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Totally Burned Out...and less than a decade in. What's next? [VENT]

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One of the 5 UCs I work in is similar to what you describe. It is depressing to sit in that walk in closet for 12 hours at a time. I have the ability to walk around the clinic and the nurse sits in the closet with me. I have had several conversations about moving us out of the closet but nothing has changed yet.

I think you have pretty good insight. My job too has a wonderful bunch of people to work with and the nearest management to me is great. They just aren't in charge of anything. They have no more power and get no more information than we do.

I'm well paid and treated well and BS exists everywhere so changing jobs would only make sense if it would change some aspect of my current situation that I'm unhappy with.

Isolation sucks. I don't have any great suggestions other than get out of there as often as you can and maybe have a conversation with someone about getting you a different work space.

Lastly get out of your own head. If you constantly worry about how much things suck and worry it will never get better you are just making yourself miserable.

 

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Have you thought about moving into some sort of specialty care or inpatient medicine? Might be a big change and may even have an initial pay cut, but I think you need to get yourself out of the window-less cubby of sinusitis. Perhaps out of that particular realm of medicine entirely. 

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A friend and fellow PA just sent this to me.  It embodies everything so many of us are experiencing.  it's E-VER-Y-WHERE

 

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57 minutes ago, Karma said:

A friend and fellow PA just sent this to me.  It embodies everything so many of us are experiencing.  it's E-VER-Y-WHERE

 

Amazing and true.   Shared already.  

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Great video, I saw it on the reddit PA forum. 

So pertinent and true---burnout is everywhere. But so many of us suffer in silence. There is a sort of professional pride in medicine where you just keep taking it until you are at a breaking point. The culture of "see more, chart more" is everywhere. It's in academia, it's in commercial medicine, it's in private practice. 

And I might revise my statement earlier in this thread about not caring about patient's problems. I want to--especially when it counts for someone. But the demands make almost impossible sometimes. You cannot see 30 pts a day, or 5 an hour, and care about each and every one of them. You are just trying to survive. You get calloused, angry, bored, cynical, resentful. 

Cutting back my hours has really helped, but this is a systemic sickness in western medicine. I'm not sure what it will take to change the culture. We cant all go part-time or just "find new jobs".

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Emailed it to my wife (dental hygiene professor) as well.  So stinkin' true.  Hey privileged administrators from employers to healthcare systems to insurers!  BITE...ME!  My solution is retirement.  You know who else needs to hear this?  The darn patients who think that they know everything and think that they're entitled.  Between having to have gotten up at 2 a.m. this morning to go see my elderly, becoming demented I suspect, mother and then come back and deal with patients during a normal day, I'm already fatally injured.

Here's another step along this line.  What about the damn guilt that one feels when you can't be superman or superwoman to all parties (work, home, extended families) so that they all get the short shaft?  You want consistency?  THERE'S your consistency.  Everyone gets the same short shaft.

Edited by GetMeOuttaThisMess
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I've got to be perfectly honest.  This is the first time I've seen this video and it brought me to tears.

Nothing else to say on it.

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On 3/14/2019 at 5:32 AM, GetMeOuttaThisMess said:

Emailed it to my wife (dental hygiene professor) as well.  So stinkin' true.  Hey privileged administrators from employers to healthcare systems to insurers!  BITE...ME!  My solution is retirement.  You know who else needs to hear this?  The darn patients who think that they know everything and think that they're entitled.  Between having to have gotten up at 2 a.m. this morning to go see my elderly, becoming demented I suspect, mother and then come back and deal with patients during a normal day, I'm already fatally injured.

Here's another step along this line.  What about the damn guilt that one feels when you can't be superman or superwoman to all parties (work, home, extended families) so that they all get the short shaft?  You want consistency?  THERE'S your consistency.  Everyone gets the same short shaft.

I hear you loud an clear!! I am down to my last few weeks of work. Leaving standing tall and a bit bloodied but walking away on my terms with my dignity intact.

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Thanks all for your responses.   Sorry I cant address each response, but I am reading them all, it's nice to know I'm not alone with this.


@Sas, thanks for the comments. Yeah, unfortunately the place is the way it is...torn between the two ends.  Sitting outside in the sun today, absolutely dreading another 12 hour shift in the cubby, I feel like..I think I know which of the two i like better...I think i may have to choose non-isolation over good job (on paper)...

@Han, well, never thought too much of the specialties...I worked in cardiac diagnostics briefly but it was busywork.  Yes, of course, i'd have to find a place that would be willing to (re)train me and probably a pay cut, don't mind the pay cut as much as being a total novice, but I guess that would be the cost of a change...any specialties you or anyone reading might recommend?  I'm wondering about family or primary, but from what I understand, those are 4+ patients-per-hour cattle mills now too...

@revronin, nice new picture, and yeah....gosh, that video says it all.  Unfortunately, ain't nothing going to change...this is, as we know, the new normal of medicine. My primary care just joined some membership-only medical franchise that charges a $2000 "buy in" for patients, but guarantees them time to sit and talk to the doctor, and not be rushed through like cattle. I'm intrigued by the idea, had never heard of it, and am curious if I MYSELF could find such a place to work!

@BruceBanner no, I get you. Honestly...I don't care about the patients anymore either, not a darn.  In fact, I absolutely HATE them for bothering me with their obviously viral URIs all day long. I see them, literally, as nothing more than annoyances that not only FORCE me to document, but KEEP me from documenting as well. Literally, in my head, with every patient, i'm thinking "shut the **** up, i don't care, just answer my yes/no questions, let me pretend to smile and care, give you my long-ago-memorized speech about sinus infections, then prescribe you ABX anyway because you will demand it, ok, now shut up and get out of my exam room and stop wasting my time and energy.... because you  decided to pretend DayQuil doesn't exist, and come in with this B.S., I have to spend twice the time I am spending with you charting your nonsense."  I guess I'g getting burned...I mean morally injured. Truly...it does feel like PTSD.  Every time I see my work clothes, my ID, my work bag...I get queasy and tense.

To all...what do you think might be a good fit for me, as a UC PA with some limited Cardiology (diagnostic) experience, where I can actually have a workload that is paced moderately enough, and interesting enough, so that i'll actually give a damn again?

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I am actively planning early retirement.  I have crossed over from wanting to get out, to needing to get out.  

My advice to young PA's is this:

1.  Get out of debt as fast as you can, period.

2.  Do NOT get back into debt buying a big house and an expensive car.

3.  Save Save Save.  Max your IRA and 401k each year and learn to live with what is left.

4.  Retire early before your moral and physical injury becomes permanent.

 

It is too late for a lot of us, but not for you.  It's no coincidence what this profession does to your physical and mental health.

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Thanks all for your responses.   Sorry I cant address each response, but I am reading them all, it's nice to know I'm not alone with this.

 

[mention=113028]Sas[/mention], thanks for the comments. Yeah, unfortunately the place is the way it is...torn between the two ends.  Sitting outside in the sun today, absolutely dreading another 12 hour shift in the cubby, I feel like..I think I know which of the two i like better...I think i may have to choose non-isolation over good job (on paper)...

@Han, well, never thought too much of the specialties...I worked in cardiac diagnostics briefly but it was busywork.  Yes, of course, i'd have to find a place that would be willing to (re)train me and probably a pay cut, don't mind the pay cut as much as being a total novice, but I guess that would be the cost of a change...any specialties you or anyone reading might recommend?  I'm wondering about family or primary, but from what I understand, those are 4+ patients-per-hour cattle mills now too...

@revronin, nice new picture, and yeah....gosh, that video says it all.  Unfortunately, ain't nothing going to change...this is, as we know, the new normal of medicine. My primary care just joined some membership-only medical franchise that charges a $2000 "buy in" for patients, but guarantees them time to sit and talk to the doctor, and not be rushed through like cattle. I'm intrigued by the idea, had never heard of it, and am curious if I MYSELF could find such a place to work!

[mention=77160]BruceBanner[/mention] no, I get you. Honestly...I don't care about the patients anymore either, not a darn.  In fact, I absolutely HATE them for bothering me with their obviously viral URIs all day long. I see them, literally, as nothing more than annoyances that not only FORCE me to document, but KEEP me from documenting as well. Literally, in my head, with every patient, i'm thinking "shut the **** up, i don't care, just answer my yes/no questions, let me pretend to smile and care, give you my long-ago-memorized speech about sinus infections, then prescribe you ABX anyway because you will demand it, ok, now shut up and get out of my exam room and stop wasting my time and energy.... because you  decided to pretend DayQuil doesn't exist, and come in with this B.S., I have to spend twice the time I am spending with you charting your nonsense."  I guess I'g getting burned...I mean morally injured. Truly...it does feel like PTSD.  Every time I see my work clothes, my ID, my work bag...I get queasy and tense.

To all...what do you think might be a good fit for me, as a UC PA with some limited Cardiology (diagnostic) experience, where I can actually have a workload that is paced moderately enough, and interesting enough, so that i'll actually give a damn again?

 

You’ve established a great reason why your job isn’t for you: the isolation. At least you know now.

 

But you’ve seemed to have stacked up reasons not to change: all jobs are the same, I’d have to take a paycut, I’d have to learn a lot of new things, my only other specialty job was busywork, etc.

 

Get a job without isolation; that’s important to you. Get a job rounding in the hospital, for example. I round in several, have to drive around a little, and have friends all over town. Not all jobs ARE the same.

 

Advice: get out of your head and start looking. Just the “starting” part will make you feel better.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I agree with UGo Long- A hospitalist position may be a good fit for you. Lots of walking around, social interaction, variety in your day. 

You are not crazy for wanting to see daylight in your workday. I'd be insane if I couldn't. And hospitals have lots of windows! 🙂

I have to tell you I was feeling the same way, and posted something similar a few months ago. I transitioned into Addiction Medicine. While it's certainly not for everyone, these patients WANT to get better, and there is true reward in seeing a patient go from rock bottom to functioning well in a job, marriage is better, etc. And hey- you flunk your drug screen 3 times you're out. It's great to have "rules" to back me up, so there's no room for the back and forth bs we see with chronic narc users. 

AND- no "list" of complaints.  We are there to get them off opioids or ETOH and that's it. 

Other issues go back to PCP.  Of course we help facilitate as needed, but there's an office RN for that. 

It's invigorating to practice medicine the way I imagined. 

I highly recommend to those of you who are considering it! 

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