something with my life, I don't know how to do that other than with Medicine and feel if I do leave I'll be stuck in a menial job for the rest of my life and would that be any better? I start as a doctor in less than a month and I'm dreading it. I'm not sleeping, it's a struggle to do anything anymore, most days I just lie in bed. I'm moving to a part of the country where I know nobody and know ths will just go on continuing like this. I have felt utterly numb the last five years, lost my friends little by little and my fiance as I just feel so negative and can't see the point in socialising anymore, everything feels like such an effort. I don't know whta to do.mI'm loosing my identity, my creativity, my youth, freedom and becoming more and more isolated. I know I'll hate beig a doctor but there's a recession and I'm so in debt. I know Medicine isn't for me and my life hasn't existed for the past five years, I've lost touch with what it is I want. My family are so proud, but every card I recieve congratulating me on the degree makes me feel more and more lost and desparate. What should I do? I don't want this for the rest of my life. Medicine has had five years already.

Anonymous said...

I hate medicine... :(

I'm now in fourth year of my studies, living in pain throughout the years. Now that I've to go wards every day and go on-calls, I can't take it anymore.

I envy everybody who are non-medical, even those janitors sometimes. The time they spend hanging out at malls, having a good time drinking and enjoy whatever they do on weekends, I've to bury myself into patients' records and medical books with dread of the day after. No matter how much I read, the specialist will always be unsatisfied and call me stupid. Med students are not specialists... but they're expected to know as much. :(

I feel like taking my own life and end it all sometimes. Sigh. It's so depressing. It's late and I still have to read for tomorrow. I'm crying as I type now...

Now thinking about leaving medicine and start all over again on other course despite the debts... But not sure about it. My family will end up hating me for the rest of my life. Maybe I do deserve to die.

Anonymous said...

yup also googled i hate medicine.
ive been working for 2 yrs now, and have realised i dont have time +freedom to do the things that actually make life. I dont mind working hard monday to friday, but ive seem to be working most weekends, + am keep missing out on the things my (non medical) friends do. i try and avoid my doctor friends, as they all seem so enthusiastic and like discussing patients in spare time -then it makes me realise how uninspired i am by this career.
my non-medical friends are sick of my moaning -and tell me thats what happens if ur a doctor, and at least i have a stable job. but i spend half my time stressed, worrying about patients, and missing out on the good times. wheres the point in that.

I thought i was the only one out there like this - looks like im not!!

but seriously- to the previous person - if you feeling so low that you think lifes not worth it - i think you need to speak to someone properly and maybe take a bit of time out. medicine is not worth that.

Darcy Schonfeld said...

You could work in medical software convincing doctor's that it is in their best interest to switch from paper to computer. I promise you would get paid better and have a better life. Also, public policy and politics come to mind.

Anonymous said...

i also found this site by googling "i hate medicine". i'm a fourth year medical student in melbourne, australia.

i don't find medicine interesting, i NEVER even wanted to be a doctor. i simply selected it as a top preference because my parents really wanted me to (frickin' asian parents). and i did it because i didn't think my scores from high school were enough to get me in. when i realized i had gotten into medicine.......it was a serious case of WHAT THE F%CK!!!

i've tried telling myself things will get better, there is light at the end of the tunnel. but just how long is this tunnel? and how much shit is there in this tunnel?

pre-clinical school was boring but bearable. i managed to pass everything(bearly). and it wasn't because i didn't study. i did! but the content was just so full of crap and so unstimulating, i just couldn't retain all the info they demanded us we know. i fell asleep in 70% of the lectures out of pure boredom. and for our research year, which all of us are required to do at the university of melbourne, i chose a topic that was completely not medically related, hahaha.

but now i am in clinical school, and i am seriously screwed, because i don't know anything. i know i need to pull my finger out of my butt and start catching up, but the thought is overwhelming.

at this moment in time, the thing that pisses me off most is how the other medical students seem so keen and interested. there was this one time a medcine-friend asked me "but don't you find medicine interesting?" i SO just wanted to tell him "F%CK YOU! NO!", but instead i just smiled. so enthusiastic, it makes me sick. i know it's "mean" and illogical, but it annoys the shit out of me.

i've tried talking to people about this, but like many of you, i got the "oh but it's such a grand profession, it'll get better when you graduate". what the f%ck do they know? it is only going to get worse from here. and to those friends who i whinge to, about being so far behind, all they say is "toughen up and study. it's your fault for being so behind in the first place". yes, you're right, it is my fault for bludging the first four years, but also F%CK YOU! i AM trying to catch up, but do you know how hard it is to do something when you don't have the motivation?

i'm not sure how long i can keep going...

but i do feel a bit better now, after that vent, and it's good to know i'm not alone :)

Anonymous said...

Man! This sight is refreshing. I too feel exactly as all of you. I am in my 2nd year of residency doing IM in las Vegas. Most of my fellow classmates hate this shit but we're all fucked because of the debt. 200k for me. I used to be in good shape exercise alot and was very enthusiastic I enjoyed college and did well. I even used to play the violin since childhood. I used to ride horses and go hunting. I used to have fun. Now I don't do a fucking thing except hang out at the god damn hospital! I can barely get my ass out of bed in the morning and tend to oversleep because nothing about my job except for the potential threat of ass chewing and guilt trip for being late motivates me to wake the fuck up. My brother welds for a living. I drive to the hospital at the ass crack of dawn every fucking day envious of all the other people who are still in bed that will probably show up at 9 am and take a long lunch break while I'm admitting a piece of shit cocaine induced chest pain only to leave several hours after they have eaten dinner with their families to go back to my fucking house and crash on the couch only to wake up the next day to repeat all the same shit the very next day! If I get one day off on the weekend because my asshole senior allows it than I feel a small victory but I'm still dying inside. My wife tells me I'm not the same person I was when we started dating. I used to be an optimist. Now I hate everything it seems. I hate the person I've become. I have warned everyone I know to stay away from medicine. For anyone considering and reading this. STAY AWAY! I feel like I've wasted my 20's sitting on my ass studying and being pimped while my friends have actually enjoyed their 20's. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I would have tried to go to flight school or gotten an engineering degree. Oh how I wish I had a time machine.

Verecundium said...

Urgh! I'm another melbourne based doctor. I'm an intern.

It's depressing. at 22, I'm probably the youngest doctor in the country, and one of the youngest of all time. Most people go... 'cool'. How is this cool?

I don't get to do the things that other 22yo's do. I should be out there 'getting some', or rock climbing, or going to a show, or something. On this ONE FRIGGNIGN WEEKEND I've gotten off, I'm here on a FRIGGING SUNDAY, doing some bullshit research, so I can actually get into a speciality (one I may or may not end up liking).

I've been told by the college, that 'taking a year off to do "nothing" doesn't look good when applying to us'.

Fuck them! What the fuck would those losers know? They LOVE their work. Pity, because if they ever did something in their pathetic worthless lives that was TRULY enjoyable, instead of indulginging in academics/administration, they'd realise that, *gosh* it IS possible that there are things on god's earth EVEN MORE fun than medicine.

22 year old doctor. Cool? No. Just sad. FML.

Any suggestions, anyone?

Verecundium said...

BTW, did I mention my hourly pay rate is LESS than the hospital Janitor?

I am the lowest paid employee in this hell hole gulag.

"Intern" - Latin for Dumb-ass-fucktard destined to become a loser, if he isn't one already.

Anonymous said...

hey verecundium,

i won't say it's "cool" you're australia's youngest doctor, but i will genuinely say kudos to you. you've got brains and determination, that's for sure.

i was just wondering how you found clinical school, and if your dislike for medicine only started after you started working (due to to long work hours, hospital politics, shit pay and lack of time to have a social life).

funny you should mention janitors. we have lockers down in the basement of the hospital, and sometimes while walking down there i'd walk past a janitor or cleaner, and i'd feel this DEEP ENVY for them.

if you feel like you really need it, taking a year off to relax and perhaps do some travelling might not be a bad idea. i'd give the college the finger. it's important to maintain your physical and emotional well-being.

you're not a retard or a loser, mate. have you been able to talk to those close to you how you feel about medicine? and what do they say?

all the best

melb med student

Verecundium said...

Hey 'melb med student', cheers for the reply.

How did I find clinical school? Hmmm. On one hand it was interesting learning. I love learning, but hate study (attention span issues!).

It was definately frustrating that the course was so inefficient, with meaningless hyperspecialised tutes (6 hours of tutorials on radiation oncology... wtf? Never got 6 hours on 'unconscious collapse'). The inefficiency was also frustrating seeing that other courses had huge number of holidays. Despite what people might say, med can be done in 4 years or LESS.

I studied very hard in 2nd to last year of medicine. Studying PISSED ME OFF!!! But I totally loved knowing medicine, and understanding so much. That year, medicine was good. I actually enjoyed it. However, it drained incredible amounts from my social life. Ah well, a compromise.

So, yes, the intense dislike really only started with internship (hours/politics/pay/social life etc.) That said, I already had a somewhat negative view of med in the last year of med school, in anticipation of the impending pain.

Yeh true mate, I probably (almost certainly?) will take a year off.

Update.... I worked a 16 hour shift recently. My reg called me and my colleague "f**king c*nts", I hadn't eaten since 1pm. I go up to a ward and grab 3 of the many biscuits in the communal bowl for patients to grab (1045 at night). She chastises me (I'm glad you're stuffing your face - said in a non-playful manner), scoffs, repeats the above.

For ONCE I unapologetically show my disinterest to her comments by being sarcastic ("you're glad I'm stuffing my face? That makes too of us. I'm glad too") NOT insulting her in ANY SHAPE OR FORM. Long story short, she calls me a bastard, says " you don't know who I am", and is going to report me to my Head of Unit, all because of my "attitude".

I gave her attitude, for sure. But in reaction to her rude comments. I didn't aim anything at her, but I gave back. I don't think I did anything wrong, neither do my registrars.

Who knows how the consultant will take it though. Who REALLY knows.

Thanks for the comment mate. As a final year student just remember... ENJOY THE LAST YEAR OF FREEDOM. I don't mean this in the negative sense of "your life will now be crap"... I mean, really, make your life for the next few months awesome.

You've made it into Melbourne Uni med. You have potential. Use that energy to "pimp" your life for the next few months.

Travel/exercise/hang out with friends/make new ones/hobbies(I went hard out in this department!).

You should value your time more than other humans. Make the best of it. No regrets.

Anonymous said...

I found this site after googling "I hate medicine" as well. I could have honestly written most of the above posts as they pretty much reflect my feelings as well.

The really sad part of my story is that I've been doing this for twenty-five years and have been hating it for almost the entire time. The work gets harder and the hours just get longer.

The relentless "on-call" commitments become very difficult to bounce back from in any meaningful way so that it seems that one is giving their best to their job and has nothing left when the day is done.

My advice...if you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, get out while you're young! I have only recently become debt-free and am actively searching for alternate employment. One thing I have learned is that money isn't everything and you WILL regret selling your soul for a few dollars.

Landscaping is looking pretty good...haha

Anonymous said...

I got here by typing "I hate residency" in google...
I can't believe there are so many people out there who feel as vehemently passionate on this subject as I do. I am 6 months away from completing OB/Gyn residency and sometimes I'm not sure I can live through it. Furthermore, I'm not sure I'll be able to stand working afterwards, For me the problem lies less with patients and their illnesses, although these can often be trying, but primarily in my colleagues and support staff. Is there a worldwide rule that doctors are poorly socialized beings and that training inevitably has to warp the participant?
It's incredib;y frustrating and the answers are all unsatisfying...

Anonymous said...

I changed specialties and did the Australia thing...nope...didn't make it better. I have given up on 'helping people'as most do not take responsibility for themselves anyway...COPD in chronic smokers, drug overdoses in heroin users and the chronically depressed, ACS in diabetics and hypertensives, trauma,stabbings,gunshots, or alcohol-associated RTAs etc. Given up on 'making a difference' And while it may be intellectually stimulating, it doesn't matter at the end of the day-medicine is about chronic illness, cancer and hereditary illnesses that you can do little about

Tired of working with people one would regard as 'intellectually inferior'aka nurses, managers, OT and physios who you must pretend to care about their opinion all under the umbrella of 'multidisciplinary team' Must not forget the social worker who attended university for 3 years only to ask a bereaved relative 'if there's anyone they can call', offer a tissue, cup of tea or no. to the nearest homeless shelter!

And its going to get worse with NP, protocol-driven policies, nurse initiated prescriptions etc.

Get out while you can

Anonymous said...

'20 years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. EXPLORE, EXPERIENCE, DISCOVER...

Mark Twain

Anonymous said...

Wow I too could have written all of the above comments and found it by typing in 'I hate medicine'.

It's probably a bit late for me to find and post on this site though. I hated medicine from day 1 of med school in the UK, and detested every moment of ward teaching and clinical work especially. I wondered how the hell I would be able to do the job, and ended up avoiding doing lots of things whilst still studying.

Miraculously I passed and graduated, but then the reality of having to decide whether to take up my junior doctor job beckoned...I knew that I REALLY did not want to do it, but I knew my parents were so proud of me and had been so good to me because I was going to be a doctor.

I went and started my job in August but left after a week. I know it's a silly amount of time, but to me I knew that I just had to get out. It wasn't leaving after 1 week, I left after 6 years and 1 week of medicine.

I am enjoying the freedom but still don't know what I actually want to do in life, but I don't really mind because I just know that I wasn't meant to work in medicine, or as a doctor anyway.

My family are really disappointed, which is the hardest part, plus the money issues. But one day something will come up I hope...I just keep wondering if I've done the right thing.

I wonder if things would have got better as the years went on, but I have read so many stories by doctors who thought just that - and things never did get better. So maybe getting out whilst I'm 24 is a good thing. Only time will tell.

Respect to everyone who is battling through the grief that is medicine. I understand completely how hard and unfulfilling it is to try and do well at a job that you just don't have the enthusiasm or conviction to succeed. Medicine ruined my life for 6 years and I am so glad to be rid of it - it completely changed me as a person and made me utterly miserable and miss out on so many opportunities because I was always so preoccupied with trying to pass everything.

Everything happens for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Love all the honesty above - thanks everyone.
I'm about to start my first job as a doc, and came into medicine froma previous 'normal' office career. Yes, I hate everything in medicine except the patients and the hope in the science.
Above all though, its other med students and 90% of docs who are up themselves and arseh***s. I am constantly planning my route out of medicine, but not without a fight first.
Medical bullies are my favourite, they are the truly sad, and I don't give a rats ar*e about my reference - I take great comfort in the earlier comment that Situations do not get you down, but your response does.
Stand up, say No, walk home with a smile on your face - and remember only word that matters, that they don't teach you at med school.....'Service'.

Dr Vegas said...

Time for a new list?

1) Get caned
2) You want an even number of points on your list, but I think point 1 should suffice.

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Anonymous said...

I did medicine because my parents are surgeons and I fucking hate it. People in medicine are backstabbing assholes. You get treated like shit 24/7. It's just not worth it. I'm in final med this year and I've had enough. I know I haven't worked or anything yet and this may sound premture but if i have to spend one more day in that fucking hospital i swear to god...

Anonymous said...

I hate residency, I took this up medicine because I loved science. BUt All I see is hypocrisy. I hate the atTending. Who are good on critiquing residents., and dont understand whaT their coments do to the reisdents. Do they understand the impact they make on the resident, I hate this funcking pLace I WORK IN. I HATE THE NEUROLOGY RESIDENCY. soem of the attendings need tp resign. PLs dont teach resident funcked up concepts... OH LORD deliver me from this shitty place.....

Anonymous said...

I hate residency, I took this up medicine because I loved science. BUt All I see is hypocrisy. I hate the atTending. Who are good on critiquing residents., and dont understand whaT their coments do to the reisdents. Do they understand the impact they make on the resident, I hate this funcking pLace I WORK IN. I HATE THE NEUROLOGY RESIDENCY. soem of the attendings need tp resign. PLs dont teach resident funcked up concepts... OH LORD deliver me from this shitty place.....

Anonymous said...

Hi all - I guess I might be the only non-med here. First of all, let me say I just want to give any one of you who'll take it a HUGE, bear hug! Please understand that even if your bosses/colleagues are backstabbing and evil, many of your patients DO appreciate a good doctor and you're here for us, not for the silly politics of your hospital/clinic etc.
To those who want to take their own lives, end marriages or anything else so final PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't do it. Nothing is worth that. Stop working right now. Take a long 6 month break, forget your debt and just rest! A lot of you sound so exhausted and you can't see things in the right perspective when you haven't slept for the better part of your 20s. There is an Eastern European proverb : When you have a lot to do, go to sleep.
It may not all be gone when you wake up but at least you will be rested.
Lastly, I'm almost 29 and wanted to do med for a long time but went into Finance instead. I found this site because I've been thinking about changing careers (back to med) but wanted to know the dark side of it. (Besides nothing much came up when I googled "I hate finance"...makes me wonder if I'm the only fool out there who hates finance...) Anyway, I just want to let you know that almost ANY career, any job, even the janitor/welder that you envy, has its dark side. Don't even get me started on Finance! However, when things like this happen (i.e. when life happens), you've just got to find a way to "manage" it. It might be a miniscule thing like just being calm enough and strong enough to know that life is large and what you're doing now is only a very, very small part of it. Please hold on to hope. Much love to you all. This is crazy and I'm not a trained professional at all but if anyone wants to chat: combat_wombat88@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I didn't realise this at the time but I totally just did medicine because my parents are surgeons too and I fucking hate it. I'm doing my finals at the moment and I just hate the hospital and every scumbag in it so much. So many people who work in hospitals are fucking assholes, a lot of them socially retarded doctors whose only sliver of self esteem stems from the fact that they've gone to medical school and so go around 24/7 talking in public about patients etc. They actually make me want to hurl. People bitch about each other and everyone else all the time, friends are hard to come by, everyone in the hospital treats you like shit, you begin to hate the person you've become because you're so crabby having spent all your time studying. I just fucking hate it, and I haven't even started working, which really scares me.

Anonymous said...

I am an intern sitting in the call room reading this on my iPhone. Any moment now I will get paged to go admit fake chest pain. Then tomorrow morning at morning report I'll get destroyed over whether or not I hemocculted the patient, or if I worked up their hyponatremia of 134.9!

I cannot describe how much I hate this. Moreover, I now hate pretty much EVERYTHING. It has toraly destroyed me. I have lost touch with almost all of my friends. I am grouchy and cynical all the time. I am completely imploding.

And I have $300k in debt so I can't quit.

If anyone out there is even thinking of med school DON'T DO IT!!! It is the worst mistake you could ever make.

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Anonymous said...

Well, first of all, since we're all sharing how we found this site. I typed in "i want to leave med school" on google, and I love what I found.

I'm a 2nd year med student, well actually I finished my first semester in the 2nd year and decided to take a break. Which, will force me to re-do the 2nd year all over again (Uni policy). So, I took a break to figure out what I want to do with my life... (Stay in med school OR leave it for something else), I remember that when I decided to leave med school I bowed to never come back. I hated it so much and I hated reading/memorizing/waking up at 6 am daily/listening to fuckin' lecturers talk shit every single day and knowing that I will forget all of that crap sometime later..

I've left my options a little open because I can go back and continue med school and i've also applied to Universities abroad to study other things..

However, i'm hesitating... Everyone looks to me like i'm some kind of god when I tell them i'm a med student,(which makes me think that I should be a doctor) and all i tell myself that moment is "What a fuckin' idiot, why does everyone who's non-medical think that?" ... I remember i used to hate every second of me being in med school. I never had the will to open a book and memorize, i never had the will to do anything, i felt empty and lifeless while i look at other non-medical students live their lives...

So I'm still on my break and I've completely changed or should i say (I'm me again!), i love hanging around and sleeping in late waking up at 12PM, watching movies, see my friends and family... I'm alive again, and I've fucking missed me!

Still, i haven't come up with a decision so far, as far as me continuing med school or traveling abroad for another major , i have been procrastinating the decision for so long and writing about my situation here is like i'm clearing some things up.

For all of you who hate where they're at right now, I say that nothing is worth it, never hold on to something that is ruining you or your life, nothing is worth it or worth your well being (we should know that since we're "doctors"!). So take a break, think about things and look at your life, do you like it? If not, get off your ass and do something about it! Seriously! What are you waiting for?




Mido

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Anonymous said...

As a family doctor in the US for the last 15 years, I want to quit too... I actually get paid a decent amount. I get home by 5:30. I only work 4 days a week. And my call is not too bad. So why am I thinking of quitting? Because I'm tired to being forced to see 25-35 patients a day. The reason I make a decent amount is because my organization forces me to see 25-35 patients a day. The reason that I get home by 5:30 is because I have forced myself to be incredibly efficient: I cut my patients off, I cut corners in documentation, I am basically a prick to my staff. Why? Because I want to spend time with my kids and wife! I don't want to be like my partners who are still in the office at 10:00 pm! That means that I only spend about 9 minutes per patient. Nice system! And the irony is that my job wants me to see MORE patients per day. After 15 years, I think it's time for something else... Time to get off the assembly line... And the really sad part is that I love my patients... I truly do...

Anonymous said...

Medicine is a braindead subject.Its not mathematics or physics where you need to reason.Just memorise loads of "facts" and keep updating that until the day you retire.To survive in this field you've got to develop a split personality.Go through the motions,follow the guidelines while at the same time being aware that its a load of bull!

Anonymous said...

I also googled "I hate residency." I hate my present situation. I always wanted to be a doctor. I decided to do my undergraduate work in nursing so that I could check out the hospital and get closer to what I would ultimately do. I landed a sweet job in nursing, just by being in the right place at the right time. I never should have left. Now, 8 years later, I am pennies from bankrupt, my kids are growing up into deadbeats, I am in the worst physical shape of my life, I live in a city where I know almost nobody and have absolutely no support, I still have another 18 months to go, and I might not get a job at the end of it all. If you count my undergrad training, medical school, and 6 yrs of residency, that's 13 bloody years of training. I love the patients and I love the idea of being good at what I do. The trouble is that I have completely lost my motivation to study and I believe that my skills and knowledge are regressing. What makes it worse is that I now have to give up the subspecialty that I have been striving toward all these years because there will be no jobs at my centre when I am done and I can't afford to/don't want to pick up and drag my poor family around to yet another city. I dread every day at work. And i dread every moment not at work even more - because if I'm not studying, I fill up with self-hatred and guilt. I haven't read a book in years. I can't spend an afternoon with my kids without worrying about what I really should be doing instead. My parents have given up on calling me because they know that I will never answer the phone. My husband doesn't even know me anymore. I hate who I have become and I hate what medicine has done to my life. I hope one day that I will look back on all this and say that it was worth it, but right now I have my doubts. Glad to know I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

To Combat Wombat - Thanks for your kind words about the work that we do. It is nice to hear from time to time that we are appreciated. Like so many others have posted, it is unusual for us to be praised, even when we do well. Medicine is a culture that encourages the berating of new blood while looking for flaws and weaknesses rather than building up strengths.

As for your own career choice, don't forget that many of the people posting here (myself included) are doing so when they are overwrought as a consequence of chronic sleep deprivation, constant stress, & persistent pressure to perform. Maybe things will get better after a few years of practice. I sure hope they do. I started medicine when I turned 30 and I frequently find myself saying that if I could do things differently in life, I would either start medicine at a younger age or not pursue it at all. The training takes away from you all of the things that you should be enjoying in the prime of your life. And you'll be working with people a decade younger than you are, many of whom have no commitments outside of medicine. It's hard to find support in that environment because they can't relate to you, nor can you to them. If I knew 20 years ago what I know now, I would have chosen a career that would allow me to work from 9-5 (or from 8-6 once in a while) and completely forget about my work in the evenings and on weekends (Hmm - maybe that would be a career in finance - do you want to swap diplomas?) With medicine, you are always on duty, even when you're away from the hospital. But it's easy for me to say this because I am doing what I always dreamed of doing. And it's hard to ask somebody not to follow their dreams. If you decide to give it a go, I hope that for you it will be a dream and not the nightmare that it is for so many of us.

Anonymous said...

You guys aren't alone:

http://socyberty.com/education/i-hate-medical-school-i-hate-medicine/

To those contemplating medicine: Just remember to do enough work experience before you embark upon a career you may later regret.

To those already in medicine: thoroughly research the options open to you, which are probably greater than you think and go for it. It's only a job at the end of the day, Fu*k it.

Anonymous said...

I just started a Training job as a specialty registrar in London. Sitting in the oncall room at 5 in the morning, bleep just gone off again. everytime it goes off, a piece of me dies. its been one of those soul destroying nights with 15+ admissions. i fucking hate this bullshit. I've worked so hard to get here, but this job makes me so sad. I want out. but letting people down, the fear of not knowing my options. i can't bare it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, writing from the U.S. Medicine sucks. All the bullshit you have to deal with in the form of unrealistic expectations from patients and administration. The mountains of pointless paperwork, the constant looming threat of litigation. Not to mention getting attitude from specialists and primary care providers at every turn (I work in the ER). I think back with irony to undergraduate when I secretly looked down on those pursuing a business degree. I thought "they're not smart enough to do anything else". Now, when I drive through the suburbs, on a beautiful weekend morning, as they sleep in, and I head to the ER to tend the anxious and addicted; I know who was really the smart one. Too bad I have so much time and money invested to change track when my young child depends on me for his future. Hope I can at least save enough for a quality retirement because that's the only chance for happiness in my future.

Anonymous said...

To the responder of Combat-Wombat,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience of having started medicine in the later years - I salute you for pursuing and realising what your dream. My gratitude also for pointing out some other salient points e.g. difficulties of relating to younger colleagues. My parent pointed out the exact same thing, along with the fact that by the time I'm done I will be far behind my age mates careerwise (both med and non-med) and very old compared to my colleagues. Well, well, well. Following a dream...and of course there's always the chance that it turns into a nightmare...All the same, if you're serious about swapping diplomas, I'll take you up! :) I can tell you though, after disgusting days at the office, I feel I'd rather have disgusting days at the hospital. Be blessed.

Anonymous said...

ok, i posted here a few years ago. 2 years to be exact. I found my post and it was followed by so many more. i am STILL in medicine, and i STILL want to leave. moving from SHO grade to registrar has made absolutely no difference in my thinking that this is probably one of the worst jobs in the world. It's no longer about helping people. it's no longer about doing what you can to make society a better place for all. ITS ALL ABOUT NOT GETTING UR ASS SUED TO F**K SO EVERYONE FROM CONSULTANTS TO JUNIORS MAKE S**T DECISIONS BASED ON MONEY AND PROTOCOL! Now i am almost on top of the food chain within the hospital, the educated decisions i have to make in milliseconds, at times, are under appreciated and, it has to be said, underpaid. DO NOT DO MEDICINE. it'll f**k up ur whole way of life - and psyche, for good. I have two small kids between then and now. I love my life outside my job. Life is a beautiful thing, but saving life in this climate is manufacture. "Daddy" is not going to push medicine. no frakkin' way. "Be anything kids, anything you like. Just don't become a doctor. you hate Daddy for a reason..."

Maryum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I googled "I hate medicine" and found it re-assuring yet depressing that I'm not the only one. But I really need to google "how to love medicine". I need a solution, really don't want to wallow in this feeling.

Anonymous said...

it's funny, as a pre-med student i saw all those doctors who were miserble and told me "whatever you do, don't go into medicine, you'll be miserable". And what do you think I did, went into medicine, and now i'm totally miserable.

Anonymous said...

In a way it is quite comforting to read some of the posts here. I believe after some time one starts to believe that they are alone in their contemplations or alone in their future outlook but the knowledge that there are others out there with the same notions makes it more bearable. I like many thought i would always be a doctor from a young age and i never thought of any other career path. Soon enough i was in school and i started my venture to becoming what i always dreamed of. I sat through the classes interested but not driven. i didnt pay too much attention to this because i thought "hey i will get to like it". Eventually i got to my clinical experience and my disinterest with the profession grew further, i began a downward spiral and for a time seemed to not be myself. The day to day felt more like something i just had to get through rather than something to experience. I think i fell in love more with the idea of medicine and its admiration by society more than its actual practice. This is something that asks for your whole being and i fear that the most. I am still pursuing this career but i do not foresee myself practicing. I feel that i am stuck in this though because i have no clue what else to do with my life but after much deliberation it seems like this is not it. At least i am not alone.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gang, Combatwombat again. I just had to share this, beleive me, it will make you feel WORLDS better!
I BEG (yes, BEG!) you to read this ONE (just one!) article from Dr D, sit back and regain your humanity! :)
http://askanmd.blogspot.com/2010/08/i-hate-medicine.html

amalakassogue said...

I am nearing the end of my 2nd year of medical school in Israel (a 4 year program) and I too must say that I hate it. My creativity and ability to think critically are being crushed. As an undergrad I studied philosophy and mathematics, and it wasn't until I volunteered in the Peace Corps in West Africa that I really even considered studying medicine. I am 31 now and have tried out many different avenues in the world outside of school. The decision to go to medical school was a logical one, though I feared from the start that I would go, take out loans, and then drop it just to prove that I could do it. My stubbornness often gets the better of me. My first year was miserable, like many of you I tried to memorize as little as possible to pass tests. Memorizing was something I always tried to avoid since it usually meant you didn't understand something, sound familiar? However, I decided to stick it out until I had completed the second year and taken the step 1 of the USMLE. That way I could take some time off to reassess the situation and if I wanted to I could also transfer schools to see if that made any difference. I left the US to go to school here since it was supposed to be a unique program in international health and I found the thought of studying medicine in the US too depressing. Luckily I got a scholarship to come here so I am not as badly in debt as I otherwise would be. That said I am still too far in the hole to go back to life as it had been before I decided to go to med school. What I wanted out of med school was something akin to an apprenticeship where you are mentored in art of medicine by someone who actually cares and thinks of you in a way was their posterity. Not happening. Clearly the doctors here think that we are all going to leave after they teach us and show little interest in actually sharing their skills and passions with us. The whole environment reeks of the suck it up attitude, which is funny since the application process for medical school focuses so much on commitment to helping and caring for people. In many ways med school makes medicine out to be one of the least caring professions, minus the caring for one's own ego which sometimes feels like the only thing you can cling to. What I wonder is, has medicine always been this way or has it become this way because people like us decide to ditch it? Usually I just feel like I don't fit in and why force a round block through a square hole. However, reading accounts like yours encourages me. I've found that a great deal of work satisfaction comes from those with whom you work. If there are enough people out there struggling through what seems to be this man made hell, maybe we can unmake it.

Anonymous said...

you guys can guess what i googled... it's great to hear i'm not alone in my dislike for this CRAP profession.. feeling much much better after reading all of the above LOL

Anonymous said...

Six years later and we fools are still plodding onward. It is only worsening but most of us don't see an acceptable alternative. Do I really have to dehumanize my patients and stop giving them compassionate care just to get by? I feel my heart calcifying with each commission and omission of cynicism to which I capitulate. I haven't been able to delude myself with self-justification or rationalization. How cheaply did I sell my soul?

Anonymous said...

read 'a new earth' by eckhart tolle. some people hate him but some of you may find it helps..alot

East Asia Team said...

I'm a 4th year American med student. From reading your comments and from my own experience, it seems perspective is everything. When I look at people my age going on ski trips, hanging out at the lake, and starting families, and being naively positive about the world I compare my studious, hoop jumping life and start to hate it.

Then I think about all the cool things I get to do and see each day and actually contribute to people's well being in a very real and personal way. How many people love their job? The price we pay for having a meaningful, stable job is we have to work long and hard at it. The beach bum, travelling wanderer life is not accessible to most people and since I'm one of those who's going to have to work hard to live, I'd rather be doing medicine than 90% of the other jobs out there.

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm from the UK and am considering medicine. I didn't make my offers but have a offer for biomedical sciences degree. Is medicine really as tough and shitty as what these posts say? Should I take a gap year and reapply or do biomedical and get a job / do law / become a teacher? I NEVER realised how hard medicine is. Someone should post a link to this blog on the student room so wannabe medicine applicants know what they're letting themselves in for :/ Thank u all for opening my eyes to the reality of medicine.

Anonymous said...

I too googled "I hate medicine." There are so many of us actually googling this- crazy. I graduated in June in the US, have huge loans and am trying to get it together to apply for internship next year. I have huge loans, would rather do something else but I am told having a license wil increase my options.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone, have to say that stumbling across this collective rant has made me feel much better about everything, especially the comment 'it's only a job at the end of the day.' It's so easy to lose perspective and see your 'career' as the be all and end all when it really is not.

I am a UK doctor. Did well at medical school, graduated at the top of my class, speak a few different languages fluently and am a writer as well as a doctor. But what does all that matter when you are working weeks of up to 100 hours and being treated like a piece of shit by both other doctors and patients alike? I think the worst part for me has always been looking at doctors who are further up the career ladder than me and seeing how miserable, stressed and unfulfilled they look.

After working my first year as a doctor (and feeling suitably crushed and dumbed down by the experience), I left the UK for a year out to try and get a job in another European country where doctors are paid less but have a better work-life balance. And I think that leaving at that point was the right thing to do. I was burnt-out, tearful and had, to my horror, stopped caring about the patients. I had lost all of my interests, hobbies and self esteem. For one reason and another (i.e. economic meltdown in Europe) it looks as though I will be back in the UK before long, but I am now feeling more confident and ready to work in medicine on my own terms. It's only a job.

To everybody who is despairing about their careers: don't. I know it's easy enough for me to say, and I know that I have spent enough time despairing about it myself over the past few months. But listen. You are not just some other guy looking for a job. You are a medic. And look at all of the skills that you have picked up on the way through your medical career. You are, by definition, great at communicating (in some REALLY difficult situations), great at working under pressure, coordinating, team working, withstanding the utter, soul-crushing monotony of immunology lectures and a whole host of other things. Who wouldn't want a former doctor as an employee?

The way I have come to see it, being a doctor isn't a dead-end. It's a great beginning to whatever you choose to do with your time.

Oh, and a word of advice to all of the med students out there. Make friends with the cleaners, nurses, janitors and dinner ladies at your hospital. These are the nicest people in the building and are the ones who will keep you sane and give you a cup of tea and a hug when you are on call and stressed out of your mind. Take the other doctors with a pinch of salt.

Good luck everyone.

h a r i z, H said...

Arghhh! Such a great site. I'm now in 3rd year, 6 yrs total. repeated 2nd year.

I'm in a fucked up situation. I'm on scholarship, full sponsored. Everyday, I'm thinking of quitting. Every single frickin' day. I hate the subject, I hate the way u should study. What the fuck? Memorizing multiple thick frickin' hard cover books? Damn, that's not a good way to challenge ur brain other than to test ur memorization.

I want to do Maths. I want to study Maths. But I got too good result in high school that every single person in my country told me to study medicine. What dumb fucks!

If I quit now, I'll be in such a big debts. 150k usd. I need to bear 3 yrs and half more if I dont want to get out from debt.

I'm a nerd.(cool nerd, I guess as I dress well and hit gym) I like studying and reading. But I dont like this way to use my brain!!! Memorizing fuckin phonebook!

h a r i z, H said...

Arghhh! right now, all of my colleagues look at me as if I'm a stupid kid. I got full scholarship, u dumbasses. But I hate the subjects!! argh!!

h a r i z, H said...

I love Maths. I'd love to invent and go to Engineering. I love finance and economics. And I'm stunned by game theory. Any suggestion for this poor lad, from u people out there?

My parents keep telling me, just stay for a little while and graduate, and next, do whatever u want.

I'm 21 years old already. I dont want to have a late start in my life. I dont really mind working 16 hrs a day, if it is something I really love. BUT MEDICINE? ARGHHH!

ricardo said...

dear mr. H.... i'm trying to understand your condition right now...and what can i say is that, practically speaking ,i would advice to just study well and complete your studies.

now , don't mistake me as one of those who's trying to talk you into doing something you don't love...i mean..if you're not on that scholarhip or maybe u came from a super rich family, i'll be definitely advising u you to quit meds and go pursue what your heart desire.

i'm trying to be realistic here...u had quite an amount spent on that scholarship of yours plus u're half way there!so, i do agree with your parents..they are just being realistic and practical.u , on the otherhand, i believe,are slightly confused.just finish meds and then do whatever u want.

so,don't be selfish...it's just 3 years..it's not like u're gonna have a LAAATE start in ur life..there are people taking their degrees in their 30's ...so,keep it up bro!chill :)

ps: believe me... i think when u've became a great inventor years later and u're lookin back at your life...u'll never regret the fact that u've completed those 3 years !...this is what i believe..the choice is still yours doc..:)

h a r i z, H said...

thanks ricardo. but am i being ridiculous if i'm saying that i dont want to be good but want to be great thus i need to dropout. I mean, i do really envy people my age, achieved big stuff. i used to believe that i can do something great like that, but one day i took the wrong turn and end up in this hell. :(

h a r i z, H said...

but then i guess that's depression and emotion talking, bam.

Anonymous said...

Hi, never posted on a blog before. I am an fy2 in scotland, i trained late after a different career. I am finding it so hard having no life and am totally fed up with medicine. I also lack confidence and dont think I'm any good at it anyway. No idea what to do as I need to support my family...oh dear...least I'm not alone I guess....

Anonymous said...

After finishing medical school I did family medicine residency and I hate it.


In my country (Colombia) you don't get paid during the residency. I mean zero, nothing. Moreover you must pay a very expensive fee to the university.

So I ended up living with my parents during those 3 years.

Now I have finished my training, I see one stupid patient with sore throat after another 17 with the same damn thing.

Underpaid, bored...

I fuckin'hate medicine!

Anonymous said...

Consultant for 11 years now. My advice to you given that it is established you really hate your job.

Checklist. Is the real reason for the nausea you feel each morning when you are going to work due to

1. the hospital?
2. your colleagues?
3. the specialty?
4. the hours?



1. Is it the hospital? - some hospitals particularly 'flagship' london hospitals are rotten to the core with corrupt senior managers and self serving clinicians running them as personal fiefdoms. It is all about them and their platinum and gold awards....consider moving......you are probably too good for them (or you can always whistle blow!)

2. colleagues? this is down to luck but a poisonous hospital environment can bring out the worst in people...people come and go and you can sit it out or move.

More sensitive and gentle souls can get trodden on unless you are lucky to catch the attention of a kindly mentor who will look out for you. This is harder these days because the chap who would have in the old days looked out for you is probably now too busy trying not to get stuffed by his managers and colleagues.

3. specialty? relatively easy to change at any age.

4. hours? consider going part time and accept a drop in pay

Ultimately, if changing all the above doesn't work, then leave medicine lock stock. Don't look back. No matter what age or how much time you've put in. Each day you salvage of your life from this point on is a gift that otherwise you would have squandered.

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Anonymous said...

i have no idea if anybody even looks here anymore... but i typed i hate medicine into google and came across this.

i'm in 3rd year clinical clerkships in canada right now and You know what, i dont even know who i am anymore, i dont know what the fuck i wanna do with my life.

Before med school, I was passionate, I had friends, I did so many cool extra-curriculars and leaderships that I was passionate about. I had a burning passion to get into medical school, and I felt DRIVEN.

now I don't have any of that. Pre-clinical was horrible, every single fucking hour in that lecture hall and every single fucking hour in the anatomy lab I wanted to drill a nail through my skull. I barely passed the exams, i did study, but who the hell knows what the third most common cause of an obscure symptom is? Seriously WHO THE FUCK MEMORIZES the order of a list of causes? I don't know... I know what common causes are but not what the specific third most common cause of something is...

now i'm in clerkship (clinical). And you know what, I enjoy parts of it, but most of the time I feel completely useless. I dont understand why I'm even around 4 am - 8 pm everyday. I'm completely useless. The nurses ask me questions - how the fuck do I know why Mr. Smith's bloodpressure is high? Did he take his medicine? O no, he didn't? Well that's why - doesn't take a genius to discover this.... medicine is completely unintellectual. It's just memorizing a bunch of random facts tied to a condition and learning to recognize it. A computer could do my job better than me.

Then there's applying for fucking residency spots. Getting reference letters, etc. How am i supposed to get reference letters - none of my preceptors even know me. I work with them for what 3 hours? They occasionally say hi to me? They circle random numbers on my evaluation and tell me i'm "keen, hard-working, interested" like every other fucking clerk drone out there.

I've lost myself, I dont know what i want to do with my life. I just wish i didn't have to decide. I wish I could just get away and do something else for a while. I have no passion for life anymore. I can't even force myself to wake up in the mornings anymore - the only reason I can force myself to wake up is because someone is going to ass-rape me if I don't. I don't give a shit about work, I don't give a shit about patients. I don't want to stick a finger up some dirty dude's bum just to make sure they aren't bleeding, because you know what, I just don't care anymore. I don't have passion anymore... I lost that flame. Now I'm just a wandering drone..... I don't even know where to turn.. the only reason I'm still here is because I don't have a passion for anythign else... and well... I need a job, so what the fuck else am i going to do?

Everyday I get off work, I just go home and sleep or I play computer games, I can't even motivate myself to leave my fucking chair anymore....

Anonymous said...

Have you considered taking a gap year next year? Admin tends to try to dissuade students from doing this unless they are going to dedicate themselves to research or something of that nature, but it can be done nonetheless and it is becoming increasingly more popular for students to do this (at least in the US). I am taking next year off (between my 3rd and 4th year of a 4 year program) and it is bringing a lot of perspective to my current year. A huge problem in medical school is that if you start to lose steam, focus, ambition, etc. there is little if any time to analyze what is going on and take steps to recover. You are always trying to avoid one ravine or another and it is very hard to find time of the peace of mind to sit on the mountain top and reflect on life. Suppression and repression with the hope that things will just "work out" in the end tends to become the mantra. If nothing else, taking a year to do something different would allow you to unplug from this madness and reassess what is going on in your life. I hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Reading all these posts strangely made me feel much better. It's great to know that I'm not the only one feeling this way.
I just graduated recently and started my house job and omg! I HATE IT! I hate getting bitched at for no reason. But the worst is being on call! I just wish I could go home and sleep on my bed and not be in the hospital anymore. I really care abt my patients, unlike my other colleagues, but I feel I'm slowly losing that. And I fear that I'll become completely apathetic and cold like most other doctors I know.
I actually do enjoy medicine. But I just hate the long work hours. And not having time for anything else! I'm so disillusioned. I wish I knew how medicine truly was before I got into it. Then maybe I would have gone into dentistry? I don't know. Medicine is just glorified way too much and it takes way too much out of you. I don't want to sacrifice my family life for a career. I want to get married end of next year and I want to be a great wife mother and doctor. But I don't think medicine will let me do that.
And it's too late for me now. I've invested too much time and money to back out of this now. My only hope is to get into a speciality with shorter work hours and no nights. Is that even possible?
Someone posted higher up that anesthesia is good in this regard. Maybe I'll look into that.
Just 3 mths of house job have made me so depressed and I sometimes hate myself! I don't want to be like this for the rest of my life.
I really need some solution!!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the frankness of this site, and yet beneath my guffaws, my cackles is a sadness, a darkness, a weeping cooing child...


I love aspects of medicine, it's cool to treat people, to be close to people and make some difference. It's not cool to work like a dog to get by, on pay not being all that much (despite societies pre-conceptions), on yadee yadee yadeeyaaa....

I am starting my 2nd year as a Junior doctor after 5 years training from London. So many of what you guys are saying i.e. the soulessness, the lack of enjoyment, the desparation, the bleak future is something that resonates.

Therefore I too have been considering out for a while... BUT IT IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE ISN'T IT?!

I particularly liked the consultant of 11 years' comment with the checklist criteria to decide if you should leave.


Personally, I am putitng my egg in the Australia basket and have primed my family and friends to that. I feel that quitting medicine (though very tempting) is maybe too big a deal and maybe Australia's grass is greener...

I have fantasies of being a really cool/good personal trainer and fantasies of being back with my beautiful, cool, stunning, fun ex-girlfriend not breaking up with her because I have a job that I can give her more of the time she deserves.. (dont cry for me Argentina)


Anyway, I sympathesise with the mood of one and all and yes it felt good to vent here in the library of the hospital I am "contracted" to, this site has made me laugh and smile :)

So peace and love and I wish you all the best, whatever paths you choose
go on have a little kiss x

Anonymous said...

I am a junior doctor in Australia and I can assure anyone considering the "australia option" that the landscape here is no bed of roses. I'm sure it's still better than life as a junior doctor in the NHS based on the stories I've heard but the direction things are starting to take now points that we are very rapidly heading towards the exact same situation that is taking place in the UK.

For a start, pay here in the public system is depressingly low (considering an administrative ward clerk earns double what junior doctors do, and tradie jobs pay hourly rates more that I will ever be able to achieve).

I spend most of my time working in the Emergency Department. I work 10 days a fortnight, 3 of those nights, at least 2 weekends and out of my 4 days off, I lose 2 to recovering after night/late shifts. I don't get to see my friends or family and all for $35 an hour ($1200 a week after tax). I do NOT get paid for any overtime I do.

I'm sure any junior doctor knows the bane that is nursing staff and that problem is no different in Australia. In fact the problem here is probably worse as nursing staff in general have a lot more power than in most other places - this is because most departments now are essentially run my nurse directors/unit managers.

In fact, the health provider in my state has recently cut all junior doctors salaries and frozen this for the next 3 years (no apparently inflation doesn't exist in the world of junior doctors). If things go the health system's way, consultants will very soon be forced to work 1 week of nights a month on the floor; so looks like even the long term picture is depressing.

I'm seriously considering doing something else completely, or at the very least moving into something where I can work in the private system.

Good luck guys!

Anonymous said...

Haha! Just read some of these comments and it's good to hear people feel the same as me. I'm sure it's been said somewhere in there that for anyone thinking of doing medicine...DON'T. It has completely and utterly ruined me. What I wouldn't give to go back to when I first decided to do this shit and stop myself. All that wasted time and effort for nothing. People suck. They're not worth helping. Let them die and save yourself. Don't waste another second of your precious life caring about them. Don't listen to anybody who tells you to do medicine, or carry on as a doctor if you don't want to. Nobody owns your life except you. I learned this the hard way. Don't make the same mistake I did. It will not get better. Believe me. I wasted years thinking it would get better and it never does. Just cut your losses and walk away and enjoy the rest of your life.

GasMan14 said...

Wow. The first, second and third times I Googled "I hate being a doctor" or similar, this site didn't come up. It is a relief to know I'm not crazy for feeling all of the things described above at one point or another. Yet it's also very dark to think that our choice of career, which we all entered with some sense of altruism, has driven us to this.

I'm a UK doctor and already took the plunge and left clinical medicine 5 years ago. I worked for big pharma, then a small medical devices company. (For anyone considering - there are very good things about going down this path to a job in industry, but it isn't for everyone.) Yes there are idiots and pen-pushers in all walks of life - they are inescapable. But once all the stress and pressure and all of the above had washed away after a couple of years, I began to really enjoy life.

Time away from books, exams, reading papers, trying to devise papers purely to "get a publication", attending courses in spare time, yet more CV buffing, the next job application, proving ourselves for the umpteenth time, unnecessary audits and hoop-jumping. Why do we make our lives so bloody difficult as doctors? My wife has asked me this - she is doing very well for herself in another career, and has none of this. She works hard, but when she is home it is her time. As it should be, when we go home we should see our families, spend time with friends, sit in the sun, go for country walks, play music and drink beer.

Whilst I was out everyone said I was a different person, and I felt it. I came back two years ago, partly out of a sense of guilt and partly out of the need to complete "unfinished business". I was cleansed, happier, stronger and wouldn't have the same issues would I? Medicine was a good career and people were deserving of the care they received weren't they?

Two years back, bolted into a specialty training programme as a registrar and now I have reverted to where I was. I am sure my wife wouldn't even look at me sideways if we were to meet for the first time tonight, except we wouldn't meet tonight as I have no social life. Medicine sucks all that is good from you in the struggle to deal with the pressure and stay afloat. I now have moments where I hate all of humanity and resent them for keeping me awake at night. Patients, noctors, idiot managers, pen-pushers. Being surrounded by colleagues we are supposed to admire, yet I would hate to become. Sallow, hypercritical, dull people with personality disorders and OCD. Clustering around the foot of the bed talking about the patient as if they can't hear, pontificating about minutiae which will make no difference to survival from the god-awful iatrogenic mess that they have been placed in. Loving the sound of their own voices whilst regurgitating something they read once. The mighty egos failing to accept facts that our "life-saving treatments" haven't worked and that the demise of the patient is inevitable. Continuing at all costs when we should be palliating, cravenly fearful of litigation and thus failing patients in their final tortured hours, failing to uphold the most basic remit of a doctor, to relieve suffering.

Yet to stay on this path leads to me becoming one of them. The subject matter is plain dull, memorise the list and don't dare question those above who don't actually understand the underpinnings of the protocol. It is getting worse, all that looms is resident on-calls as a subconsultant lapdog. I am leaving again and never looking back. Find your passion and get out or you will always regret it. For all of you, there is hope out there. Best of luck

Anonymous said...

I love this site. I found it at a time I really, really needed it; post weekend nights after 2 prior days on-call. I'm exhausted and demoralized. I absolutely hate the post take ward round! I used to have a sharp analytical mind, be confident and creative, inspired to learn and full of energy and drive. How have I gone from being a straight a student to feeling like the most worthless, stupid person around? I hate the hospital work environment, with the bitchy nurses, the sarcky ward clerks, the cold/distant registrars, the sour, hyper-critical consultants. Does anyone have anything nice to say about anyone? I mean, FUCK! Perhaps I chose the wrong career- Im too meek, I hate confrontation and I don't respond well to aggressive behaviour. My self esteem has plummeted to all time lows. 13hr shifts with 1 10min guilt-ridden break. Nothing is ever right. Everyone is looking for someone to bully. I leave on-calls feeling like shit. I feel sick just before them. I'm so often unstimulated and frustrated by the list of abstract facts we need to learn.All the hours spent working, that leave little space to acknowldege that you are alive... The unrealistic expectation- I have been a doctor for a bloody year- thats it! I feel like quitting. so often. too often. But I'm afraid I don't know how to quit anything. I'm trapped. I just have to keep fishing myself from the edge. Try not to drown in the negative feelings. Try to toughen up and not be such an "easy target" constantly afraid of the nhs sharks. Hope one day I don't die of unhappiness. Glad to hear that I'm not alone though :) Ijust want to be around happy people wo are nice to eachother and nurture eachothers strengths tomake something beautiful. Instead my soul is being destroyed.I miss my gap year days... meditating, reading literature, exploring... not feeling guilty for not spending every spare studying for ridiculous exams that are no realistic reflection of the boring,mundane, routine admissions we have and trying to fill the bottomless pit of never knowing enough because the joke is the "knowledge base" of the bottomless pit is set to always trigger dissatisfaction and inadequacy.I feel relieved to have ranted but now i feel guilty for offloading so much negativity like some of the patients that walk in moaning that there lives are so unbearable they cannot cope in the real world and want to keep me up at 3am, crying for help with their bullshit faux suicide attempts and boderline personlities. Right, must try to be more positive. Thank for this therapeutic rant.

Anonymous said...

hi, im a junior doc, and i feel the same... too much pressure at work, with the senior docs and specialist shitting on u the whole day.. no time for personal life.. im just too tired after work that i sleep most of my free time... we r expected to advice a healthy regular diet and exercises, but i dont have time to eat properly( especially when im on call) and i dont have time for exercise.. NO social life, no nothing...i Hate my job...

Anonymous said...

I am currently in the first year of med school in the UK and all I can say is that it is by far the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life. I am constantly ill because the workload is too stressful, we are forced to memorise so many useless things and devote out entire lives to a cause which doesn't really reward at all. Worst of all, I CAN"T REMEMBER THE "FACTS," sorry it is actually "understanding." I can't imagine it getting any better only worse, at least right now I have somewhere to live. Have to commute ages to get to lectures and I don't learn anything in them, complete waste of time. The structure of the course and lecturers are terrible. Being a medical student is a miserable way to spend your life, the future career too. To the others out there, please do something for yourself, you can be so much more happy and successful in another field, don't sacrifice your life for something not worth sacrificing (i.e. in vain).

HEED MY ADVICE!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree, medicine is shit hole. 2nd year resident, quitting soon!

Shipman said...

I am a 3rd year, with a reflective essay to write thats due in in 5 hours. Fuck this fucking shit. perWhenever i look at my news feed, my non-medic friends are partying and shagging girls or surfing in indonesia or skiing.
I'm going to finish my degree, maybe get through foundation school, and after that I have a few options:

Drop out and go surfing
Drop out and become a ski bum
Join the marines and fuck shit up

Anonymous said...

I am an Intern in South Africa. I hate it. I have 8 calls a month. I have one weekend off the entire month. I have to deal with chronically ill children, uneducated patients and Aids and TB that hang over my head if i make the slightest mistake. I get told what I do wrong all day. I work with a bunch of incompetent nurses that do nothing. I have to see to a minimum of 40 patients per day and even more when i'm on call. I feel like I am becoming more and more depressed and irritable every day. Our health system sucks and you have never got stock to do what you need to do for your patients. Patients are abusive and I fear for my life in our hospital sometime as there is no security. I was bitten so badly bu fleas in the on call room that it looks like i have chicken pox.

One evening while on call i asked myself why am i doing this to myself. I have no life and i want to kill myself. Then i realised i dont have to do this to myself. I resigned the next day and Im starting my studies in Engineering in a week. I cant wait to have a life again.

Anonymous said...

And of the above thats 8 times 36 hr calls. 120 hours of overtime where i get paid for fourty. Patients that are so uneducated that giving them medicine is pointless cause they wont use it anyway. Real threat of getting hiv cause 40 percent of poeple here are positive. Babies that have kwashiorkor cause their parents cant afford to feed them, politicians that steal money from the healthcare system that i have to pay tax for. Sometimes not getting paid for months at a time cause there is no money apparently but the president builds a 200milloin rand house. Working in filthy and unsafe environments with equipment from 1970. Living in such a violent place where stabbings, shootings and rape become normal. Having to deal with death every day. Being scared of getting TB. Having to deal with language barriers ( we have eleven languages and i speak two) Poeple expecting you to perform miracles. Trying to do your job properly when you have incompetent colleagues, no money and you have 40 other poeple to see. And the worst of all is actually trying to care about your patients. Maybe it would be easier not to give a crap but i wouldnt be able to live with myself if i were like that. All of this and i still get told bu the government where i must work for the first 3 years of my job- getting sent away from my life. Being alone and hopeless and having no life. Sometimes i envy the patients who die and i think that that must be a sweet relief to just go peacefully. Luckily i am getting out. It is not an easy thing to do especially of there is some aspects of it that you like, poeple trying to convinvce you to stick around cause they do not want to suffer alone and you are leaving them with even more work. But still- i cant wait to be myself again. I used to be a positive and bright person. I can only hope that i can get some of that back.

Anonymous said...

ha ha, seems I'm not alone either.

I recently started work in the busiest emergency department in my state, in Australia. Problem is, it is about the size of some of the smaller departments. The place is almost over-run. It is sometimes not even possible to find a computer to check labs or a desk space to write notes.

The SES of our patients is exceedingly low.

We've been introduced to the four hour rule in this country, which, despite being a failure in the NHS, is championed by the people who obviously know the most about medical practice at the coal-face - buerecrates.

My consultants are often more concerned about "what's happening" with my patients (i.e. have they been referred or are they going home) than the nuances of their care, and whether it is being delivered.

I used to love articulating the issues of my patients, and initiating care, to then hand it over to the inpatient teams. It now drills down to some simple heuristics to determine the destination of a patient. How boring and meaningless.

I recently took time off to locum, last year, which was a rewarding and financially lucrative experience. It provided me time to gain some perspective. Funny though, how the motivation to study, on my well earned time off, overwhelmed me into spending a month buried in the bookds. I could have been doing a multitude of other things.

This culture supports personality disorders and bullies. Recently walked into the department to have a total stranger rudely demand to know who I was. I somewhat, and reactively, aggressively sounded my name, followed by a "who are you?". "WELL, I'M THE CONSULTANT", "START SEEING PATIENTS!". Wow, there aren't many professions that exist that would support such narcissistic, practically antisocial behaviour. But, we continue to simply bear it.

We've a roster system that sees me working practically every weekend for a month, to then have 2 off in the next. We have 3 days off a week, but the prior shift will always be an evening, or a night, so the first day is usually spent tired, or in bed.

I treated a stoic, gentle, african man last night who had been significantly assaulted. We discharged him to catch a train home in blood soiled clothes and no shoes. When I started to enquire about the potential for shoes (i.e. from lost property, from somewhere) a nurse indignantly replied "we don't give out shoes HERE". I can understand if it simply wasn't possible. But the fact it seemed such a trivial inquiry, that one might struggle to lift someone's dignity, was simply chilling. The nurse was young too, not jaded and older.

Despite all of this, I get a buzz out of the opportunity to employ my intelligence and empathy to help people. It just seems that the system is squeezing out my ability to do so. At least in ED. It's hard to sometimes feel in the minority. It's hard when the minority seem so burnt out.

I'm starting to feel that medicine may not necessarily be for those who fundamentally care about people. Many of those who succeed seem to be the less empathetic, harder, more opportunistic?

At least for ED in Australia, our ability to provide good care is waning. As for me, I suppose I'll find my way into family practice, but the shackles exist there too.

Perhaps I'll locum more to make coin and invest in something I can care about more, or that doesn't punish me for caring.

Thanks for the rant...

Anonymous said...

I suggest do NOT be a family doctor, try to specialize instead.
Or else you will be hounded by your nightmare patient for life until you resign or retire.
Being specialist, you only focus on the area of concern being the reason for the referral. Although you still need to understand the patient as a whole, it is significantly less pain in the neck. And you can always discharge or sign off the case or refer to colleagues for second opinion.
The best thing is- you tend to deal with their psychosocial issues less than a family doc.

Anonymous said...

I believe that's why he DOES want to get into family medicine. You deal with patients as a person rather than just one aspect of their health, or one part of their body.

Anonymous said...

So have just spent the morning reading through these comments...

ED doctor a few posts back - I COMPLETELY understand where you are coming from. The ED where I work at the moment is an utter mess. 4 hour rule makes it worse.

Listen; I don't want to whinge. Our overseas colleagues have it MUCH MUCH worse. But I am too old to be treated like shit at the bottom of the scrapheap.

I am also none too happy to be working with emotionally stunted perfectionists who have to compete over every little nuance of a case presentation or a consultation style or well whatever. I'm over them.

Quite simply - I hate hospital medicine and hate the people who, with their ultracompetitive nature, thrive in this environment which is seemingly hostile to all that is soft and kind and is instead geared to 'patient turnover' rather than patient care.

I could imagine myself in private practice quite readily; however in order to get there you have to put up with 5-6 years of hospital bullshit (ie indentured labour) in order to get your letters.

The only other alternative is General Practice. But sitting in an office all day by yourself??

About five years ago I did a short stint in a GP office as part of my degree. The GP registrar had literally the ugliest 90s shoes I can ever recall seeing. I realised that she hadn't been shoe shopping for about 10 years. I should have got out then.....

Anonymous said...

I'm a 3rd year (out of 6) medical student studying in the UK. I fucking hate this degree and everything about it. On paper, it sounds like a beautiful thing; you get to help people and all that malarkey. But in reality you're treated with contempt daily, from colleagues, patients and the media. And shit, you study for so many fucking years, sit so many soul destroying exams, go through so much difficulty and quite the compensations not enough- we should be the richest in the world! Or atleast the most well compensated professionals! Yet we all start of ridiculously in debt and anyone studying a modestly compensated degree is on the ladder climbing pay scales 3 years earlier so is bond to be ahead! We're told repeatedly, don't go into medicine for the money, healthcare sector and physician's salaries are always undergoing cuts; why wasn't I advised as a young naive kid I could do better in other industries with an equivalent amount of work?

We're supposed to be professionals, highly educated ones at that and we're treated like dogs. I despise the endless studying, it's never enough. You can never know 'all' of medicine, the info is infinite and your time and energy aren't; and when you hate what you're studying it really can't get any more difficult to internalise and be passionate about what you're learning! It's endless stress!

I want to work, I want to work harder than I've ever worked and be disciplined like no-one else. This should warrant equivalent compensation, as seen in the financial sector. I want to work like a lunatic during my youth, and drop the BS as I get older. Fuck ward rounds and having to put my finger up people's asses when 'I'm at the top'.

I swear to God I'm going to make it, and I pray he grants me success. I can't take the mediocrity of this lifestyle and the slave style work anymore. As much as I try, I'm not succeeding in this field, how can one who feigns interest top those that live, sleep and dream about this career? So many would stab you in the back to get ahead, and really I'm not that eager to stick a tube up someones dick (called catheterisation) or do some other shitty procedure. I'm going to set up a business and be self employed one day. Perhaps someone in the pharmaceutical industry will save me and offer me a job. But for now it's back to the books. Fuck life as a medic.

Anonymous said...

Hi, could you share with us where you are now and if and how you found your way out?

Gutterdoc said...

The system told me that I'm garbage. I have no reason to disbelieve that.

I just don't fit in. I've been shoved into the dark corner, like a freak.

I am a freak of nature. Sent to the distant netherregions to tend the fort with other desperate slaves.

I never failed an exam, never had remediation, never was poorly evaluated. Now I am garbage.

Anonymous said...

I'm lying here unable to sleep. Have OSCEs in 6 weeks, EMQs and Ethics in 7. Have to write an essay and complete several clinical skills tasks by the end of next week. In trying to prepare for the above tasks I haven't been attending wards and clinics that much, which puts me at risk of not being signed off, and having to repeat the rotation over summer. As well of course the impending risk of having to retake exams. FUCK THIS LIFE. This career has ruined me.

Anonymous said...

I'm lying here unable to sleep. Have OSCEs in 6 weeks, EMQs and Ethics in 7. Have to write an essay and complete several clinical skills tasks by the end of next week. In trying to prepare for the above tasks I haven't been attending wards and clinics that much, which puts me at risk of not being signed off, and having to repeat the rotation over summer. As well of course the impending risk of having to retake exams. FUCK THIS LIFE. This career has ruined me.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to so much that people have said here. I enjoy the patient interaction and the work itself. But I hate not having any life outside medicine. I feel like a slave in the NHS.....an unappreciated slave. You get criticism at the drop of a hat, but no appreciation or gratitude from anyone. It's very demoralising. I wanted to be an obstretician but decided to have a life and be a GP instead. I'm so glad I chose GP- I love it, the variety of the work and the flexibility.

Anonymous said...

This has been a very sobering and in a strange way comforting thread of comments for me to read. I am currently 1 week away from finishing my third year of medical school and I am miserable. Its almost sad really, I have known I didnt love medicine since probably my first year of medical school (I hated our anatomy class but I did enjoy our biochem and physiology classes, more because we actually had to think a little). I figured it would get better, everyone is like "oh everyone hates first year but second year you learn about diseases its more relevant and better" nope, I liked some of it but really most of it was just a chore but everyone says, "oh don't worry once you get in the clinical years it gets worlds better" so I go through third year, I didn't mind some of the rotations (peds was fun tolerable and neurology was interesting...from an academic standpoint, the daily grind of treating patients was incredibly exhausting. somethings though like surgery and OB/GYN were just miserable and made me question everything about my life) yet still I hate the hours, I hate going in at 5 am when the rest of the world is asleep, I hate coming home sometimes at like 5:30 but other times like 9 or 10 pm. I get to eat dinner and watch maybe something on TV then fall asleep (keep in mind its like 11-midnight at this point and no way can I get adequate sleep at this poiint...keep in mind i'm supposed to be studying at some point...). Then I have to just turn back and do it again. I feel absolutely miserable because I'm sleep deprived and my diets gone to shit. I am still in good shape because I force myself to workout but it just takes away from time I should be studying. Every since medical school started I have felt dragged in like 300 directions, I would get like 1 million emails/day and I would be expected to not only study for tests but get involved in research and volunteer. Seriously no one can do all the crap they expect of you in a given day. I started medical school at 23 (I am now 26), and at 23 I loved my life, I took a year off after college lived at home with my parents for a bit and reconnected with old friends, traveled, made new friends in different countries, I was finally starting to experience life (sheltered middle class white american who went to a private liberal arts college in the middle of no where), I used to love going out and meeting people but the further i go through medical training the more I start to disdain people, I rarely want to go out or do the hoodrat stuff that I am still old enough to do without looking weird (I'd say I have until like 32 before I start to look creepy going to clubs/staying out late at bars), I feel older than any other 26 year old I know, I have just aged so much in these last 3 years, and not in a good way, I know people who live way more interesting lives than I do and have their act together more so than myself.

Anonymous said...

(this is part 2 of my comment)I had way more hobbies too, in college I did everything under the sun (on a varsity sports team, worked in a lab which I loved, tutored elementary school kids, played an instrument) now I'm happy to work out 4 days/week. Don't get me wrong I love some patients and when I'm working with a nice patient who is thankful I do feel good about my work but 99% of the time its some scumbag with 100000 comorbidities and all we do is stabilize them long enough to get them out of the hospital so they can go back to their horrible lifestyle and we see the same guy back within the month.

I have to start my residency application process in the coming months and I just have no motivation whatsoever to do it. I want to get out but I'll be 200k in debt and I have no idea what I can do with an MD aside from practice medicine. I should have got an engineering degree, or a PhD (at least then I'd be getting paid and if I hated academia there is a strong private sector demand), or an MBA, or something, anything man who knows. I don't feel depressed I just feel like I'm in shock, something I wanted for so long and tried so hard to love just isn't cutting it for me and I feel like I bet all my money on the wrong horse and I just don't even know how to recover from this or how to land in a rewarding career and recover my social life. I'm only 26 I should be enjoying the last 4 years of my twenties, I should have money saved up and a decent car, I should be dating around possibly getting ready to soon settle with the girl who I plan to date for 2 years or so before proposing, I should be traveling, I need to hike the apalachian trail, I need to back pack through europe, I need to go to Japan, all things that by the time I can afford to do I'll be too old to actually enjoy them. Writing this has been very therapeutic and I'm glad to know I'm not alone because yes sometimes it seems like everyone around me just absolutely loves medicine, and all my friends and family think what I'm doing is so cool and everyone is so proud of me.

Anonymous said...

I friggin hate medicine. I'm an intern now and I have no idea why I've been such a masochist for these past years, completing the horror of medical school and now working in this abhorrent field. I mean it's filled with so many egomaniacs that it's sickening. It takes up way too much time, and people are so damn competitive that it is impossible to not get embroiled in that spirit of 'overdoing it'; it goes from being just a job to being a monster in your life. Ugh. When I think about what else I could've been as a high school student, I just truly feel horrible. You know you dislike medicine when you wake up every day just dreading it. Make your money, save it up, study something else, do something else.. then you might be happy. Otherwise you'll become House or Cuddy.. loners who don't live their own lives, but let others live it for them. Medicine is an illusion that's become a reality for those types of people.. almost like it fills up their life, until they realise it's completely empty. There's no beauty, richness, art, majesty or fun in medicine. It bloody sucks the life out of you. No wonder we could earn a decent wage.. yet it's definitely not worth it. Nothing is worth that. Your whole life runs dry before your eyes. I hope I one day find an escape that's good for me.

Anonymous said...

I'm a staff physician in Canada. Medicine will remain challenging for your entire lives. However, residency does suck the life out of you. But ... it does get alot better. However, you have to choose a specialty that will give you the freedom you desire. Don't give up hope. You're likely smart and talented. Academic physicians are generally pricks (I'm one of them so I should know). They will put you down to float their own ego. Medicine opens so many doors you can't imagine. Stick with it.
Good luck.

Anonymous said...



The best and only advice is to get out young. Don"t think don"t dither. Once you feel the stirrings of unease. Get out. The longer you stay, the harder it gets. You just get better at hiding it and it gets even harder to go because other people won't let you find a new career. But you're a registrar/consultant they say.You're too old, too experienced, too scary.They also have longer to work on you that the problem is you-it isn't. The longer you stay-the more being a doctor defines who you are-a crutch to prop up the last vestiges of human essence of what you might have been (ok i'm indulging in literary flights of fancy now)Medicine is the sickest profession there is. It hurts more people than the patients. You're not wrong. Get out. Don't walk-Run. I'm a consultant and I have hated medicine since my first week in medical school. Do you sincerely want to risk it? It doesn't go away. My therapist-No 56-I think calls it cognitive dissonance. I call it bloody stupidity for not believing what I clearly knew in the first welcome lecture at University.

Medisoft said...

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Anonymous said...

Waiting to go into work in an australian ed and feel nauseated and headachy, but have to go in cos theres only two docs to look after the our part of the department in the afternoon and I cant leave my colleague in the lurch. If I worked in an office there would be no question, stay home or go and take it a little easier. No I will be running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get people up into the ward or back on the street. This sucks donkey balls. In three weeks I go to the country to do mainly nights. Oh yay. I want to be an academic. Let me read research teach and write. Not this slavery.

Anonymous said...

I've left medicine :)

UK GP here, worked in the NHS 6 years after medical school. Never gave up because despite not enjoying it, I wanted to get 'the qualification under my belt' and as someone else mentioned above, I've never given up on anything in my life and don't intend to start.
Well...I've done it...I've actually left. I've finally acted on what I've known for 8 years, that I don't fit with the way they do medicine. I can't cut short my patients mid-sentence, I can't run to time because I want to treat them like human beings. I can't/won't change my very personality, just to make my consultations more efficient.
And how does it feel now? A - mazing. No exaggeration. I'm working in a role teaching undergrad students at the moment, and of course it has bad days/boring things etc, but NOTHING like the bads of medicine. I've finally stopped just trying to get through each new 4/6/12 month job and started enjoying myself/seeing myself in this longterm. The options infront of me are endless, I've started dreaming about starting my own business. I don't miss ONE thing about medicine, and academically I'm getting stimulated by the subject I'm teaching. I'm starting to wonder if I'll even miss that once this job ends...not sure.
I'm never going to pretend and say the rubbish we all do about being ambitious/wanting partnership/wanting to do XYZ medically ANYMORE. I've said those lies plenty of times, because I was surrounded by people who seemed to love medicine. Never again. I want to be a mother. And I want to run my own business. This is who I am now, I'm not a doctor any more.
Fantastic :)

Not a doctor said...

I just stumbled upon this blog post now, and have enjoyed reading all of the comments.

I'm not a doctor, but am an allied health professional (not OT or physio - loved the earlier comment about doctors having to pretend to listen to their opinions in multi-disciplinary team meetings/case conferences, ha ha) in Australia, and can relate to feeling a bit disillusioned/burned out by the realities of working in a health profession vs. the naive ideals you had before entering the field.

Thankfully I don't work in a hospital setting (my placements as a student were enough to put me off wanting to do that), but I contemplated changing careers about 10 years ago. After taking some time off to clear my mind, I've stuck with what I'm doing though. I don't dislike my field of work as much as I did back then, and even now like several parts of it. But as others have said, the longer you stay doing one thing, the harder it is to leave.

From about the age of 8 or 9, I had an interest in medical conditions, and later thought that maybe one day I'd like to be a doctor. I soon changed my mind though, in my teens, when I realised that I couldn't deal with the blood and gore, and seeing people in pain.

I suppose on some level though, I felt a bit envious of people who did get to study medicine/work as doctors. But reading these and similar posts on other forums has made me glad that I didn't go down that path. There's no way I would want to endure the years of training/the ridiculous hours/the arse-kissing of those higher up than you/the hostile and competitive work environment/the constant jumping through hoops etc. It saddens me though that others who go into medicine with good intentions, who would probably make great doctors, have to either endure these things or leave.

I now have a better understanding of why I often feel that I'm being rushed when I see a doctor, or why they aren't completely focused on me. It's a shame though that we can't have a better medical system.

Anonymous said...

Hi 'Not a doctor',

Can I please just ask what type of allied health field you work in? I am just curious since I am in my 2nd year of studying medical imaging (also in Australia) and am seeking an insight into what it will be like working in this field.

Kind regards,
'student AHP'

Anonymous said...

Hi
so im a 3rd year med student i every now and then i quastion myself weather its the right thing for me or not, im so alone on this cause i went to a private med school and my parents already paid aloot for my education , now that i hate evrything about medicine i just cant walk away from it cause i steped into this world willingly and nobody forced me to take this path, I was a very social, athletic, fun person who loved life and medicine took all that away from me, i just simplely dont have a me time at all , i cant do anything cause there is too much stuff to study and its never enough,everyday it gets harder and harder and i just dont want to live like this anymore, my parents would be completly devastated if they hear all this from me cause i convinced them all that im sp happy and i love medicine, What should i do,please i need help.

Rozsa said...

I also finished medical school in Romania and I'm about to go into a specialty that would give meaning to my life...(note the irony)
I used to be a very ambitious and fun to be with kind of girl but now I have moments when I interact with people in a rather strange way. I guess not allowing time for anything else but studying took it's toll... And after 6 years of flattening my behind I still don't see the bigger picture. A doctor once told me that "you will only have time for the things you MAKE time for" So maybe there is a way out of our misery just by making small changes in our lives. Simply have more fun, allow time for yourself. (sounds easy :)

Anywho...in my 5th year of med school I realised I absolutely hated the pharmaceutical industry and I dug deep into nutrition. This is the reason why I couldn't choose a specialty. I even agreed to get married and have a baby in the meantime just to figure it all out. Surprise-surprise I'm still trying to decide :)
Now I'm trying to find a role model and follow its footsteps but matching it with my beliefs.

Good luck to all of you and remember to stay positive!

Not a doctor said...

To Anonymous 'student AHP' - I'm not in medical imaging or radiography.

Anonymous said...

I've often landed on this site by googling "I hate being a doctor". During my residency, I've come to realize that I like the subject of medicine and find it interesting but I hate being a doctor. There is nothing fulfilling about denying your body its basic needs- food, sleep, elimination, social interaction, etc. for ungrateful patients and preceptors. There is no mercy in medicine. I am counting down the hours until my vacation finishes today and all I can do is cry knowing that I have to go back to work tomorrow. This needs to end. I wish I found this site before medical school. And I wish med school mandated a one week resident shadowing experience for admission. I am only in this now to pay my rent. I'm trying to get through residency so I can change careers when I'm done. No sense in dropping out now...

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Anonymous said...

i just passed my fourth yr of med colg n i m sad each n every second of my life...i wish soo bad i was a normal grl with averag intelect n life in every way.i m 23 .two more years of ths mental agony n i will nvr turn bck to it. i damn care abt servng humanity...how cn we help ppl whn we ourslvz r unhappy ? in wards i do my bst to run away n nvr want to touch patients..i dread doin hous job.. :(

Ken said...

I just graduated from Medicine at Melbourne University (MBBS), but decided to take a Gap Year before doing Internship in 2015. I'm fortunate in that in Australia, local Med School Spots are Government-subsidized, so each Year only costs ~ $9000, which totals ~$54K for the entire 6 year Course. There's actually an oncoming Oversupply of Medical Graduates which means that Internships and Training Positions are getting much more competitive (as is already the case in the UK), but as a local Graduate, I'm still officially "guaranteed" Internship despite deferring it by 12 months.

Numerous times in Med School, I've felt really stressed out and despondent where I browsed this Blog Entry repetitively, seeing if there were any new comments from other exhausted Medical Students or Doctors.

I couldn't for the life of me imagine myself doing Internship straight after Med School, I'd probably have a mental breakdown.

I decided to preserve my Mental Health in lieu of 1 years' income.

I know I haven't started working yet, but from what I've observed and heard, I must say I agree with a LOT of the sentiments above!!! It really is sad how Medicine can take over so much of your life that it squeezes out other aspects of your "essence", including your hobbies and family.

I'm also sick of the constant PC-attitude (as part of the "Culture of Medicine") that I have to maintain regarding patients who seemingly don't care at all about their own health despite our efforts to help them! And the worst thing is that they can still try to sue you despite being Non-Compliant!!! In Australia, we are very fortunate to have Medicare (Universal Health Care) for all Australian Citizens, but my Impression is that a lot of people take it for granted.

A lot of People in my Med Cohort have Aspirations of various Sub-Specialties, but I really wonder how many of them will burn out later on and opt for something more lifestyle friendly like GP?

I'm so glad that I've taken a Gap Year, but I must say it feels like a Chore trying to keep myself occupied and using my spare Time "efficiently". I initially had an inner Guilt that I wasn't "dedicating" myself to Medicine, but from other people's Anecdotes, realized that Medicine is just a Job, and that I shouldn't brainwash into making Medicine my Life. That's why I only plan to study the bare Minimum during the Gap Year for the Purposes for Knowledge Maintenance.

I decided to learn a new Instrument (Accordion) so hopefully I can resort to playing Music as a form of Stress Relief during Internship. I'm also seeing a Doctor during the Gap Year to help me de-stress and teach me new Coping Strategies for stress etc.

TLDR:

I would VERY STRONGLY RECOMMEND a GAP YEAR to any Medical Students or recent Medical Graduates who are feeling really burnt out and just want a temporary break from Medicine.

A 1 year break from Medicine may be all you need to recuperate and temporarily escape this "Madness", so hopefully you can get back into Medicine more refreshed.

Best wishes with your decisions.

:)

Anonymous said...

CULT, that is what medicine seems to have become.

Take the best and the brightest and then destroy them.

BUT you are clever and that gives you choice.

Choose well, they are walking on your dreams.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Central American and I think that I hate medicine too. I complete my internship and now a have to decide if i want to be general medicine or to get and medical speciality. In fact I make my exams in order to get an residency in psychiatric and i won, but few days later i feel uncomfortable and depressed. I feel thaht i'm not going to be good enough to treat patiens with mental problems. So I quit the residency before start it. I now I feel lost. Think like a don't want to be doctor anymore. I don't know what to do. And in my country be a general medicine is noy apprecciate by the mayority of population. So I don't know i have 27 years old and I am thinking in change my career seriously. Cause i don't feel comfortable in any of the specialities. What makes me stop on changing my carrer? Well my family are proud to hace doctor in his family I everytime a try to explain them that I don't want to be a doctor anymore they treat me bad and said after all this years. Well that's my history. Sorry for the grammar I have intermediate knowledge in oral and written english. So be happy that i'm not the only one who feels this way! Cheers

Anonymous said...

Not sure if anyone still reads or posts here.

I have a different career (non medical) and am about to start a graduate-entry medicine course in the UK. I am now having second thoughts.

Does anyone recommend given up what I have being a doctor. Is it being a doctor which is sh*t or just the brutal way it pans out as a junior doctor in the NHS ???

Anonymous said...

I meant

Does anyone recommend given up what I have becoming a doctor...

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peace said...

Half a year until final MD exam. And I am regretting getting into medicine every single day.
I feel stuck.
Good luck with your plans. I really wish you find something that suites you and makes you happy.

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