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Bottom of a ladder I don't really want to be at the top of Watch

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    I don't know if i'll hit "submit" at the end of writing this. It may well be therapeutic in itself just to write this and explore my thoughts. I don't know. I used TSR around A-levels, and am now an F1 doc after 6 gruelling years of med school, so it's been a while.

    I'm not enjoying my job. Boo hoo, here comes sir complain-a-lot (hey, quite proud of that epithet, might click submit just to share it). I know I should feel grateful for being in the position I am in, having got into med school (why did I want to do it? Not sure I ever knew - I think this is a significant root of the problem), graduated successfully, working in my home town.

    It comes down to being overworked to the point where I rarely take breaks in my ward job, feel incompetent during on-calls when I'm on my own for a large degree relying on my own instinct with often unhelpful seniors, and feel unsupported, as I don't work in a "team", but take care of a bunch of patients each with their own impossible-to-get-hold-of reg/consultant so I rely on my own judgement where a senior's thumbs up would be greatly reassuring. The fear and stress is real, especially in on-calls, and I usually go home exhausted and solemn.

    The list of work grows ever longer during the day, without the hours, energy, support to achieve them. It's truly draining. I now understand what medics meant when they talked about the "responsibility" of the job, it really is burdensome. My colleagues are pulled away to do their own week's of on-calls and what not, which leaves me with weeks of massive workloads where again, there's no respite. All this means I rarely get much done productively in my free time, and have not been able to sustain my hobbies and interests and friendships and personal goals.

    I don't actually enjoy very much about medicine at all, I've known this for a few years. I really can't think of anywhere worse than a hospital, in terms of its work environment, atmosphere, competitive and cover-your-back nature of colleagues, it's like nowhere else. The only part I do like is sitting with frail people or frightened relatives and being able to offer them some reassurance and comfort, lend a listening ear, address the worries they have, which are rarely the same as what's at the top of the medical problems' list. I think I'd make a good palliative care doctor, and might consider it, were it not for wanting to get out of hospitals and avoid core medical training with a passion.

    PLAN
    1. GP? The only field where I feel I'd be able to live my life in peace. Work 30-40 hours in a week, take extended periods out of work should I need to, raise my (future) children myself, locum if I need to. None of this is actually related to the job itself. I think I'd be a good listener, but I'm a bit intimidated of being a GP, having to actually know what to do and not having people to rely on. I guess that's what the training is for of course. And I really do know that GPs are getting burnt out and are overworked too but... I'll just work less, I don't need a lot to live on.

    2. Power through. Just get through F1. Then just get through F2... Then just get through GPST1...Then just get through GPST2 and GPST3. Sigh. I expect it gets worse before it gets better, but it's disappointing to me that I give up my 20's for the sake of a job I don't like. Maybe I'll start to like it, I don't know. I've been hearing that for years now.

    3. Get another job - NOT. Not interested in finance firms or banking etc. Nor to start at the bottom of a ladder I don't want to be at the top of. My dream job would be to teach in a secondary school, but teachers don't have it easy nowadays and I feel I wouldn't have the space to truly use my classroom space creatively as I want. It's all exams, exams. It would also feel like a huge step backwards. Maybe qualify as a GP and "locum" as a teacher? The other way around? There goes my free time again! Maybe start my own school... (Right... me and the small loan of $1m my father left for me.)

    I'm tired now but in summary I feel stretched and that I don't have much of a life at all. I can see it getting worse. And not sure the end destination would be much of a victory.
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    Penny for my thoughts... Someone recently offered me a physician role in a pharmaceutical / clinical trials company. Tried researching a little bit but looks like something I might intern in for a bit in a year out between F2 and GP training potentially.
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    I know someone who is opening a school, and she isn't paying for it. The government pay for it, but then again, she's a top class teacher, friends with Xi Jingping and appeared on that Chiinese Teachers in English schools programme. Go to a secondary school and teach biology, my favourite subject by far, and you would be able to handle the year 9 chemistry you might get set, though you could just specialise in biology if you're lucky (and they have enough teachers). You can be as creative as you want, as long as you teach the syllabus you can do it doing a handstand if you like.
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    (Original post by Len Goodman)
    Unfortuately you should have considered the downsides that come with being a doctor before embarking on a medical degree. A large proportion of young people just pick medicine because of the money without realising that it requires a lot of hard work.
    Go away.
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    (Original post by twostepsforward)
    I don't know if i'll hit "submit" at the end of writing this. It may well be therapeutic in itself just to write this and explore my thoughts. I don't know. I used TSR around A-levels, and am now an F1 doc after 6 gruelling years of med school, so it's been a while.

    I'm not enjoying my job. Boo hoo, here comes sir complain-a-lot (hey, quite proud of that epithet, might click submit just to share it). I know I should feel grateful for being in the position I am in, having got into med school (why did I want to do it? Not sure I ever knew - I think this is a significant root of the problem), graduated successfully, working in my home town.

    It comes down to being overworked to the point where I rarely take breaks in my ward job, feel incompetent during on-calls when I'm on my own for a large degree relying on my own instinct with often unhelpful seniors, and feel unsupported, as I don't work in a "team", but take care of a bunch of patients each with their own impossible-to-get-hold-of reg/consultant so I rely on my own judgement where a senior's thumbs up would be greatly reassuring. The fear and stress is real, especially in on-calls, and I usually go home exhausted and solemn.

    The list of work grows ever longer during the day, without the hours, energy, support to achieve them. It's truly draining. I now understand what medics meant when they talked about the "responsibility" of the job, it really is burdensome. My colleagues are pulled away to do their own week's of on-calls and what not, which leaves me with weeks of massive workloads where again, there's no respite. All this means I rarely get much done productively in my free time, and have not been able to sustain my hobbies and interests and friendships and personal goals.

    I don't actually enjoy very much about medicine at all, I've known this for a few years. I really can't think of anywhere worse than a hospital, in terms of its work environment, atmosphere, competitive and cover-your-back nature of colleagues, it's like nowhere else. The only part I do like is sitting with frail people or frightened relatives and being able to offer them some reassurance and comfort, lend a listening ear, address the worries they have, which are rarely the same as what's at the top of the medical problems' list. I think I'd make a good palliative care doctor, and might consider it, were it not for wanting to get out of hospitals and avoid core medical training with a passion.
    I must say, all of this could have been me writing about my first FY1 job in general medicine. Absolutely gruelling experience: leaving at 7 or 8 most nights, constant chaos, overworked, disinterested or actively hostile seniors, bureaucracy, mismanagement, no time for learning. Literally being the ward dogsbody. Why should you feel grateful for dealing with this shite? Anyone who says you should can piss off. The job needs to be done, and it's our resonsibility to do it well, but that doesn't mean we have to be eternally grateful for the rubbish that comes with it.

    The most important thing to bear in mind is: it's not you who is the problem. Acute medical care in this country is just a complete mess at the moment (just watch the news). Not enough beds, not enough staff, not enough funding, social problems....all the while you and I have spent the past 4-6 years in medical school memorising Duke's staging and paediatric developmental milestones to get through finals. Important stuff for sure, but it doesn't prepare you for the combined onslaught of hospital bureaucracy, demanding bosses, finite resources, whilst trying to take care of extremely sick people, none of whom "act" like they "should" do in textbooks or question banks. I was someone who hardly ever skipped placement, turned up like a goody-two-shoes, did extra, and it still hit me like a freight train, so believe me, the problem is not with you.

    General medicine wards are completely ****ed up - the combination of elderly patients with multiple co-morbidities, staff shortages, endless paperwork for the simplest tasks, and non-existent social care means that to get things done you have to be a doctor, social worker, secretary-on-speed, patient right's advocate, nurse, and porter. This is admirable, but cannot be done between the hours of 9-5 whilst also expecting to get decent sleep or maintain a social life. You will be miserable, and you will quite frankly hate it. I don't know any of my fellow FY1s in medicine who actually enjoyed the job.

    Like you, I got into this job because I genuinely like being there for people, hearing about their lives, and doing my best for them. But frankly, the way that inpatient general medicine is structured means that the system is rigged against you and is more akin to a mass production line in a factory: nurses reduced to asking you if you're looking after "bed 11A" or "the DKA" (because remembering names and faces is a luxury when they're stressed over relatives and filling out falls pathways), everyone covering their backs, paperwork taking precedence over actual care, etc. It's terrible and it should be anathema to any right thinking doctor or healthcare professional.

    So I don't have any answers as to how general medicine and inpatient care can be fixed: that requires political will and correctly directed public anger first and foremost. However, what I can tell you is that it is not you who is at fault here. Don't listen to morons who don't have a clue what it's like, you shouldn't feel guilty for legitimately being overworked and underappreciated.

    Some doctors can detach and adapt themselves more readily from this sort of thing due to having an absolute passion for inpatient specialties and the ward environment. I am not one of those people, so naturally this sort of craziness is going to bother me a lot more. Since switching to a surgical ward, I have found things far more manageable (even the on calls) and I have begun to enjoy my job again. What was your first job like? What will you be doing next? As you say, there are specialties which, whilst not perfect, don't have to deal with this sort of insanity everyday. Anaesthetists generally seem happy, as do radiologists. GPland seems like a nice place with nice people. Paediatricians also seem to be reasonably happy. Doctors in these specialties have their own grievances too of course, but what I'm saying is, just because your first few jobs of FY1 aren't fun doesn't mean your entire career is destined to be like that.

    I still firmly believe that being a doctor is a privilege and something I want to be doing, despite the crappiness of FY1. My personal strategy during those first four months was, as you said, basically just powering through, and vowing that I would never set foot on a general medical ward ever again. I think I was also fortunate in that, despite being on a crazy ward, the other junior doctors were all really nice and we all became close friends. I can promise you that you are not the only who feels like this - do you have anyone at work who you can talk to about how you're feeling?

    Also, the good news is that when you hopefully do move onto a less stressful job, you will be quite well prepared because nothing will ever be as horrendous as what you're going through now
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    Everything Democracy said. My gen med FY1 job was the most miserable 3 months of my career, and I think it's got worse since I did it (2009/10). You are not alone, and it is not your fault that things are crappy. Do the best you can, ***** about it with the other FY1s, and if things are really dangerous, escalate it via Datix/foundation school/GMC survey. It does get better once you find a specialty you fit in.
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    (Original post by twostepsforward)
    2. Power through. Just get through F1. Then just get through F2... Then just get through GPST1...Then just get through GPST2 and GPST3. Sigh. I expect it gets worse before it gets better, but it's disappointing to me that I give up my 20's for the sake of a job I don't like.
    Disagree. From what I gather, most people find FY1 their worst year, sometimes by far. You may gain more responsibility as you get more senior, but you are more equipped to deal with it. May not seem like it now but you are. Mainly in terms of just learning to be decisive rather than actual knowledge but that still counts.

    You don't have to sacrifice your 20s - FY3 year anyone? There aren't that many professional careers where its so easy to just take a year out safe in the knowledge that they will just take you back next August. And if you live frugally like you seem to imply then you can have enough money to not need to work at all - a years break to do what you want, within reason.
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    I work in clinical trials (not as a physician but still in the clinic). I have a good idea of what the Physicians do if you have any questions.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    Everything Democracy said. My gen med FY1 job was the most miserable 3 months of my career, and I think it's got worse since I did it (2009/10). You are not alone, and it is not your fault that things are crappy. Do the best you can, ***** about it with the other FY1s, and if things are really dangerous, escalate it via Datix/foundation school/GMC survey. It does get better once you find a specialty you fit in.
    I've seen some of your advice around here Helenia and, tbh, surprised/reassured that even someone as yourself when through the mud too and found it quite miserable! It's good to hear in a weird way, and I do look forward to being more proficient in whatever it is that do so I can actually do a good job to help people.
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    I must say, all of this could have been me writing about my first FY1 job in general medicine. Absolutely gruelling experience: leaving at 7 or 8 most nights, constant chaos, overworked, disinterested or actively hostile seniors, bureaucracy, mismanagement, no time for learning. Literally being the ward dogsbody. Why should you feel grateful for dealing with this shite? Anyone who says you should can piss off. The job needs to be done, and it's our resonsibility to do it well, but that doesn't mean we have to be eternally grateful for the rubbish that comes with it.

    The most important thing to bear in mind is: it's not you who is the problem. Acute medical care in this country is just a complete mess at the moment (just watch the news). Not enough beds, not enough staff, not enough funding, social problems....all the while you and I have spent the past 4-6 years in medical school memorising Duke's staging and paediatric developmental milestones to get through finals. Important stuff for sure, but it doesn't prepare you for the combined onslaught of hospital bureaucracy, demanding bosses, finite resources, whilst trying to take care of extremely sick people, none of whom "act" like they "should" do in textbooks or question banks. I was someone who hardly ever skipped placement, turned up like a goody-two-shoes, did extra, and it still hit me like a freight train, so believe me, the problem is not with you.

    General medicine wards are completely ****ed up - the combination of elderly patients with multiple co-morbidities, staff shortages, endless paperwork for the simplest tasks, and non-existent social care means that to get things done you have to be a doctor, social worker, secretary-on-speed, patient right's advocate, nurse, and porter. This is admirable, but cannot be done between the hours of 9-5 whilst also expecting to get decent sleep or maintain a social life. You will be miserable, and you will quite frankly hate it. I don't know any of my fellow FY1s in medicine who actually enjoyed the job.

    Like you, I got into this job because I genuinely like being there for people, hearing about their lives, and doing my best for them. But frankly, the way that inpatient general medicine is structured means that the system is rigged against you and is more akin to a mass production line in a factory: nurses reduced to asking you if you're looking after "bed 11A" or "the DKA" (because remembering names and faces is a luxury when they're stressed over relatives and filling out falls pathways), everyone covering their backs, paperwork taking precedence over actual care, etc. It's terrible and it should be anathema to any right thinking doctor or healthcare professional.

    So I don't have any answers as to how general medicine and inpatient care can be fixed: that requires political will and correctly directed public anger first and foremost. However, what I can tell you is that it is not you who is at fault here. Don't listen to morons who don't have a clue what it's like, you shouldn't feel guilty for legitimately being overworked and underappreciated.

    Some doctors can detach and adapt themselves more readily from this sort of thing due to having an absolute passion for inpatient specialties and the ward environment. I am not one of those people, so naturally this sort of craziness is going to bother me a lot more. Since switching to a surgical ward, I have found things far more manageable (even the on calls) and I have begun to enjoy my job again. What was your first job like? What will you be doing next? As you say, there are specialties which, whilst not perfect, don't have to deal with this sort of insanity everyday. Anaesthetists generally seem happy, as do radiologists. GPland seems like a nice place with nice people. Paediatricians also seem to be reasonably happy. Doctors in these specialties have their own grievances too of course, but what I'm saying is, just because your first few jobs of FY1 aren't fun doesn't mean your entire career is destined to be like that.

    I still firmly believe that being a doctor is a privilege and something I want to be doing, despite the crappiness of FY1. My personal strategy during those first four months was, as you said, basically just powering through, and vowing that I would never set foot on a general medical ward ever again. I think I was also fortunate in that, despite being on a crazy ward, the other junior doctors were all really nice and we all became close friends. I can promise you that you are not the only who feels like this - do you have anyone at work who you can talk to about how you're feeling?

    Also, the good news is that when you hopefully do move onto a less stressful job, you will be quite well prepared because nothing will ever be as horrendous as what you're going through now
    I really was not expecting how good it is to hear that I'm not crazy, or incompetent, or not caring enough towards people. You've taken time to put your thoughts and advice together, and it's something I value. Sometimes it feels as though everyone else is managing insanely well, and I wonder what went wrong with me - literally, every detail that you describe. Like those moments in med school lectures when you look around baffled and everyone else seems to be nodding with great understanding :| So thank you. I know there's no magic "ohh is THAT what I should be doing" to fix it all. But I think this in itself is part of the getting through it. And yes, it's true there are those who enjoy their job. To a degree being an FY1 in [anything] is a world apart from being a [anything] further down the line, and one of the things which brings me satisfaction is being competent and doing a great job in something - I think as an FY1 it's tough to get that, when you need to seek help at quite a lot of turnings.

    All in all, yes, I think learning to just be busy like this is something I'll adjust to and slowly add back in all the things I like to do in my spare time. I think I'll come back and read through your guys advice and thoughts when I need to be reminded of much of this!
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Disagree. From what I gather, most people find FY1 their worst year, sometimes by far. You may gain more responsibility as you get more senior, but you are more equipped to deal with it. May not seem like it now but you are. Mainly in terms of just learning to be decisive rather than actual knowledge but that still counts.

    You don't have to sacrifice your 20s - FY3 year anyone? There aren't that many professional careers where its so easy to just take a year out safe in the knowledge that they will just take you back next August. And if you live frugally like you seem to imply then you can have enough money to not need to work at all - a years break to do what you want, within reason.
    You're absolutely right, really, in that the worst part of much of it is not being equipped to help patients or answer nurses' concerns as they need to be. Just taking the query, nodding, and bleeping the SHO/reg, and stressing increasingly as I wait for a response that may never come.

    I fluctuate on and off about FY3. As it stands I'm really keen on the idea, and the only major deterrent is fear of GP training going from 3 years to 5. And having that flexibility to step out the job to be able to locum freely and step back into training, that is something for which I am grateful.
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    (Original post by bony_joe)
    I work in clinical trials (not as a physician but still in the clinic). I have a good idea of what the Physicians do if you have any questions.
    I really do have no idea - thank you for taking the time to offer your experience.

    My questions fall under:

    (1) what does/can the work involve, for someone who has a background in medicine?

    (2) how much / what kind of experience is expected, e.g. is the MBBS degree enough to then learn on the job, or full GP training? And is active interest in research, clinical trials etc. a key part of it?

    As brief or comprehensive as you like, much appreciated.
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    I only skim read it, but I like the title. My instant reaction was find another ladder. You are obviously smart enough to self analyse, so work out what it is you dont like. Do some research and talk to others about your prjected career path and whether it gets better (how they deal with the drawbacks). If it doesnt look promising then consider when the best time to make the jimp will be into your new area.
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    After Uni, Theres always a period of adjusting to "wage slave" life.

    Try to wake up tomorrow fresh. Take stock of what you need to do for the next 2 years, and try to complete it. Remember - You come first - not the patients.

    On a separate note, I was given this advice to how to deal with working life - hope it works for you too.
    Every 12 months, always ask yourself.
    "Did I learn/progress/experience something different?"
    You should always try to make sure the answer is "yes" - and it doesn't have to be work related.
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    (Original post by twostepsforward)
    I really do have no idea - thank you for taking the time to offer your experience.

    My questions fall under:

    (1) what does/can the work involve, for someone who has a background in medicine?

    (2) how much / what kind of experience is expected, e.g. is the MBBS degree enough to then learn on the job, or full GP training? And is active interest in research, clinical trials etc. a key part of it?

    As brief or comprehensive as you like, much appreciated.
    The main things that the medics do is: 1) Screen the volunteers to check that they are eligible to go onto a study.
    2) Discuss study with volunteers and get informed consent.
    3) If any subjects have adverse events you decide if it's related to the drug.
    4) Cannulate subjects
    5) Dose subjects
    6) Have meetings with the sponsor.

    In terms of qualifications you can technically work after F2 but you need to be quite confident working independently. You should have seniors and a PI to ask but it's a small team and you wouldnt necessarily have as much support as you would in a hospital.

    Another thing to consider is that if you want to work as a PI in the future is that you'll have to do a pharmaceutical medicine qualification.

    You are still on call but otherwise it's quite a good job for work life balance. It's pretty much Mon-Fri 9-5 and free weekends.
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    (Original post by bony_joe)
    The main things that the medics do is: 1) Screen the volunteers to check that they are eligible to go onto a study.
    2) Discuss study with volunteers and get informed consent.
    3) If any subjects have adverse events you decide if it's related to the drug.
    4) Cannulate subjects
    5) Dose subjects
    6) Have meetings with the sponsor.

    In terms of qualifications you can technically work after F2 but you need to be quite confident working independently. You should have seniors and a PI to ask but it's a small team and you wouldnt necessarily have as much support as you would in a hospital.

    Another thing to consider is that if you want to work as a PI in the future is that you'll have to do a pharmaceutical medicine qualification.

    You are still on call but otherwise it's quite a good job for work life balance. It's pretty much Mon-Fri 9-5 and free weekends.
    Sorry, abbreviation - PI? Not a private investigator I take it. Principal investigator? I'd really be keen to do a few months internship, any big names worth getting in touch with or leads?

    PS. Very little support in my current job / as a GP so wouldn't be too afraid of that.
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    Had a bit of a dark week again, ending with my family rounding on me demanding to know why I'm not grateful for being in the position I'm in. Other people could only DREAM of being a doctor, and try so hard unsuccessfully. What would I rather be doing? Etc.

    I ineloquently fumbled that it's not that I'm not grateful, even though - I agree - I might be putting out quite a "low" image and when asked often give a negative impression. And I don't think other people's dreaming for this means I have to feel a certain way...

    Ah I really don't know. I have a little resentment that I was pushed into medicine by my family, and yet I do know I should be grateful that my parents educated me through childhood etc. and... Every job has its stresses. What would I rather be doing? I can't answer that one either. I don't think it's a fair question, but I can't think why.

    Is it that I'm going through what everyone goes through, but I'm just not adjusting to it as well? Probably cos I'm so self-entitled? No I don't like to think that and disagree. Maybe wage-slave adjustment as you mentioned sir up there. I'd like to think that's all it is. Doctors in their 50s well into their careers seem to be doing well, why are you so miserable and pessimistic? Can't answer it. I just don't like to discuss it at all now, and will opt to suck it up and carry on I think. Gonna make the bloody most of F3 year.
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    (Original post by twostepsforward)
    Sorry, abbreviation - PI? Not a private investigator I take it. Principal investigator? I'd really be keen to do a few months internship, any big names worth getting in touch with or leads?

    PS. Very little support in my current job / as a GP so wouldn't be too afraid of that.
    Yup PI = principal investigator.

    Quotients, quintiles and parexel are the big names. However there are lots of smaller companies around the country and there are also clinical trials units in hospitals as well. Try the clinical trials unit network. They have a list of registered units.
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    (Original post by twostepsforward)
    Had a bit of a dark week again, ending with my family rounding on me demanding to know why I'm not grateful for being in the position I'm in. Other people could only DREAM of being a doctor, and try so hard unsuccessfully. What would I rather be doing? Etc.

    I ineloquently fumbled that it's not that I'm not grateful, even though - I agree - I might be putting out quite a "low" image and when asked often give a negative impression. And I don't think other people's dreaming for this means I have to feel a certain way...

    Ah I really don't know. I have a little resentment that I was pushed into medicine by my family, and yet I do know I should be grateful that my parents educated me through childhood etc. and... Every job has its stresses. What would I rather be doing? I can't answer that one either. I don't think it's a fair question, but I can't think why.

    Is it that I'm going through what everyone goes through, but I'm just not adjusting to it as well? Probably cos I'm so self-entitled? No I don't like to think that and disagree. Maybe wage-slave adjustment as you mentioned sir up there. I'd like to think that's all it is. Doctors in their 50s well into their careers seem to be doing well, why are you so miserable and pessimistic? Can't answer it. I just don't like to discuss it at all now, and will opt to suck it up and carry on I think. Gonna make the bloody most of F3 year.
    In the nicest possible way, tell your family to piss off. Like you said, you can't make yourself feel a certain way just because they want you to. They're not the ones going out and doing your job on a daily basis.

    Anyway - I know lots of more senior doctors have said they felt similarly as FY1s; I'm FY1 at the moment, and I feel exactly the same. My first job was okay after the initial in-at-the-deep-end horror, which was always going to happen, but this one is atrocious (almost all of my FY2/CT1 colleagues describe it as the worst rotation they've ever had). Like you, I find I'm late home by a couple of hours most days; like you, I find I'm too exhausted to do many of the things I enjoy when I do get home. I constantly feel out of my depth and like there are too many things to do to get any of them done properly, and senior support is almost non-existent. It is absolutely ****.

    Unlike the guys above, I can't tell you it gets better from personal experience. All I can tell you is what's kept me going so far, which is the other juniors and the nurses. I don't know if you're doing this already, but try to get some of your colleagues together for a drink or food after work at the end of the week. Make it a regular thing, even if you're exhausted. I've done this in both of my jobs so far, and if you're working alongside those people on a daily basis it makes the shift so much more enjoyable and somehow makes you feel a lot safer/better-supported.. and if you're not working alongside them, you still have something to look forward to at the end of the week and - perhaps more importantly - people to offload to who know what you're going through. I can't tell you how much better it made me feel knowing that other people think the job is as awful as I do; it might not make the job itself any better, but it certainly helps you to stop thinking that it's something specifically wrong with you - it isn't.

    PM me if you like; I'm not on here every day, but happy to have a communal rant if you think it'd help.
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    OP here, checking in after...8 months. Thought it would be useful for myself and perhaps others who had/have similar experiences finding the shift to FY1 tough to offer a glimpse of the future from where I was back then.

    Someone asked me recently what I dislike so much about medicine and - to my surprise - I struggled to put a coherent answer together. Evidently, just 8 months ago, I could rant for England about how insufferable FY1 was. I'm writing this before re-reading what I wrote, to present an unbiased picture of my current attitude.

    Currently in A&E as an FY2 and it's... surprisingly enjoyable? Never thought I'd use the word. Don't get me wrong, it's bloody hard work and the hours are hell, my social life is in a ditch, but it's miles better than being a ward-monkey or bruised and battered by endless bleeps during ward cover. I'm truly learning, have good support, and feel like I'm making a little difference, which you don't really get by spending hours chasing referrals on geris wards. That, and the slight confidence of knowing a bit better what to do about common things, has made a lot of difference in my attitude.

    I think my biggest gripes at present are (a) having to work so damn hard, and (b) the unsociable hours. The former, I guess I can't complain, everything seems too much work for a spoon-fed millennial eh? The latter, a well-known peril that's part of the territory, with escape routes that lead to GP-land (here I come) and psych-world. Meeting friends, staying healthy, and keeping on top of personal interests doesn't happen so much so I'm a bit disappointed in myself with that aspect, but GP next placement (and all of F3) to catch up. I think this is something I'll learn to manage better.

    The thing I'm most happy about? Locum prospects. Haven't done much yet, but during F3 I now know I can comfortably and confidently work a month on and a month off and make probably more than what I am now. And heck, it'll be a great learning experience too if I do it in A&E, which I probably will.

    I don't mean to paint a rosy picture, I still feel overworked and usually cranky 3 days into the week but...it's not the same hell, internally or externally. Even when it is super-busy at work and I just want to collapse at the end, it's not with the same uncertainty and panic as an FY1 when you really don't know what's going on.

    Other realisations...despite what everyone says, I am making a good deal more than people my own age (bar the bloody finance lot!) with only the prospect of increase year on year. The security of the job is a big +, with clearly structured training programmes - something I didn't appreciate in my younger days - and easily available, well-paid locum work is a unique perk.

    ------------------------
    TL;DR - FY2 is a lot bloody better than FY1. The work itself in A&E is a lot better than ward cover / jobs (with T&O especially **** as FY1). Hours are (still) a problem, but the stress and anxiety is not the same as you grow in experience, knowledge, confidence. In that sense, it gets better. Taking time out is easy to do and you'll be able to get by, which is something I look forward to greatly, and is unique to the field (as far as I observe around me).
 
 
 
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