I need to get the poison out.
I went into medicine for all the right reasons. I wanted to cure people, to help them, to smooth their journeys through life. And in the best of times, that's exactly what happens. I love my job. I love taking care of people.
And yet, residency is a huge toll. I'm a low-maintenance person, but each of my vacation requests have been denied. With the exception of 4 days off in October and a few days where I attended a national lecture series, I have been working straight since residency started. 80 hours a week is hard. 80 hours a week is harder when you realize that you haven't had a single Saturday/Sunday off for months and months.
The last straw was our lecture today. Two lawyers came in to explain a recent malpractice case; it was a case where the doctors did everything right, and the plaintiff still died. Just by virtue of there being a bad outcome, all the docs got sued. I deal with death every single day, and my whole purpose is to try to stave it off. But the idea that not only do I work my ass off to help people, but that I have a greater than 100% chance of being sued just because of my profession... well, that was just about enough for me.
I've been depressed all day.
Why, exactly, should I slave away, devoting the best 7 years of my life learning how to help people... giving up nights, weekends, vacation, free time... if in the end I'm going to be sued for the one time I make a mistake? My friends from college right now are planning reunions I will never be able to attend.
It's too much. I want just one day truly off, where I don't feel guilty for not obsessively reading about the correct treatment for strep throat, or the appropriate management of septic shock.
I need a break.