* * Anonymous Doc

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another late night.

I don't know why the hours this month have been so much longer than previously. The job isn't any different. I think the whole team, on any particular rotation, is forced to operate however the resident operates. If he doesn't mind staying late, everything is going to happen later in the day and everyone's going to be stuck there. If he wants to leave early, he'll push everyone to get their work done, and everyone will get to leave. The problem is when there's a mismatch between how many hours the intern wants to work and how many hours the resident doesn't mind being there.

It makes me feel like I'm lazy. It makes me feel like this is the wrong career for me. Everyone else wants to be here, it seems. They check in from home. They think about the patients after they leave. They want to follow up. They're interested in what's going on. They genuinely don't mind spending every waking hour in the hospital.

I'm not like that, and I don't know why. It's not as if I have anything waiting for me at home, I just don't want to spend 15 hours at work. I'm not interested in the patients, honestly. Someone comes in and my first thought isn't about how I can make him better, it's about whether he's going to make me stay even later. Test results come back and I want them to be normal not because I want the patient to be okay but because I don't want to have to do anything. I want patients to leave. Someone tells me my patient died, I think, great, one less patient. I don't care. If it was a member of my family, I would care. If it was a friend, I would care. If it's someone who's dying anyway, I don't know that I care.

Okay, I'm a broken record this week. Something lighter. I had to extract a stool sample from a patient today. My co-intern came along to watch (!!). No, I don't know why she wanted to watch. She said to me, "you don't seem to like doing procedures." No, I don't! I don't want to get dirty. I don't want to use my hands. This is why I want to do primary care and not surgery. I don't want to extract stool. I don't want to see stool. I don't want to touch the insides of anyone.

...and that is why I'm going to make no money. Because insurance pays for procedures, and I don't want to do any. I just want to chat with my patients, get to know their life stories, and pass them along to a specialist who can extract their stool instead of me.


  1. Have you considered psychiatry?

  2. Almost half way done with intern year...hang in there and next year, be the resident you wished you had this year and your interns will love you.

  3. Hmmmmm Bad day eh?

  4. @Ruth - Do you mean "practicing" or "in need of" ?