Just Keep Swimming

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After a super frustrating week at work, I am ready for the weekend.  Unfortunately, I am on call on Sunday, so I have a shorter weekend.  Hey, at least it’s a weekend.

I am so conflicted about work recently.  I go through these stages of emotion with my job of sheer frustration alternating with apathy, sprinkled with a few shining good days.  I’ll explain.  It has nothing to do with my patients- I love taking care of people, I love learning about neurology and medicine.  I am getting fed up with the politics of it all, and I feel (alot, recently) like I don’t really fit in, like the newbie.  Except I’ve been here for a whole year already, and I still don’t feel like I fit in, and I’m still the newbie.  And it’s because I really don’t fit in- I look too young, too blond, too fresh-faced, I guess.  At least, these are the things everyone tells me.  However, in exactly one week, our new interns will be starting, and I will officially be a second year resident.  Maybe things will get better when we actually have new interns??  I dunno.  Somehow, I have got to stop being so self-conscious about looking different than everyone’s idea of a physician, and I have got to use it as an advantage.  I know my patients feel more comfortable talking to me than some of the older, stuffier doctors; at least, this is again what people tell me.  So maybe I can find a way to use my “different-ness” as an advantage, but I haven’t figured it out quite yet. 

In addition to all of the above things, it’s really stressful to do this job and have as much to learn as I do.  Certain attendings get mad because I don’t have all the answers or need their thoughts on treatment plans…but hey, that’s their job.  And it’s my job to learn what I don’t know.  But when they get impatient, it gets really quite stressful.  It’s like working for someone that expects you to read his or her mind- and I know I’m not the only one that feels this way about their work, not just in medicine, but everywhere.

So I’m frustrated with work…so what?!  Everybody is, at least sometimes.  I don’t think there is anything really to DO about it, unfortunately.  This is the tough part; I have to just keep plugging through.  And second year of residency is the toughest year of residency.  This “just keep swimming” policy is really going to have to kick in.  In second year, I have 10 solid months of inpatient neuro, which is long hours and lots of call.  The other 2 months are psych and neuroradiology.  I’m almost more nervous to start my second year as I was to start my first year!  And the monotony of 10 solid months of the same, very challenging service??  I’ve got to “just keep swimming” well enough to be an Olympian!

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1 Response to Just Keep Swimming

  1. Anonymous says:

    You can do it, Dr Lauren! Look how far you have come. I remember that little blonde sophomore, sitting on the grass on the Baylor campus one spring afternoon — saying, "I don't think I can do this." Yes, you did it & you will do it. This differences are advantages, not disadvantages. The politics and frustrations — all part of today's world. That is why I am now "semi-retired". Too old to play these "games". Keep your chin up, Lauren! Love, Vicki

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