Hi, OK here it goes. I’m having trouble deciding on what to focus my energy on. And also what thought to work on in March.
Currently I’m going through a bit of a career crisis. I finished medical school 7 years ago, but spent the past years working in research and education so that i had more time to have my two children and be there for them. Six months ago I started residency to become a primary care physician. And now I’ve hit a bit of a roadblock: i fear emergency situations and am afraid i will never be able to deal with the mental burden that they bring me. More importantly I’m not sure i want to put myself in this position. I spend my days in the practice anticipating what could happen at any time and am afraid I will freeze and not know what to do when the time comes. What if someone dies become i miss something? Also, medicine feels so serious. I feel like I’ve lost a fun more free-spirited part of myself. This issue has become such a problem that i feel stuck and am not sure where to focus my energy on right now: do i try to overcome this and deal with these fears in order to become a primary care physician? I know quitting is only temporary relief and that you should not stop something that isn’t going well. You don’t have to change your circumstances to feel better, only thoughts. Growth causes cognitive dissonance.. i get this. It is uncomfortable. But how do i know if it is worth it?
The problem is. I’m not sure if i want to spend my energy on this. Do i want to work as a physician has been a question I’ve been asking myself for 14 years now, ever since I started medical school. I still don’t know the answer. I love my life. I have faced depression and phobias before, but have overcome these and love all aspects of my life now (kids, partner, home family, creativity). The only “problem” remains work. I have no idea what else i would do if not medicine. I decided to chose this new residency position mostly because it would allow me to grow and evolve and also provide me with more opportunity to explore other interests (prevention, coaching, education, nutrition) later on, while being able to work part-time, have some financial independence and spend time with my family. Also i love talking to people 1one 1, feel connected to them and try to help them. But it feels like such an investment (another 3,5 years) and now it is taking me away from all those people and things i love. I feel conflicted. I’m exhausted all the time, spend less time with my family that i want to, have no time for hobby’s or fun stuff. It is not the first time that I’ve doubted my choice to pursue a medical career. During medical school i also took a time-out because of similar doubts and again before my first child was born.
So how do i know what to focus my energy on? Believing that i can become a primary care physician, that i can handle those emergency situations, that i can be serious at work but fun outside, that i have enough time if i manage it correctly?
Or do i work on believing that maybe medicine is not for me. That it is OK? That even though I’ve spent a lot of time on this path, i should stop fighting this voice in me that is working against this. And am allowed to stop. That i will be able to find another job. That i’m no less because of it.
Sorry for this long and complicated story. Hopefully I’ve been clear enough for you to provide some insight. Thanks so much!