Looking Out


Sometimes, the floor falls out beneath you and you are left grasping for that one single shred of left over sanity, wondering how to save yourself.

I am going to write it out loud here:

I am tired of complaining about what is wrong with healthcare. I want to work to make it right.

How? I am not entirely sure. Either healthcare policy or electronic health record development.

I do not want to leave patient care completely. I enjoy my patients too much!

But I am passionate about this. I need to do it in the same way that I knew I needed to enter medicine in the first place.

Despite how it may appear here, I am an introvert. I play a role in the clinic that allows me to act a bubbly, outgoing, perky lady physician but that is not how I am in real life. I am not good at politics. Politics exhausts me. So this may be the worst idea on the entire planet.

I have to try.

I have been sitting on a job offer for weeks now, worrying about it. Today I decided: I am turning it down. I also know I don’t want to stay where I am.

I can’t.

So, now I am going to plan my next move….


78 thoughts on “Looking Out

  1. Well that’s certainly intriguing! I wish you well wherever you are heading.

    This made me laugh, “you are left grasping for that one single shred of left over sanity” Now why do we always insist on doing that?? I’m telling you, sanity is highly over rated. Embrace the crazy….;)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate to a couple things here, like being and introvert by nature while working with people in health care and the insanity of the system. In the world of state funded and medicaid treatment for addiction, I’m find myself wading through growing layers of paperwork, which is now more electronic, creating more and more barriers and taking time away from helping people. I don’t want to completely leave direct services, but the red tape of managed care is becoming unmanageable. Sometimes I like to imagine some sort of revolution. I admire your goal to make things better and wish you well. Remember to take care of you and your wonderful family!


  3. Health care and politics should never have met. How horrible! Good luck with the career decision you decide (need) to make – I know how hard it is to accept a change that is inevitable, even if it’s something that you need to choose!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As someone who’s made transitions in her own medical career (and is still working on them), I wish you well with whatever your next move is. Change can be daunting, but sometimes we reach a point where it is the only sane option.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Two things: 1.) I was an introvert and still am to some extent and then for 31 years managed to stand in front of a classroom wondering if I could do what needed to be done. But I did. If you are bubbly with your patients then you can learn to be bubbly anywhere and with anyone. 2.) You need to pray for guidance. The Lord wants to and will lead you to where He wants you to be. Hugs, N πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So much struck a chord with me on this post, so I’ll just ramble a bit down here in the comments if that’s ok with you…

    I think we may be related, as we have a lot in common. Except you got the degree, I think I’m older than you, you have kids and… well the similarities are there!

    I too have found the value of thinking aloud, to an audience. It is even better when it is in print (I think). I hope this proves to be the case for you here. And, we’re not going any where, feel free to come back (to your own blog…:) ) and ponder and muse and look like a deer-in-headlights. You set this place up so no one in the “real world” can do an internet search on you, you smart cookie.

    Introverts and being in situations where you can pull it off but you just don’t like it…been there. Not the most political animal? Check.

    As for health care in America… well you have a lot of room to improve things since the whole system is broken. I’ve seen it from many sides: A well-insured and pampered patient to no coverage. I’ve seen it from a doctor’s office where I was an office manager to being a provider (LMT) that was screwed out of being able to charge for honest work (lymphedema). I’ll be curious to see where your quest takes you.

    Let me know if they are hiring. πŸ˜€ :p


  7. I am not on the same level of a career as you but I also turned down a job offer and can’t stay where I am. I wish you the best of luck, change is hard but necessary sometimes. Our time will come…hopefully sooner than later.


  8. “Playing” at a role may be exactly what is needed to help you realize your passion and to encourage change. I think we see ourselves so differently from how others perceive us–maybe you aren’t as much of an introvert as you think and this desire can be channeled into true activism and reform. I guess what I’m attempting to convey is that maybe if you redefine yourself, the goals that you hope to accomplish will follow and come to fruition. Playing a role is a form of doing and doing becomes real…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow. I’m almost overwhelmed by this post–but not speechless.

    First a general comment. I love the pictures you put in your posts. This one looks like one of Edward I’s Welsh castles, but I can’t pick out which one. Looks sort of like Conwy.

    Both the areas you name need a lot of work. I spent many years in computer security, and some of my time was spent dealing with electronic patient records. When I started doing security the hot privacy topic was attempts to use the SSN as a universal identifier. These arguments went on for years, and neither the idea of a universal identifier nor the SSN came out of them very well.

    To be useful and accurate, electronic patient records must have a universal patient identifier, and we have yet to have that “discussion” in this country. Do not expect that it will be any easier or more pleasant than the SSN argument. It too will be characterized by ideologs on both sides saying and doing stupid stuff for political reasons. As a computer geek, I find electronic patient records to be a very interesting subject, but you will have to deal with the identifier issue right away. Guess what realm that discussion lies in–politics. So both subject areas are very political.

    I didn’t mention the political part of health care policy because (I think) that is obvious. So, having been discouraging about the politics in both your potential choices, I’ll turn completely around and say don’t worry about the politics. Pick based on your greater passion and where you think you can make the best contribution. The politics will take care of itself because your passion will lift you up to confront the political situation as necessary.

    Choose what you want to do and damn the torpedos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for the complement in the photos! I took this one about seven years ago in Ireland, Blarney Castle in Cork. πŸ™‚

      EHR’s can be so powerful and a positive force in improving the lives of patients and physicians, be somehow we have allowed ourselves to lose control of the process as physicians.

      The SSN identifier issue is an interesting topic that deserves its own post!

      Damn the torpedos!


      • Universal identifiers are an interesting issue. The technical and political parts are both harder than you might think–but without such a thing, how do we know for sure who we are talking about?

        The privacy issues are huge. Consider the problem of sending a patient record to Europe where the privacy rules are very different and much more stringent than here. So, one political issue appears immediately: who would issue a universal identifier.

        I encourage you to post your views on the identifier issue. I would be most interested to see how things look from your side of the fence.

        Damn the torpedos!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree with many of the comments that you should follow your heart. I have worked in healthcare as an RN and for a long time tried to fit my square self into a round hole. I really suffered for trying to make myself do what did not fit well. I would recommend an author Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen. I am re-reading one book now “My Grandfather’s Blessings” I just read the chapter last night about a young MD who was struggling with the many of the same issues you talk about and she counseled him in this chapter she called Broken. She herself started out as a Pediatrician and ended up as head of a department at Stanford. She writes about how she eventually walked away from that position because she wanted to pursue something in medicine that resonated more with her. You would like her books. Another is “Kitchen Table Wisdom.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, You’ve got my attention! (But then, you usually do) You are always rekindling my faith that physicians are not worn down robots. This blogger is sending positive energy your way!

    * I started in clinical nursing, went to insurance case management, then back to nursing when I could not longer ignore what my heart was telling me. In a little way, I get the challenge you have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will admit that I have been starting to feel like a worn down robot. I cannot live that way. AND I was reading an article about how physicians would not ever take back medicine and I’ll be damned if I am going to let them be right.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m so excited to see where your path takes you. I found your blog as I’m currently looking for any thoughts on life as a doctor. I’m an attorney and also a nurse, and I’m seriously considering med school. (Clearly I have issues!) I went into law with the hope of working in health policy, and a huge part of me still feels a tug towards health policy. But I also really miss patients. So I’m at a crossroads. Anyways, I wish you the best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Really?? You would be a shoo-in for admission. And probably a really great candidate for scholarships. And you seem like the type of person who would really love law school. It’s very intense, but it’s very fascinating, too.

        So do you think med school is doable while simultaneously being a mother to young children? I have a 3 y.o. and a 1 y.o., and they are the only reason I’m not jumping on it (well that and actually getting in, but before applications I have more prereqs to take). I do really want my kids to be a big priority in my life, and I fear that they won’t be if I go to med school. Part of me wonders if I’d be wiser doing the N.P. route, which would be a much smaller time commitment and financial commitment (and I have no prereqs!). Also, because it’s a smaller overall commitment, it might allow me more time to commit to health policy. But I don’t want to regret not going for med school. Agh!

        If you could do it all over again, would you go to med school?


      • I would do med school over again if I had to. It changed me and ipened doors I never thought possible. Med school is the easy part. Many women had little kids as they did it. It helps to have family who is flexible and willing to help in a pinch. NP won’t really give you what you need. I ought to do a post in NPs and PAs someday. Financially, don’t sweat it. It was scary taking on all of that debt (if you have read some of my other posts, you have gotten a taste of that) but I paid everything off within three years of practice. I said all of that to say, DO IT!!!!! πŸ™‚


  13. Okay, and do you think my age should deter me? I just turned 33, and the earliest I can start is 35. And should the prereqs and mcat scare me? Those are what I’m most scared of. Yikes!

    Also, do you think being an RN and having my JD will hurt me? I worry I’ll do all the work to get in, only to be laughed at because it looks like I don’t know what I want. I think I can use the JD to spin my love for health policy, but I worry about the RN part.

    And I would love a post on midlevel providers! Please do it!!!


    • I had a fifty year old in my class. There was also a fellow with a PhD in physics. Firefighters and EMTs. Lots of nontraditional students. You will fo fine provided you have the grades and MCAT scores to get in!


  14. Wishing you all the best. Saying no sometimes is the best thing we can do. Nerve wracking now is the field of the unknown, but exciting all the same. Follow your heart. if you’re happy so too will the patients be so, not to mention your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The respect I hold for you is huge. Truly. I KNOW what a mess medicine is in. It is such a broken system but not only that. The methods of healing are so outdated. I don’t believe in the “band aid method” but rather, getting to the sourse of dis-ease in order to change the outcome. I was so passionate about nursing and I Loved what I did, yet what I saw I began to question. And then the big drum roll …. I experienced role reversal from nurse to patient. I was shocked by this learning experience which actully launched me to study and learn alternative ways to heal. My Heart is a Healer’s Heart. Nothing will change that. To know what I do today about medicine and to see you striving to make a difference, honestly puts tears in my eyes. Perhaps all of us who know that the system is broken who are working to bring in change, will do that very thing. Where there is HOPE … there are possibilities. (((HUGS))) Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sorry I’m late to the party here, the system is down at work and so I’m catching up on my favorites (yes, that includes you!). The PBL and I have had a number of discussions recently about what exactly constitutes “success” and “failure”. It’s possible to make a lot of money and be completely miserable. I can remember one of the happiest times of my life was when I was laid off, sleeping in a friends freezing basement, and filled with an indescribable joy each morning because life had once again become an adventure. If it’s possible to do a whole lot of good and your heart pulls you that way, well….

    But be clear as to what constitutes success and failure. It doesn’t always look up close like it does on TV.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Making the next step is a difficult one, so I genuinely hope you are leaning to a decision that best suits you. Do you have other offers on the table? It’s a tough decision when you want to leave, but not sure where to venture. All the best

    Liked by 1 person

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