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Hello, I am a few months into a inpatient position in a busy surgical department. We are consistently understaffed and overworked and as a new grad I find myself alone way too much for such a niche speciality. I don't feel remotely comfortable when at work.  I like the speciality but I am almost never with the surgical attending which makes it impossible to learn anything about the speciality, we are just constantly completing miscellaneous hospital tasks.   When I initially accepted the position they made it seem as though there was a robust orientation program but due to the insane amount of work and patient volume there is no time to learn to learn. I am just dropped in the ocean to figure it out. What I like about surgery is being in the OR and I don't even get to do that. I never signed a contract and we have a 3 month mutual fit agreement and I am just about to hit 2 months. I don't think an inpatient job/ rotating schedule (have to work nights too) is for me but I really don't want it to look bad on resume. I am miserable and very unhappy with my current situation but I do not know what to do. 

Looking for some advice for this stressed out new grad... thanks!

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If there's anything illegal or patently unsafe going on, quit immediately.

If it's not the right fit, look for other jobs; be honest with future employers about this job not being a good fit for a new grad.

If it's just overwhelming work... Learn.  Life sucks anywhere at first, but there's two things you can do to make a scut job suck less: 1) learn the medicine, and 2) learn what duties to blow off and simply never do. Which, of course, are the ones that can be safely discarded without harming patient care. You get appointed to a facility-wide committee? Don't go, don't respond to email, and if anyone calls you on it, say you were too busy with patient care.  Now, that will NOT mark you as a "plays nice with others" star, but you're a new grad in a tough position: Your job is to learn well without killing anyone, and no one is really going to care if you got a "midlevel of the month" award for good corporate citizenship.  Every employer will have their tolerance level for this, and it's your goal to NOT get fired, NOT get anyone killed, and to waste the minimum possible time on anything that doesn't contribute to the first two goals.

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Feeling inadequate and finding things wrong with a new job is not particularly unique. You seem to like surgery but you’re not in the OR, you want to learn but your collaborating physician is not around, and you don’t care for the shifts. You could just leave or you could use that position as a stepping stone.

You could, for example, decide to get good about your job and learn from other people around you. You could build relationships that eventually get you to the job you want. There are some advantages to being thrown into the deep end; handled properly (and safely), it can build self-reliance and strengthen you.

You won’t be wrong either way. Feeling like a fish out of water can help you clarify what you really want. If it’s just to feel competent, you are not going to feel like you are for a while, no matter where you start out.

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Sounds like you’re being treated as a PGY1 and you know just enough to function.  As others have said, give it time!  You’re a new grad with a couple mos. experience!  IF you were a PGY1 what would you do then?  Read, watch, read, ask questions, and read.  What were your expectations?

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Sounds like a nightmare surgical rotation, not a job. Talk to the practice manager and the attending about your concerns. If it’s not the last scenario rev ronin brought up, and nothing changes from your discussion-run while you still have a chance. 

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I have been practicing for more than 30 years and I'm in a new job that feels overwhelming some day. I'm having to dig deep for internal med skills I haven't used in a long time. I have to read and look things up all day long. I'm having to use a EHR that is slightly better than a stone tablet and chisel that I got a 90 minute orientation on. I'm having to deal with what is, often, a very difficult patient population with few resources. It frustrates me to no end some days (like this ugly ugly Monday morning).

It has recharged my batteries because it is challenging and because I feel a sense of mission in this work. I haven't felt that in a long time. I love the people I work with.

As stated if you just feel this is overwhelming you to a point where you don't feel safe then it may be time to move on. But if you are just overwhelmed because it is too much too soon you may find, eventually, you will reach a level of competence where you feel real pride in your accomplishment and the care you bring.

An honest conversation with the powers that be about what you thought you were going to be doing vs the reality may bring you some clarity.

 

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On 4/25/2021 at 1:10 PM, GetMeOuttaThisMess said:

Sounds like you’re being treated as a PGY1 and you know just enough to function.  As others have said, give it time!  You’re a new grad with a couple mos. experience!  IF you were a PGY1 what would you do then?  Read, watch, read, ask questions, and read.  What were your expectations?

PGY-1s are required to get a certain number of OR hours by the ACGME.  So this position sounds like a scutwork only position with no OR time.

 

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10 hours ago, TexasPA28 said:

PGY-1s are required to get a certain number of OR hours by the ACGME.  So this position sounds like a scutwork only position with no OR time.

 

I’m referencing any specialty as a PGY1.  I don’t know if the OP was even told that they would be in the OR.  That’s an awfully big oversight if not asked.

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All of the comments that suggest leaving now are good choices. start simply in something like Urgent Care, learn how to treat varied medical problems and in a place with supervision by either a PA who has experience or a Doc. You can make this fun but you need to start slowly.

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