Sunday, January 14, 2007

Revisiting an Old Issue, Not For the Last Time

My taste in residencies, and therefore careers, changes weekly, it seems. In fact, some of what I said in this previous post, I am now going to directly contradict here. So get ready!

My top two of the week:
#1: OB/Gyn--an excellent mix of outpatient clinic, inpatient NON-critical care, and OR time. Hours can definitely suck, but it's a field that is trying to work on this. It's also a field that tries to understand family time (the key word is *tries*; I didn't say *succeeds*). Residency: 4 years. Should not be difficult to get into residency, even with trying to stay here.

#A: Urology--Also a mix of outpatient clinic, inpatient non-critical care, and OR time. Residency would suck, at least for a while, but I'm willing to trade suckiness early for *hopefully* a better life later. Residency: 5 years. Extremely competitive; will be difficult to get in, even more so with trying to stay here. And pee? Not so bad, comparatively.

Possible Choices (in no particular order):
#1: Derm--Sometimes I feel like I'd be selling out, practicing "fake" medicine. Other times, I think, the victories would be small, but numerous, and there would be basically nothing life-threatening. Plus, lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle.

#2: GI--Could be satisfying to remove polyps and diagnose early cancers; not sure I'd want to manage cirrhotics, and I'm not sure I want to go through Internal Medicine to get there.

#3: Cardiology--Sometimes I think this could be really cool, sometimes I think this could be really boring. Plus, I am not so good at listening to heart murmurs. Plus plus, I'm not sure I want to go through Internal Medicine to get there.

#4: Infectious Disease--I still think bacteria are cool as shit, but I don't think ID docs really DO much. They show up, they say "Woo, cool bacteria", they recommend which antibiotic to use for how long, and they leave. Oh, and I think they do Gram stains. Ooh, ah.

#5: Internal Medicine--I get very frustrated in IM. I've also met the dumbest, most incompetent interns and residents in IM; my guess is because it's a sort of catch-all choice, a pathway to get to other specialties, and it doesn't really require a *positive* decision, only a ruling out of other specialties.

#6: Family Practice--Could be nice. Could suck. I hate tweaking meds every 6 months, so maybe not so good.

#7: Surgery--I love the OR, I hate the lifestyle.

#8: Emergency Medicine--I think it could be cool to be on the front line of medicine, but I think I would get even more cynical and bitter, and I don't really want to be that kind of person.

#9: Ophtho--Lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle. Except I do not find the eye so exciting.

Definite No's:
#1: Pediatrics--I'm a wuss about really sick kids.

#2: Anesthesia--I hate saliva. I have a kind of saliva-phobia, in fact. The thought of sitting in an OR while the guys on the other side of the curtain do the cool shit, sucking drool and phlegm out of someone's mouth... *shudder*.

#3: Radiology--Ugh. Only cool if you do interventional, and you have to do like 7 years of residency/fellowship to get there.

#4: Neurology--I realize this is surprising to most of you, but I hate neuro.

#5: Psychiatry--I love talking to people, and I think psychiatrists can do some good work, but it would drive me crazy. (Get it? Ha! I KILL me!)

Things I like:

  • Being in the OR
  • Sleep (negotiable)
  • Doing small but gratifying things
Things I dislike/despise:
  • Critical care: I really don't like being around long-term ICU patients. It reminds me of my fear of becoming such a patient.
  • Rounding. Dear sweet jeebus, I HATE rounding.
  • Incompetent colleagues.

And, some days, I just think I'm in the wrong profession. Sometimes, I envy my friends who have 9-5, M-F jobs. They get actual weekends! Weekends, people! And with a little luck, no one tries to drool on you (babies don't count)! And you don't see little containers of poo sitting on bedside tables (if you do, I don't want to know what you do for a living, but perhaps you should talk to Mike Rowe). I could go on, but I won't. You're welcome.

4 comments:

Jessica said...

Hi,
Have you considered ENT? I think if I liked the OR more than I do, I would like ENT.
Jessica

punchberry said...

It sounds like both of your top choices fit well with the criteria you have outlined for yourself.

By the way, I really enjoy reading about how you are going about this life-defining choice.

Jenn said...

I knew I forgot one! ENT! *facepalm*

barbie said...

ive said it before: you could go uro-gyn! best of both worlds.
as for your possible choices, i went through the same thoughts. but then i decided that i dont wanna do 3 years of IM before i got to do what i really wanted to do. thats the nice thing about neuro: only 1 year! now i just need to decide pedi or adult. my attending ask me: "well, do you like babies, or hate adults?" (he's a pedi neurologist)