Friday, August 31, 2007


It's ten weeks into internship, and I feel surprisingly down, bored, and unmotivated. I can barely get through my long days, which consist of pre-rounding on a bunch of patients whose exams and complaints don’t change from one day to the next, ordering a handful of tests on the computer, rounding for at least an hour, trying to track down all those test results, and then dealing with the pleasure of figuring out my patients’ social situations and dispositions since half of them have nowhere to return to upon discharge – except the street, of course. My day is capped off by going home and having no energy to do anything -- read, socialize, or enjoy previous hobbies -- but sleep.

I am depressed that I don’t get to do anything hands-on for any of these patients to help them get well (unlike the surgeons and emergency room doctors who do lots of procedures), and I am completely uninterested in dealing with all the patients’ medical problems (as opposed to just the one acute issue bringing them to the hospital).

I hate spending hours on rounds. I want more doing and less discussing. I don’t care anymore about patients’ social issues. I actually don’t care much for patients anymore either. I don’t want to be shat on by other services. And most of all, I can’t stand to be around the few of my co-interns who are “having a blast” this year.

Although I hope not, I wonder if this entire "journey" is a mistake. Hopefully this is simply the plight of the intern, and not me having chosen the wrong specialty (internal medicine) ... or, the wrong field entirely (medicine).


ladyk73 said...

It sounds as if you are exhausted and depressed.

Do you have a seasoned doctor that you go to yourself? Don't try to diagnose yourself (I try to all of the time, and I've had a doctor startle me into not doing that).

Maybe you need to see someone. A doctor, a therapist..... someone far away from your day to day.

It just sounds like you have fallen into a depression....
and it scares me because doctors are one of the highest professions for suicide rates.

Maybe you can send a message to those crazy shrinkrap bloggers......

The Peanut Gallery said...

Did you feel this way about the clinical years of medical school? Do you think you have the option of changing to something else that is more hands on - like anesthesiology, emergency medicine, etc., at some point?
I'd say if you are not clinically depressed, then you are experiencing my greatest fear - that medicine is not "it."
Please keep us informed