* * Anonymous Doc

Sunday, April 25, 2010

One day weekends.

Not fair.

I haven't seen a friend in a month. Or even talked to one.

Not one.

Some e-mails, but barely.

I'm glad some of my co-interns are tolerable, and they almost feel like friends, or I don't know what I'd do. I hear other interns talking about their social lives, and it's not like they're any better than mine. One guy had a birthday last week and he said he walked around downtown, by himself, for a few hours, and then came to the hospital (ON HIS DAY OFF) to see if anyone was free to hang out. Of course they weren't-- they were babysitting the patients. But he said he thought maybe someone would be free to grab coffee in the cafeteria or something like that. People don't have friends anymore. You get here, you move to a new city to work 80 hours a week, you don't have friends anymore. You make a few friends among your fellow interns, but everyone's on a different schedule, everyone has a different day off, no one has real weekends, so when do you see people outside of the hospital? You don't. And then three years later you finish residency and... and where did your life go? Where did any piece of your life besides work go?

So I wonder, sometimes, why the attendings don't seem in a rush to leave, why they're willing to come in on the weekends and hang around waiting for something to go wrong with a patient, why they want to round for 4 hours, until 9 at night-- it's because they don't have anything better to do, and any time they spend not at the hospital is time they can lament their own circumstances and how they don't have real lives, and work is everything.

I don't want work to be everything.

That's why I'm not going into surgery. Or cardiology.

But it doesn't matter. Because three years of residency is long enough that even if you don't want work to take over your life, by the time you get to the point where it won't have to, there's no life left. There's just work.

And sleep.

Work and sleep.

That's all there is.

And now I need sleep.


  1. Do you watch Grey's Anatomy? This sounds very much like that. I bet you get that question all the time. But maybe not, since you only have time to talk to your doctor friends. Isn't there a Doctress McDreamy to kill the time staring at?

    I'm not a doctor. I just stumbled across this blog and I like it.

    Question: Have you ever thought about adding titles to your blogs?

  2. If it makes you feel any better, any job that pays even remotely decently in the non-medical world essentially reduces you to the same thing. And just wait until you have kids! Nobody is ever free to do anything. I had dinner with a friend last weekend who has been in this city for almost 2 years, and I barely know her, and I AM HER ONLY FRIEND. And she is getting a PhD.