Isabel Rangel Barón:

Generally I thought writing less here would mean things are better.  I’m just more tired than ever now, and my anxiety is pervasive.  Even as a doctor now, I don’t look up conditions or try to diagnose myself.  There’s an expert for that. 

I know I’m not happy.  I know that when I’m thinking about being unhappy, my other thoughts are about how anxious I am.  Medical school and residency have broken down a young man starting to learn how to be confident, and now I just constantly worry, think about what others think about me and how they’ll treat me.  I’m always agreeable because you can’t differ in medical opinion without risking a bad day/week/month with your attending.

I thought at this point I’d be happier, but nothing really excites me.  I abandoned my hobbies and don’t go out to see my friends anymore.  The only “good” things in my life are a paycheck and having time off. 

I’m hardly respected as a physician because I’m a resident.  Nurses talk down to me but roll over for my attendings.  I’m following protocols and checking these boxes on the EMR and putting in these orders and managing multiple things.  I’m busier than the people who “supervise me,” but they have more experience and can clarify things for me.  “Supervise me” is in quotes because the faculty is often not present.  I eventually get a hold of them because I’m not about to get reprimanded in front of the entire hospital, but I wish they were there training me and being a doctor alongside me. 

It just feels lonely and even more stressful not to have good support from your faculty when you’re learning how to be a doctor.  They might spin that as “more autonomy,” but I just want to be safe and take care of patients in a timely manner too. 

It’s interesting how moods change over time, that has to be something that makes psychology difficult.  I’m more sad now than anxious, and wish I could change my work environment.

I wish it was easy to just leave or transfer, but I feel like it’s better not to rock the boat and just keep trying to make it through a day at a time.  I wish things would get better.  I wish I could feel happy again. 

I look around and see other doctors running marathons or being brilliant musicians.  I just try to disconnect from every social interaction now and spend my time sleeping.  I wonder if going into medicine was a bad decision.   

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