Practicing Medicine Is Like Having a Bad Relationship!
Check this out. What you will see is the story of an Ob/Gyn Mom who is retiring from practice at the age of 37, with the retirement eloquently described as being similar to finally breaking up from a bad relationship. Along the way, she had sluffed off totaling her car on I-95, falling asleep at the wheel after 30 hours on duty. She worked through sticking herself through a glove with a needle during surgery on a patient who she knew was HIV positive, etc. Like being in a bad relationship, she rationalized that none of this was medicine’s fault. She shouldn’t leave.
BUT. Then she was diagnosed with a mass on her lung, making her think about how medicine was sucking time away from her family. She also found herself looking around with increasing disgust at how physicians are losing control of the practice of medicine. And decided to break off this “bad relationship” and retire.
Bottom Line. Powerful stuff. When we read about “physician burnout,” it’s just a concept. Physician suicide? Must have been something wrong with the doctor to begin with. BUT. When we start to immerse ourselves in stories like this practitioner’s, we start to get a visceral understanding of what it must be like to go through 8 years of training and walk away.