So, third year Med school kicked my a**. No use mincing words. I came out of my 5 weeks at the second hospital for Internal in a mentally and emotionally exhausted place. I was stuck in a thought spiral about getting old and dying, of loosing the people I loved to illnesses like the ones I was surrounded with. My grandmother had fallen, broken her hip and her dementia had reached an inescapable level. I went to work and then went home.
I mostly felt like I didn’t want to be a doctor anymore.
It’s a strange thing, that thought. I’ve basically wanted to be a doctor since I can remember wanting things. I’ve spent 10 years actively trying to get to this place in my life. So then, to find myself thinking; I don’t want this anymore, was somehow almost even worse.
Also, the fact I have so much debt I literally cannot do anything else didn’t help.
Those first 2 weeks after core clerkship I had an OBs elective in the city, and even then I just wanted to get away from the hospital so much. I was a little happier, but still, I just wanted to get away, and that was so worrying for me.
I’ve always been set on OBs; I came to Med school wanting this. I did the core rotation and loved it. And then, for those 2 weeks, I just couldn’t wait to get away and this thought festered in that anxiety that I was already drowning in.
What if OBs wasn’t what I was in love with anymore?
I had no electives in anything but OBs or Gyne.
So, I took a week off and visited my mom; rested and recharged. And then, I headed out for 3 weeks of OBs in a rural setting, 7 hours out of the city.
And I fell in love again.
I loved the area, the docs, the clinics, the call, the OR.
I fell in love again, and in doing so, some of that black mood evaporated. Not all the way; it’s not perfect, but when I compare where I am with where I was, it’s practically different planets.
Burn out is real, and it can happen to anyone any time in your medical career, even before you get those letters in front of your name. My burn out here taught me that, but it also taught me that I can get through it; that there is an end to it, always, and that in doing things I love, taking time for myself and just breathing, you can be ok again.
And I learned that I still love this, and that it’s still what I want to do. And in a life that still is turbulent and uncertain with Carms looming, that’s a enough of a comfort for me.