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Doctor Achieves Lifelong Dream of Quitting Medicine Forever

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Hala, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. Hala

    Hala Golden Member Verified Doctor

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    “Finally!” he exclaimed, throwing his white coat, scrubs, and stethoscope onto a pile of logs. “I can’t believe I made it!”

    Meet Hunter McCutchen. He is 39 years of age. He is a physician and he has never been more excited in his life. You might be asking why. You see, Hunter just achieved his lifelong dream. It’s a dream many doctors envision as they embark upon the long arduous journey of becoming a physician. That’s right, after all the years of studying, training, calls, sleepless nights, last-minute presentations, and missed get-togethers with family and friends, Hunter McCutchen is quitting medicine forever.

    And he’s never, ever coming back.

    “I think I’m gonna do a happy dance,” added McCutchen while pouring lighter fluid over his old belongings in what he envisions to be a spectacular bonfire. And it indeed becomes a spectacular bonfire when he lights it up. Hunter begins an excruciatingly spastic but still joyful dance. You can’t blame him. He’s never going to see patients and their families ever again.

    McCutchen knew very early on in childhood that he wanted to help people by being a doctor, becoming jaded, burning out, and leaving the profession entirely.

    “People suck sometimes,” McCutchen said, shoveling no less than fifty medical textbooks onto the growing fire. “I was trained to diagnose and treat diseases. But you know what I did half of the time? I said, ‘No, I won’t give you Dilaudid’ or ‘No, I won’t write for IV Benadryl’ before getting yelled at promptly. They don’t teach you in med school how to call security or have a patient leave against medical advice. And what’s with those patients who throw their feces? Never again.”

    The feeling and urge to help people persisted in college, before it was gradually and atrociously beat of out him during medical school and residency training. Hunter best describes medical school as a four-year process of giving you the tools you don’t need to survive in residency. He describes residency as a three-year process of learning the skills you wished you had learned in medical school while trying not to fall asleep when driving. It was during this period of learning how to not kill people while minimally conscious – residency training – that Hunter realized what was his true calling in life: to not be in medicine ever again, ever.

    “I was at the peak of medical knowledge when I graduated residency and took my boards,” said McCutchen, toasting marshmallows over the medical bonfire. “So how did I get to apply my knowledge? I didn’t. I dealt with drug-seekers, noncompliant folks, insurance forms, disability paperwork, pre-authorizations, and litigation.”

    His several years in private practice and academic medicine taught him several important skills, such as how to personally cope with dissatisfaction, insomnia, and depression. It taught him the numerous ways you can be unappreciated and overworked. More importantly, it reinforced the feeling he knew he had all along: that becoming a doctor was absolutely a huge, awful mistake, and that he desperately needed to get out, get out for good. It was six months ago to this day that he realized that his goal was in sight and possibly attainable.

    Today, Hunter is euphoric.

    “I’ve been wanting to do this for years,” McCutchen said with a smirk. He spit at his pager and crushed it with one overhead swing of his sledgehammer. He kicked the remnants into the fire. “You have no idea how much I hated this [several expletives] thing.”

    Hunter is one of an increasing number of healthcare workers – not only doctors but nurses too – who are realizing their lifelong dreams of health, happiness, and helping people by getting the hell out of medicine entirely and doing something else, anything else, not remotely related to healthcare. And you know what? These former doctors and nurses have never been better.

    “Yeah, get out of medicine,” said Carol Hozier, a friend of McCutchen and ex-nurse, who now happily works nights at a gas station. “I learned to smile again, I’m a better person, and heck, I’m no longer on blood pressure meds or antidepressants. Best decision ever!”

    For McCutchen, the future is unknown and he likes it that way.

    “What am I going to do?” asked McCutchen, folding his medical diploma into a paper airplane. “I don’t know. I have former colleagues who love their new jobs in retail, coal mining, or cleaning hotel rooms. Honestly, I’d like to do something that has nothing to do with medicine. Maybe something like being a park ranger, a musician, or a hospital administrator.”

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  2. Adool82

    Adool82 Active member

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    I don't know what to say!! I am speechless..
    Sad and happy.... Sad because day after day i find our profession unwanting us.. Doing routine jobs.. Paperwork... Documenations... Protecting ourselves from medico legal issues.. But... The care of patients... I feel that there's conspiracy among medical colleges not to disclose the actual truth of real medicine.. As if they were hiding something beneath their yellowish smiles
    So junior med students are still fascinated by the fact waooo we will be physicians!!
    I am happy because that doctor is feeling better after quitting medicine.. But I don't wish that many doctors at this peak productive age leAve medicine such a way!
    We need to feel we have free minds.. To practice without tensions of court appearances and patients complaints..
    To allll medical colleges and big hospitals i say we are humans don't ruin us we need to live our lives the way we deserve after all this long journey of non sleep patience and stressful moments... Give us peace of mind please
     

  3. Kheshav

    Kheshav Young Member

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    definitely.... medicine is hard, very hard sometimes.... the basis of medicine is scientific, but in practice it is more of a social nature... medicine cannot only be limited to patient-doctor practice, there are other domains such as research, teaching, law, insurance, policy making, pharmaceutical, etc... which greatly need the expertise of a qualified physician....
     

  4. Ray

    Ray Bronze Member

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    WOW he only lasted 10 years, that's getting to average. Mind you many med schools still expect you to do 30+ years.
     

  5. Bright A. Lawrence

    Bright A. Lawrence Active member

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    Lack of passion made him quit,most of us are ready to die with the last drop of blood for medical practice
     

  6. Bright A. Lawrence

    Bright A. Lawrence Active member

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    Lack of passion made him quit,most of us are willing to die with the last drop of blood for medical practice
     

  7. Ray

    Ray Bronze Member

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    Agreed!!! Well put!
     

  8. THYS LOURENS

    THYS LOURENS Young Member

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    This is a sad reality we face these days. I don't blame this (ex-)colleague, with patients believing that their self proclaimed google.med search justifies forcing the hand of a medical practitioner into bending to their will. Blatant abuse from all sides...bitten hands from those you reach out to help and scrutinised by those putting you there. With all this said...that one patient smiling with gratitude after your intervention was noticed, makes it somewhat worth while in reminding us why we answered our calling.
     

  9. drasevangelista

    drasevangelista Well-Known Member

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    .. this kind of Health workers where not taught the reality of their work that they will face in the practice of their professions.
     

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