Healthcare I have to say is quite the emotionally high rising field. Everyone gets stressed out, work gets overloaded, people will lament, complain, b*tch, whatever you wanna call it and relatively there’s always someone else who’s stressing out more. So of course, the frustration from one may mount into this big heap of lightening bolts that will just fire off at anyone with any moment. Even in the more sincere working environments, when people are pushed to their limits (at least those they are aware of), they will begin to snap.
I try to avoid complaining as much as I can but I am guilty of blurting out an, “gosh I’m so tired” every now and then. I am one who has much difficulty hiding her exhaustion from her face but I’m sure I’m not a rarity. The tricky part is when you say this in front of someone who’s been working way longer hours than you have and suddenly you just made yourself a target of a snappy lightening bolt. It turns into, “Oh, you think you’re exhausted?!” And as bad as I feel for those who went through more than myself, you have to realize, feelings are relative. If you haven’t gone through it, you won’t know what it’s like. That’s probably where the whole doctors understand one another best kinda mentality comes from … though I feel that even a doctor and non doctor relationship can succeed, you just gotta figure out how much you’re willing to put into it.
My friend tells me that a resident she works with rants a lot about how she hates her work and how much more she’d be earning if she had a different job. As much as I strive to realize how emotionally and physically draining surgery residency is, I really don’t think for the sake of your mental health you should continue a profession where all you will do everyday is lament about how much you hate it. Medicine is a love-hate relationship, no joke. However, from my experience, the more you vocally complain about it, the more you will lean towards the hating part rather than the loving part.
Not that I would ever say anything to that level to this resident … after all, what do I know what it’s like to be in her shoes? Residency is a rough lifestyle, why some of us do it, I really don’t know. We must be crazy to decide to devote so much of our money into an education that will only pay us back slightly above the poverty line. As young doctors, we will be essentially not much different from college graduates who just began to work. That is why if you want to pursue this field, you gotta really wanna do it.
Yet I’m sure the large number of current physicians didn’t realize what they were getting themselves into as they trudged through each year of medical school. Nonetheless, I don’t think this gives enough reason for anyone to stay in a field of work they’re only going to lament about everyday how much they hate. It’s rough, it’s grueling, it’s exhausting, it pays the salary of a waiter at a restaurant at the cost of way more years of education …. but for me, in the end, I still find it all worth it. Despite all these drawbacks, I find it the most fulfilling profession for me to be in. I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else, to be able to teach myself a new skill everyday, to be so stimulated in every moment of my work, I honestly don’t think there are many fields where you can find this type of gratification. But that is just me … and I may come off as a bit intense compared to many others which is why I try to avoid rubbing off my views onto anyone else because I’ll probably just overwork people to death (when I myself can’t even handle it well either).
Overall, even though work in the healthcare field can become such a challenging mountain to overcome, I think it will make a world’s difference if we all each day strove to put ourselves in the shoes of someone else as much as we can. Of course, it’s not like as human beings we’re fully capable of carrying this out, so when we do feel like we’re ready to snap at someone, I’d say, give yourself a moment of time out. Or pick a specialty that will allow you to do this. I, for one, don’t think I can handle a field that calls for many emergencies …. my brain is just not wired to think that quickly and eventually I think there will be a heavy emotional toll to be tied down to handling these emergencies constantly.
Complaining is extremely contagious … it is seriously like a wildfire just ready to spread throughout the woods of a forest. Hence, once it begins, it’s difficult to stop it. I say, just don’t start it at all. I know you’re tempted to … so when you are, just don’t say anything. You don’t have to smile or try to act like you’re enjoying something … but just don’t exacerbate things by letting go of everything. At least that is what I attempt to do … but I cannot say if I’m succeeding at all or not. Like I said before, I am one who really cannot hide exhaustion from her face …. yet I try my best not to complain because, well, things can be worse.
For instance, you could’ve lost your life from getting hit by an 18-wheeler while having a full scholarship to one of the most prestigious medical schools in the U.S. but there’s no point in all of that because hey …. you’re not alive anymore.
Life experiences can really change everything and one’s outlook on life. It sure did for me, that very day in my senior year of college when a girl I’d known and was very jealous of because of her brains and her achievements of which 1/2 of I couldn’t keep up with one tragic day did not survive and all her dreams of becoming a doctor dissipated on the spot.
So I have a lot to be grateful for. I’m still alive, I’m still healthy, I’m going to be a doctor, maybe not with a scholarship and maybe not with as many achievements as this girl but I know I’m going to be a great doctor in my own way. And in a sense, I owe this girl that much. At times, I need to remind myself that in order to realize again what made me come here in the first place.