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  • #16
    Life for me was the complete package. It was living with my soul mate, raising a family, living a great life in a really cool area and having a skill in demand and a stable job that paid well. I had a high stress and hard working environment. But there were enough times that I made a difference and that pulled my through. But frankly it wasn’t long when I’d prefer routine and boring. I wouldn’t accept simply that it’s a job so it’s going to suck, rather, is it a good gig that helps me create the life I want.

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    • #17
      It seems to me that what you are experiencing happens often enough and not just in medicine. There is a feeling that the days of achieving and upward mobility are over. Or there is a feeling that you have become a slave to the billing. Or both. It doesn’t sound like true burnout. I hope you read over some of the responses above and reflect on the fact that you are in a enviable place professionally. The training is done. You have achieved your goal. Certainly you could try something else, but first embrace being a great doc. Then apply the advice above: keep learning; work life balance; volunteer for a committee or two, etc. But most importantly, don’t completely change jobs/roles for a fellowship or administration until you are sure you are running towards that because it will bring you joy rather than running from your current frustrations.

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      • #18
        There was a podcast on Freakonomics about NFL long snappers. Those guys get paid more than most of us, and literally all they do is throw the football back a long way between their legs. But they’re the best in the world. I think most jobs that pay the best involve doing the same thing over and over again, but being better at it than anyone else. If you seek more variety, expect a trade off in your compensation.

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        • #19
          Derek Zoolander: I think I've got the black lung, pop.
          Larry Zoolander: For god's sake Derek, you were down there one day!

          This is the job and not an identity. There is monotony in everything.

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          • #20
            thanks for your thoughts and advice, I have found in my current role taking care of a more wealthier population which seems to be less gratifying with less sense of appreciation than when I was taking care of a more underserved population which made the daily monotony more rewarding

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            • #21
              Originally posted by G View Post

              I've been an attending for 19 years. I am not dismissing your feelings, but here is some food for thought: I very much dislike when my day is "challenging"....

              Amen to this! I love my “bread and butter” cases and hate when something bizarre walks in the door where I actually have to read up on a disease. I’m at that stage in my career where I want only “boring”

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Financemd8155 View Post
                Thinking where to transition to- director role with more admin time? pharma? private practice? another fellowship?
                The grass is not greener on the other side so be careful what you wish for. Have you tried doing research? It could be fun and tickle your curiosity enough to keep you reading, breaking up the monotony.

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                • #23
                  Connect with your patients. Compliment them about their tattoos, inquire about their jobs, make queries about their travels. Act or be impressed. When people open up, things can sometimes get interesting. Or you can learn something tangentially.

                  When I encounter "challenging" patients, I delve into mitochondrial/metabolism talk. I get a lot of nodding and subtle hints for a speedy exit.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by childay View Post

                    Agree! I don't much care for "challenging patients." I can assume surgeons don't enjoy "challenging cases" etc
                    Hate excitement these days

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by burritos View Post
                      Connect with your patients. Compliment them about their tattoos, inquire about their jobs, make queries about their travels. Act or be impressed. When people open up, things can sometimes get interesting. Or you can learn something tangentially.

                      When I encounter "challenging" patients, I delve into mitochondrial/metabolism talk. I get a lot of nodding and subtle hints for a speedy exit.
                      Ahh, the advantage is the physician's. Do NOT talk above them, go deep deep down in the weeds. If you have to, go all the way down to the cell level.
                      What is the phrase? "Dazzle them with brilliance or if needed, baffle them with BS".

                      Full disclosure: Be careful with statistics, might be an engineer or an actuary. Speak below your patients.

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                      • #26
                        My connections with patients and colleagues on a human level is what sustained me and kept me happy over the years. The medicine got so much easier with experience, pretty routine.

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                        • #27
                          Gen Peds. I find that the feeling of monotony (not quite the right word, but what you described) waxes and wanes. Just when I think I can predict every conversation I am going to have during a clinic day I get a curveball - either medical or personal. Helps that my patients are cute.

                          Adding in some volunteer work and some side gigs has helped. We physicians tend to like challenge and learning new stuff. If not medicine, keep learning about whatever interests you - and if you put everything aside during training, now is your chance to find out what that is! But please don't go chasing the next job, a new fellowship, a new industry, not just yet. There are people who do that and their careers and relationships suffer, and they aren't any happier than the rest of us.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by CrockettsRiver View Post
                            Helps that my patients are cute.
                            There are people who do that with relationships and their careers suffer, and they aren't happier than the rest of us.

                            Just rearranged your advice to point out a different hazard. Happiness comes from within. Not from work or other stimulus.

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                            • #29
                              YES! Same here. Fyi most director roles require 5+yrs post residency. I agree with those above re a boring day being more managable than challenging days. I’ve learned to be ok w boring stuff the last yr or so. Not a bad way to make a living

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                              • #30
                                Only boring people get bored

                                look into even the simplest of cases, the most mundane diagnoses and there is a lifetime of discovery and intellectual challenge that’s awaits the curious mind

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