Taylor, a high school student thinking about medical school, asked some questions on my It’s All An Act post about six weeks ago. I had been saving these because I wanted to think about them for a bit.

How did you choose your specialty?

I chose family medicine so that I would not get bored. I get to see patients diaper to diaper and everything in between. In truth, I had it narrowed down to surgery, psychiatry, and family medicine. Surgery was a lifestyle I was not sure I could cope with in the end, despite how much I loved it. Psychiatry… that deserves its own post, but after doing a few extra rotations I was disheartened by what I saw. That left family medicine. I still think I picked the right one, despite my grumblings about the various frustrations of primary care.

If you had the chance to change anything about your career, what would it be?

The EHR. I will rant more about this later. I don’t understand why we cannot have a simple, straightforward system that is intuitive. This is 2016, for crying out loud. We put man on the moon decades ago! This is not rocket science.

Is medicine worth the 20 years of education/sacrifice in your twenties?

Yes. I have a placard that hangs over the door in my office, so I can see it every time I step out to see a patient. “One shoe can change your life. -Cinderella” That may seem cheesy and trite but I have done more, see more, accomplished more than I ever thought possible. Medicine is my shoe. It is an honor and privilege to get to practice medicine every day.

Do you have any advice for aspiring physicians?

There is no substitute for hard work. This sounds simplistic but there it is. You have to be smart, sure, but without hard work, smart is meaningless. 


69 thoughts on “Advisory

  1. Great post. The EHR where I work is terrible. I agree with sonofabeach that it hasn’t made things more efficient. I understand these EHR systems are very pricy, so my employer is in no hurry to get one that works better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brava! Once again you succinctly state the obvious. Work hard and your hard work will pay off. In this world there are no handouts and the sooner we realize this we understand it is up to us to create the futures (and good fortune) we wish to have. This is an ongoing family discussion in my house…thank goodness little ears were listening many moons ago!

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  3. I like the diaper to diaper which is so very true. I think you chose wisely. I am that you chose FP because your posts are so varied and informative and interesting. Don’t think you could do that as a surgeon but maybe as a psychiatrist but in truth psych medicine, I think, can be very depressing.

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  4. Well said Victo. All very true and on point. The only thing I have found in my own life that might be appropriate for some is “Show Up”. There are days scattered through life when I have debated whether to go to work or see a friend or keep an appointment. Sometimes there are very good reasons – like a conflict of time or an emergency – when showing up is not possible.But more often than not – for me – there are more days when showing up is balancing on the cusp. The rule that adds most is – in those cases – just show up. Don’t worry about what will happen afterwards – you’ll deal with it and worrying adds nothing – just show up. It makes decisions easier and reduces worry.

    WRT your beloved EHR, my experience in IT and writing commercial programs (product specs – my coding is too rusty) says it will not likely improve for two reasons – neither of them any good when it comes to improving patient service or increasing doctor efficiency. Reason#1 – companies frequently do not consult the end users when programs are in development – it slows the process, costs more and corrodes the bosses’ egos.Never mind that it pays for itself in user friendliness and efficiency and profitability.
    Reason #2: Often companies insist on adding time and work to their customer interface because they are using the info to devise ways to increase revenue without increasing cost (literally reducing value delivered). This is based on false assumptions that,in the long run damage the client relationship and annoy the docs – service providers..

    Great post Victo.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was about to ask, what would it take to get a “simple, straightforward system that is intuitive.” I thought that if so many people are miserable with the current system, couldn’t they organize to change it? But then your comment about physicians not being good at compromise took me back a step. I am also curious about the experiences that steered you away from psychiatry. If I were to guess, I would guess pills, pills, and more pills.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! I will take your words to heart. I shadowed my pediatrician earlier this summer, and he hated his EHR as well. And thank you so much for the last part, about intelligence versus hard work–it’s something I occasionally need to remember.

    Liked by 1 person

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