The hospital is a terrible place to be during a holiday week.
Nothing's getting done. Administrators are out, technicians are out, attendings are out. Sure, some people are here, and on call, and emergencies can get taken care of (slowly), but for the most part, everything is at half-speed. There were a tremendous number of discharges last Friday. There have been a lot fewer since. Illness doesn't know it's a holiday-- but you wouldn't realize that from walking the floors. You simply don't want to be in a hospital over Thanksgiving, if you have a choice. Which, of course, very few people do.
The hospital is also a terrible place to be during a non-holiday week.
I don't know, last month I felt like I had some interesting patients, some of the work was okay, I wasn't hating it so much. This month I'm in the bad hospital, where everyone's basically a nursing home patient taking up space for no legitimate medical reason, I don't have enough to do, and so I end up sitting in the call room for hours of the day, alone, surfing the Internet and intermittently checking on lab results. No one thinks of a doctor as having down time, as being bored, but a lot of the time that's what this is. You don't need a medical degree to do most of what I'm doing, you don't even need a high school degree. It's dull. But this is what a hospital-based attending does, a lot of the time, at least at a place like this where nothing cutting-edge is going on, where interesting cases are transferred away to somewhere better, or at least sent to a specialist. Maybe everyone is right. Maybe general internal medicine is just a dull profession. Not that I want to be dealing with the same organ all day as a specialist, and see two or three different problems 98% of the time. I don't know. I also don't want to work the hours of a surgeon. I have some friends who are jealous that at least I have a path, I have a future, I know what I'm doing with my life. But I'm jealous they still have choices, they still have a chance to end up doing something that feels more important than this. Yes, on good days being a doctor feels important. But today, in a half-empty hospital, twiddling my thumbs, it feels pretty pointless.