I don’t know if you’re also questioning if you like being a doctor. I have been giving it a go for a long time, or what feels like a long time, and have struggled at moments. Feelings of guilt and anger can come up, as I ask myself why I can’t just enjoy it. Can’t I just focus on the positives? Does that make everything better? Or maybe I am just a ‘square peg in a round hole’.
Why all this guilt and anger at myself?
Well I feel guilty because it’s a good job, and I feel like I should like it and be more grateful. You’re helping people, making a difference in someone’s life, it’s stable, my family is proud, the money is okay…
I then get frustrated with myself and angry. Am I just a weak? I can’t even handle being a doctor in Australia, the easiest country in the world to live and what seems to be the easiest country to work as a doctor. Jeez, how could I cope anywhere?
Isn’t thinking positively a way to fix this all?
I do have a tendency to focus on the negatives, which is not a good trait. I decided to focus only on positives and to face work with a brand new energy in December 2020. To be honest, things did improve a little.
I feel like everything in life works better if you try to face it with a positive attitude. If you’re at work thinking, ‘god I hate it here’ the whole time…that energy will exude onto everything and everyone.
If you think, ‘I am going to try be positive and have a good day’, it does change the game a little. However, despite all the positive thinking in the world I still have days where I struggle.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
It’s frustrating at times to see people handling being a doctor so well. I think, why can’t I just be like that?
They don’t get affected by little things. A patient yelling at them is like – whatever. Working endless hours of overtime is great because – money. A weekend shift covering the whole hospital is actually something they welcome because – challenge. Spending their day off studying is good because – it’s interesting.
It could all just come down to the fact that they are passionate about what they do, they actually like it and they genuinely believe in what they’re doing.
It’s not that I don’t believe in the entity of medicine, but I just don’t know if it’s right for me.
A square peg in a round hole
Maybe I am just ‘a square peg in a round hole’. I’m a sensitive person and can have difficulty leaving work at work. I worry about patients, and rethink decisions. It’s hard for me to switch off. This can make it hard to enjoy my job.
I also believe that the patients of this world deserve a doctor who is passionate about their work, to give the best health care possible.
I think we should normalise enjoying your job. I say that we all deserve to do what we love, wouldn’t that make an inspired and beautiful world?
It is just a job
This is the true thing I am struggling with. The fact that being a doctor is just a job. I am still convinced that it is something more than that, when intellectually I know it isn’t.
Medicine is a job, quitting medicine will not end the world as we know it. There are other jobs that exist. Other ways to make money. In fact, I have done many enjoyable things with money I earned in a non-medical job…
Society can put doctors on a pedestal, but it isn’t real. Every job is needed and valued in society. A garbage collector is just as valuable as a doctor. You can help people in so many different ways, by giving hope to them or entertaining them for example.
Helping people is something I enjoy doing, but I think I’m still finding my way to best do this while also protecting my mental health.