* * Anonymous Doc

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm around people all day, and yet it's very lonely to be an intern, at least on some of these rotations.

We have colleagues (and supervisors, of course), but for the most part we're alone, in the call room, inputting orders, checking labs, and waiting for the nurses to page us. Even when there's another resident in there with me, it's all shop talk. And certainly with the patients, it's not like there's any real conversation going on. For a lot of the day, I feel like I'm acting the role of doctor-- but I feel like that's part of the job, honestly. You can't express uncertainty or doubt to the patient-- you can't even really express it to the attending if you want to be taken seriously, at least not in an honest way. We're not really allowed to be affected by death and illness. There's no one to really turn to.

Now, I don't know if it's any different than any other workplace-- my workplace experiences are obviously limited-- certainly it's unprofessional in most fields to really let your guard down and be honest about your fears and uncertainties in front of the client or the boss. But we're dealing with things a lot more important than in most jobs. And it takes a toll. I don't know that I really feel like my doctor self and my real self have merged yet, that we're the same person. I have to turn it off when I get home, certainly when I talk to my parents on the phone or the rare occasions I get to hang out with a friend. I have to avoid being the doctor self, worrying about the consequences of everything, watching my words, watching my body language.

I think I just miss having friends, and maybe that's what I mean by all of this. I only have colleagues. I don't have time for anything else. I have colleagues and I have patients. And I have me, and everything just ends up festering inside my head and has no outlet. Except this, I guess, if anyone's actually reading it.

I don't know what time the sun rises. I don't know what time it sets. I don't know how the electric bill in my apartment was as high as it was when I'm never home. I should call the electric company, except I don't have time. I should at least twitter them or something. I read an article about how companies are responding to people who twitter. I honestly have no idea if I read that article a week ago or a month ago. Time moves in a really strange way when you're up all night and sleep all day. And now I go back to working days and sleeping nights and that'll probably take a few days to make sense again to my body.

I'm hungry. Maybe.


  1. We're out here reading. And sympathizing and rooting you on. You're doing great!

  2. We're reading too. Not always sympathizing, but at least we're entertained. Keep it up. Get rid of the lice yet?

  3. Do you think private practice will be better, or perhaps a different specialty?