Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Ok, I just need to vent. I'm miserable. I'm at the hospital no later than 6AM, and usually closer to 5AM every morning. I'm getting 4-5 hours of sleep on good nights. I'm constantly tired. I wonder what it's like to not feel tired. Every joint hurts. I'm depressed. I haven't seen my friends in weeks and I have five more weeks of this to go, I'm gaining weight from the lack of physical activity, I nearly fell asleep at the wheel last night, and there's no way out without dropping out of med school.

It's getting so bad that I'm actually envying some of my patients (the ones who aren't all that sick) because they just get to lie in bed in the hospital. That's a bad sign. That's a REALLY bad sign.

My mom says I'm acting depressed and wants me on Prozac. I say that Prozac takes too long to work and by the time I experience any benefit, I'll be almost done with this rotation. I also say that because this isn't true depression, that would be an inappropriate use of the drug. And I also don't like taking drugs that I don't absolutely need.

I hate this.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Is there a course counsellor you could talk to and get some time off?

If you're falling asleep at the wheel it sounds as though you really need some rest.

There should be provision for this kind of situation, do you have some kind of student union?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Dave, there is no recourse at all. The general attitude is "If you want to be a doctor, then this is what you need to do. If you don't like it, drop out."

What I don't get is the lack of compassion. You'd think that in a field where people are supposed to be compassionate, if the attendings all had to go through this, wouldn't they do something about it?

Medical student suicides peak during this rotation. Yet nothing changes. The general attitude was "they should have dropped out if they couldn't take it." But the problem is that once you've sunk a quarter of a million dollars into your medical education, dropping out isn't an option. For these poor souls, suicide was the only way out without being trapped under a massive, crushing, and unresolvable debt for life.

It's a sick, sick system.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Bird
Bird

now available in "advanced"
Location: Cornwall
Member Since: 25th Aug 2003
Total posts: 6086
Posted:And you still find time to post on HoP, I admire that - a man with his priorities in order!!

But in all seriousness, surely people in the medical profession (students or otherwise) shouldn't be in a position where they are tired while at work, this must at some point cause the patients to be in danger, because a doctor who is exhausted, surely cannot be able to perform to the best of his/her abilities!!

I fail to see why people who are, potentially, in charge of another person's life are made to work ridiculously long hours, when a major part of their job is to be able to make on-the-spot decisions about other people's health!

Not meaning any disrespect to anyone in the medical profession, - I know its not their fault, its the system that is to blame!


Take it easy man, and keep up the good work, speaking from a patient's point of view, we need as many people like you, who are prepared to put in the effort, as we can get!!!




My state of mind is not yours to define!

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

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Narr
Narr

(*) (*) .. for the gnor ;)
Location: sitting on the step
Member Since: 15th Apr 2003
Total posts: 2568
Posted:why not try a herbal remedy? i suggest red ginseng - it increases stamina & energy levels, reduces the effects of stress,promotes vitality and mental performance (which i would think for your job is quite important!).it also aids circulation and as a huge bonus(although you may not have time for it)it is widely thought to be an aphrodisiac!! tada!
take care and hang in there it'll be totally worth it in the end


she who sees from up high smiles

Patrick badger king: *they better hope there's never a jihad on stupidity*

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ViciousVixen
member
Location: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
Member Since: 25th Aug 2002
Total posts: 103
Posted:Just remember a few things.

You're not the first medical student to go through this. In fact, I'm sure you heard the horror stories about what they've been through and you stuck with it anyway. So therefore, you're not the first medical student to feel the way you feel, and it's ok to feel that way. The majority of them made it through ok, as will you.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

This time period shouldn't turn you off to the career as a whole. It's ok to never want to do an internship again after this, sure. But when you become a doctor, your hours won't be like this and your work load won't be like this. Don't let this internship ruin your whole medical career. It's not a perfect representation of it.

You can do it! We're behind you!


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Rozi
100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted:ViciousVixen said it perfectly.

I know you, I know the words you have said about the job you do. You love it. Deep down in the bottom of your soul.

The problem is this tiredness. It threatens to drain that love, that enthusiasm from you. I am sure it has done to many. You know, and have seen this problem in some of the more uncaring medicos you have met in the course of your career and study.

You need to deal with the physical and the mental level. The physical level, you need to find strategies for getting exercise (situps in the doctor's lounge? )and for getting rest. You are a very physically active person, and how you feel is very tied up with how fit you feel. Maybe even yoga could help?

The mental level, you need to separate this tiredness from your feelings about the job you do. You need to say "I am exhausted, and that is very serious and can be very dangerous. But it is the hours, not the job that is doing this." Then you need to remember why you love this job.

And for the compassion, well I am very angry that those who are supposed to, can't seem to express any. I would not want to lose to another profession someone as special as you. When you need hugs, and you need laughter, come here and say. Print out this page and take it away with you. Keep our hugs and our jokes in your pocket with you, for when you need them.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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[Nx?]
[Nx?]

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Europe,Scotland,Both
Member Since: 5th Nov 2001
Total posts: 3749
Posted:Hey Mike,

I dont really know what to say, exept that the only way thease thigs are gonna get better is by raising the level of awarness of this issue, its a political thing yes, but the situation is obviously untennable and ultimatly unsafe.

Hang in there, the advise about exercise is a good one, the fitter you are the more energy youll have and the easier you will deal with mental strain, but this bit is gonna be tough, and im shure you got enough to survive.

wot im really getting at is, have faith in yourself, no situation is unchangable with enough effort and take taxies home!

stray safe,

Tom


This is a post by tom, all spelling is deleberate
-><- Kallisti

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elise_b
member
Location: southern cali
Member Since: 10th Oct 2003
Total posts: 104
Posted:i'm not so wordy but, my thoughts are w/you @ i know you can do it!!!p.s. if ur showing sign of depression you may need a low dose of paxil or somethin'. not my diagnosis but, alot of people go through what you are & everyone handles it differently. actually zoloft can be used on occasion symptamatically...ask ur dr!
& it's not any more drugs than blood pressure, meds. if those poor souls that didn't mske it would have they might still be alive... oh yeah & even a few minutes of this might help>


Catch a Fire-Bob Marley

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Dentrassi
Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 9th Apr 2003
Total posts: 3044
Posted:hang in there man! 5 weeks isnt much considering how far youve come! just think of all those times and reasons youve wanted to be a doc!

my best tip is 10mins of meditation before you sleep and when you wake up.
and if possible, do the same a couple of times during the day.
i did a similar thing for a few weeks once - doing an engo science double degree - getting 5 hrs a night sleep. that few mins meditation really help sort my brain out and relax.

take care of yourself. ive been running youth leadership camps for a few years, and one of the key messages is to take care of yourself before you take care of others, because then you can help them more.

big hugz!


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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Eera
old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay
Member Since: 29th May 2003
Total posts: 1107
Posted:Mna, that sucks. People in a profession that is expected to be totally on the ball at all times for the safety of others should not be treated as it they're automatons. Every day is one more day closer to when you no longer have to tolerate it.

There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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Zej
Zej

member
Location: Washington, DC (Foggy Bottom/W...
Member Since: 24th Sep 2003
Total posts: 34
Posted:Mano, I live in the world of a proffesional college athlete . . . except I'm a cheerleader. And strangely enough, I feel your pain. I have a full course sceudale as an undergrad at one of the top 5 best international affairs schools in America. But to pay for it I had to start cheerleading for the scholarship involved. Not to say I don't love it, but on top of a full course load I now have to work out 6 days a week with practices 4-5 days a week. I've become a hermit. Rarely coming out of my shell to see the outside world. I sleep as much as possible just to deal with the fact that I am constantly sore and am constantly tired.

You know what I realized finally though? Something I learned in my econ class actually . . . the differences between short run and long run equations. In the short run often there is nothing possible but an obvious drop in overall enjoyment and utility as a result of what we do to ourselves. Yet in the long run the things we do allow our utility/enjoyment curve to increase rather than just move up and down the utility/enjoyment found curve. The fact that I work my ass off now is killing me, as it does you. In the long run, when I'm working as an analyst and raking in the money, and when you're a doctor, raking in the money, you're enjoyment is going to be a million times what it is now due to the utility/enjoyment you gave up now.

The question is whether I just found a way to apply econ. to real life or if I'm just drunk. I think that if both apply then I'm going to do very very well on my test monday morning. Hell I almost started talking about oppurtunity costs.


~Zej

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Mr Hands
member
Location: Cardiffy, Londony places
Member Since: 28th Aug 2003
Total posts: 64
Posted:If you want my advice, ignore the prozacc (chemical mind tiwddlers sare me)...

EAT CREAM CAKES AND STUFF AND SUCH!!

I kid you not my friend, the same chemicals that they put in prozac are present in creamy pastries, which is why before Prozac cornered the market the stereotypical thing to d when you're upset is binge on creamy things like ice cream and eclairs and stuff (you know the myth)... this is scientific fat and by far more indulgent that popping pills when you're upset. On top of that, if yo're unhappy iwth taking meidcation (like me, man strong! Grr, live through anything, 'No surgeon, I dont need anesthetic! Owch, owch, okay maybe this once!), the only downside I can see is it won't do your weight thing any good.

But if the problem is not time (and if you're envious of your patients) you could try getting a friend of yours to clobber you with a cricket bat or something, or swallow you poi thats on fire, that way you could check in and lay back in the caring arms of your camrades... the only side to this is 1st degree burns down your oesophagus, but hey, if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger (but my arms still creaks and hurts).

I the long term, just think of all the people yu'll be able to help with your knowledge and all the money you'll rake in as a fly doctor... I mean, it beats artistic animation by a long shot. I've spent many a week not sleeping but drawing piles of remarkabley similar pictures... I can kind of empathise.

Either way, stick your chin out, take it, eat it, spit it out, ask for the main course...

Heres rooting for you . . .


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Mr Hands
member
Location: Cardiffy, Londony places
Member Since: 28th Aug 2003
Total posts: 64
Posted:perhaps I should proof read these things for spelling mistakes in future...

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Dentrassi
Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 9th Apr 2003
Total posts: 3044
Posted:compared to other HoPers cough splutter Mechhead cough your writing is quite legible. although you can always edit your original post with the appropiately named 'edit' button at the top of the page.
cheers.


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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Gnor
Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth
Member Since: 31st Mar 2003
Total posts: 5814
Posted:How about a few minutes spinning in the car park or park before and after work. Its my form of meditation, gets me outside and breathing again and its fun excercise. Maybe it will wake you up for the drive home too

I have always thought it pretty crazy to put students through this and chance compromising patients health like that but I guess if a Doctor can function at this time effectively what follows will be easier.

In the mean time take care and look at the big future picture involving lots of sleep. Mmmmmmm
Goodluck


Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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