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14 Things Only People Who Work in the Medical Field Will Understand

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nada El Garhy, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. Nada El Garhy

    Nada El Garhy Golden Member

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    If you opted for a career in the medical field, no doubt the prospect of saving a life or bringing a new life into the world attracted you. The benefits of a rewarding job where dedication and skill are in high demand appealed to you. But the daily reality is, of course, less enchanting as you deal with the challenges, difficulties and frustrations. Here are 15 things nobody mentioned when you opted for a career in medicine.

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    1. You understand the high suicide rate.

    If you are a doctor or surgeon, the stress of making a mistake and living with it afterwards is almost intolerable. It is estimated that 98,000 people die a year because of medical errors. The effects on medical staff speak for themselves. One doctor a day kills himself, according to the the Journal of the American Medical Association. The medical profession is the one with the highest suicide rates and this is mainly due to undiagnosed and untreated depression. You know that there is nothing wrong with getting treated for depression although the figures tell another story.

    “If we teach doctors to recognize depression in themselves, they will recognize it in their patients.”- Dr. Paula Clayton, medical director of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

    2. You have to keep up with electronic developments.

    Doctors are notorious for their bad handwriting. This can lead to mistakes when the pharmacist misreads the prescription. A shocking 7,000 deaths used to occur a year because the wrong medicine was given and administered. You are acutely aware of this and now electronically send the prescription straight to a pharmacy of your choice. You know that this is important because there has been a 90% drop in medical errors since this technology was introduced.

    3. You cannot stand the colleagues who will not admit their mistakes.

    If you are a nurse, you have a tough life with the schedules and shifts which can upset your sleep and rest and it takes ages to adjust. But the worst thing of all is when your colleagues cover up their mistakes and do somersaults rather than admit their guilt. You may have to consider a career move unless you can overcome the backstabbing and politics. You console yourself with the thought that there is energy and healing in your hands until you find something better.

    4. You hate patients who consult Dr. Google.

    If you are a doctor, you know how many patients (around 35%) have already diagnosed themselves on Google before they even get to your office. They know all the answers, risks, diagnosis and their chances of recovery. This is extremely irritating and you wonder if they ever realize how much training you have had to do. You try to suppress your irritation and tell them that Google is not always a reliable source.

    5. You need to have incredible stamina.

    People think that a career in the medical world is exciting, dramatic and even glamorous. The harsh reality is that if you are a doctor or nurse, you know only too well that you have to have incredible stamina and energy, just to survive. The average nurse has to walk more than 4 miles a day when she or he is on shift. For doctors, long and irregular hours plus the fact of being on call for emergencies calls for boundless energy and stamina. You know that the only solution is to take care of yourself and not get stressed out or exhausted.

    6. You may have to face the nightmare of a malpractice lawsuit.

    If you are a doctor or nurse, you know that the nightmare of medical malpractice lawsuits is never far away. The numbers of these suits aimed at doctors has skyrocketed. God, fate and age are no longer blamed for death. The doctor is in the first line. The greatest number of cases are in the OB/GYN where doctors have to pay about $200,000 a year for their insurance. You are only too keenly aware that the more preventive tests you order, the more you are likely to make an error as the possibilities multiply. You sadly reflect that the best protection is to keep as up to date as possible about the latest developments in your specialty.

    7. You are the unsung heroes.

    Imagine coming into work on a voluntary basis to save your hospital from collapsing? The pressure on A&E (Accident and Emergency) units in the UK is facing a crisis as winter illnesses overwhelm the hospitals sinking into chaos because of staff shortages and cuts. The Royal College of Nursing said that working overtime was a now a daily reality for many medical staff. The doctors’ union warned that long hours were unsustainable and was putting patients’ lives at risk.

    8. You are constantly being monitored.

    There are now so many organizations online that monitor health care that you feel that are being constantly monitored. The pressure is enormous as patients shop around for the best possible medical care. It is now a pay-for-performance world and the insurers are calling the tune. Every patient you look after is monitored long afterwards to see if they have to be readmitted. If you are a hospital executive under pressure you know that the best way forward is partnering with the patients who are now very well informed.

    “Patients are no longer content with what they had to put up with in the past. Instead of a one-sided relationship, we are now partnering with our patients. It’s actually a great time for us to renew our commitment to quality, safety and patient satisfaction.”- Lynne Wagner, Chief Nursing Officer at Denver’s RoseMedicalCenter.

    9. You have to put up with difficult patients.

    You know the ones I mean. They are demanding, impatient, entitled, argumentative and hostile! They complain and demand enormous chunks of your time. To avoid arguments, simple solutions like written notices in your office about medication refill procedure will help. As regards the difficult customers, the best solution is to try and hone your communication skills. It is irritating but you may have to listen more. You may have to reflect on how you are communicating complex medical terminology in everyday language.

    10. You are trying to avoid burnout as best you can.

    When you get burnout as a nurse you are paying a very high price for working conditions which must be improved. Look at what you are expected to tolerate. You have the same rates of pay and with additional workload. Mental and physical exhaustion are just the results of working in a chaotic and stressful environment. This may put patients’ lives at risk. You are aware that the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are urging new nursing school graduates to take part in nurse residency programs. In the meantime, you dream about better support, more human scheduling and better compensation.

    11. You are burdened with changes in legislation.

    If you are a doctor running a medical practice in the US, you know better than I do that you have to convert to the ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases-10th revision ) by October 2015. Apart from the costs which could run up to $100,000 for some small practices, there is all the hassle in revamping the systems in place for new software for billing and health records. Wherever you practice medicine, the state bureaucracy is always looking over your shoulder. The best solution is to seek advice from medical associations and be sure you are up to date.

    12. You do not see a bright future.

    If you are a nurse, you know that there are never enough nurses! You gloomily look at the forecasts and note with alarm that in the USA, there will be a shortage of 1 million nurses by the year 2020. You also know that if there were enough nurses now, this would mean 6,700 fewer deaths. You feel proud that you are part of the glue that holds the medical system together.

    13. You feel that your real job is being taken over by paperwork.

    If you are a doctor, you spend more and more time online trying to cope with all the paperwork and keeping up to date, not to mention lifelong learning and self assessment for internists. A whopping 58% of doctors in 2013 spent more than one day a week on paperwork which jumped to 70% in 2014! You wonder why you cannot spend more time with your patients which is why you graduated. Now you know why more and more doctors are selling their practices.

    14. You begin to wonder about the investment in time and money.

    Training to be a doctor is no joke and is extremely expensive and time consuming. Some estimates say that you spend anything from 10 to 17 years to get qualified. Apart from the graduate training, you have to spend additional years at medical school doing lab work together with medical ethics. Then you have to spend more years training in your specialty. You may have to do a three year residency at a teaching hospital. The only consolation is when you save someone’s life or help someone get over a serious illness. Yes, it was well worth it!


    What are the worst things about working in the medical field? Let us know in the comments.

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  2. Surgical PA-C

    Surgical PA-C Active member

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    Deciding to become a PA is nowhere near "the easy way out to get into medicine." Many of us have years of medical experience and at least 4-6 years of college under our belts before we relentlessly persue PA school. For an 80-student program, you are competing against around 2,000 qualified applicants just to get accepted. Then, PA school is a non-stop, 35+ semester hour, medical beat down where being too tired to come to class is not an option.

    After graduation, we continue our training and medical education the same as any practicing clinician does, and eventually become experts in our field.

    And after all of the lives we help and save autonomously, all the diseases we recognize, manage, and treat autonomously, and all the time and education we provide to our patients autonomously, for less pay than our physician counterparts, we sign on to read a poorly-written, comical article that refers to our profession as a "short cut."
     

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
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  3. NHidalgo

    NHidalgo Young Member

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    #15 is not only incorrect, it is insulting and should be edited immediately. As a PA-C for 12 years with 6 years of continuous education before that, I can assure you that none of it was a "short cut." Back as a PA student, I was teaching 2nd and 3rd year med students principles and practical skills I'd learned in my first year. I have continued to educate medical school students since (as well as PA student, of course), so that humility and openness not arrogance can be instilled in their practice as they approach their patients -- because we are all here to serve and help the public, after all, not waste time competing on who's "better."

    Furthermore, no one goes into the medical field to "move up the career ladder." You graduate and pass your boards, then either join or open a practice -- that's it. The only way "up" is to switch to administration (a.k.a. pencil pushers who've forgotten what it was like to be a provider and who seem to enjoy further restricting a provider's scope.)
     

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  4. Kps

    Kps Young Member

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    Sounds as if this piece was exclusively written to offend PAs.

    Apparently, the author did not do his/her homework. Had it been done, they would understand the requirements.

    No bother. We know it harder to get into medical school as a PA than a doctor.
     

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  5. aphung

    aphung Young Member

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    The person who wrote this article clearly either has no idea of the role of a PA and the education and training required to become one or is just plain jealous of PAs and wants to feel better about choosing medical school.

    Choosing to become a PA is not a short cut. It is a professional career in medicine in its own right. Until you have gone to PA school or been close to someone who has gone to PA school there is no way that you can say the curriculum is "dead easy". The minimum amount of schooling is 6 years when you combine undergraduate and graduate education. PA's are expected to begin practicing medicine after 2 years of graduate education whereas doctors have an extra two years of schooling and residency to prepare for that.

    PA's also have plenty of autonomy. They have their own patient panels and many practice without a physician on site.

    So please do your homework before you write such erroneous and inflammatory statements about PAs.
     

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  6. Evocca

    Evocca Young Member

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    This is a disgrace! If you think becoming a PA was taking a short cut think again and do your homework! I am not even going to comment further. I would rather you do your education and edited the article to correct your understanding of physician assistants after you have learned for yourself what we do!!
     

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  7. Russell Wilson

    Russell Wilson Young Member

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    #16. You have to deal with dill-weeds who either a) have so much disdain for the PA profession, they feel the need to slander it in a public forum; OR b) are so completely uneducated/out-of-touch about the topic they are writing about, creating a coherent response to garbage is almost not worth the effort. Almost...
     

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  8. Russell Wilson

    Russell Wilson Young Member

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    Wait, I take it back. Turns out, you didn't even write this. Following your source takes you to another page with the same article. You didn't even do your own work - just copied some other jerk wad. Great journalism...
     

  9. Nada El Garhy

    Nada El Garhy Golden Member

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    First of all, this is not a journal, nor is it a blog. This is a forum. Forums are made for discussions. So basically it's a friendly zone where we discuss ideas. It wasn't my work to post this, neither was it your work to post your comments.

    Secondly, I'm truly sorry for the offence I made. Didn't mean any of it. Where I was raised (Kuwait) , physician assistants spend only 4 years of college after high school and that's it. No clinical requirements or experience needed. And most of the time they work in labs and not clinics. Back in my hometown (Egypt), there is no degree called as physician assistant. So yes my knowledge about PA are limited. And for this I'm sorry.

    Thank you.

    *Deleting number 15*
     

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  10. Kps

    Kps Young Member

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    Thank you.
     

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  11. SW PA-C

    SW PA-C Young Member

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  12. SW PA-C

    SW PA-C Young Member

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    Well said, Surgical PA-C. As PAs, most of us try to be diplomatic and "know our place." But I've worked in three specialties and in each specialty, I saw patients sent to us by primary care physicians who made what my bosses would regard as foolish, basic mistakes. Frail, elderly people given Xanax, which could easily make them fall. I even saw it Rx'ed very often to patients with a strong h/o falling. Antidepressants given to patients who were actually bipolar and could have had manic episodes without a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic onboard. Very common. No one ever asked these people about symptoms suggestive of manic episodes in their past. People whose insomnia and body habitus strongly suggest OSA who are doped up like crazy on sedating meds at bedtime. Looking for trouble. I could go on and on. And yet, we're supposed to bite our tongues and say nothing.
     

  13. SW PA-C

    SW PA-C Young Member

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    Thank you for your frank admission about not knowing much about American physician assistants and for deleting number 15.
     

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  14. PA McBride

    PA McBride Young Member

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