Blog | Friday, May 30, 2014

I still love being an internist

Many internists feel frustration over administrative burdens, a payment system that encourages you to decrease visit length (could we just ban productivity measures forever), maintenance of certification, the possibility of maintenance of licensure, and numerous regulations.

A recent Daily Beast article provides a very slanted view, How Being a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession. Multiple friends have sent me this article. I can only describe this article as hyperbolic.

This wonderful counter post expresses my feelings, Sorry, being a doctor is still a great gig, which reads: I think physicians complain far more, and far more publicly, than their situations warrant. For all their complaints, they still do incredibly well financially. They have more professional freedom than most working people. And they’re beloved.

I do know many happy physicians. These physicians focus on the positives in medicine.

Talk to most physicians and they still like interacting with patients. We all complain about various administrative issues, because we really do like spending our time with patients. We like the challenges that medicine provides.

I cannot imagine doing anything else. I cannot imagine a profession or a job that would challenge me intellectually and provides me the emotional satisfaction of knowing that I am trying to help.

We who are glass half full (or 3/4 full) people, focus on the positives and not the negatives. Obviously the half empty folks have greater focus on the negatives and no longer get great satisfaction from patient care.

We have problems in medicine, problems that we must identify and work hard to eliminate. But being a physician is inherently a wonderful life. I, for one, feel very fortunate to have this profession.

db is the nickname for Robert M. Centor, MD, FACP. db stands both for Dr. Bob and da boss. He is an academic general internist at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, and is the Regional Associate Dean for the Huntsville Regional Medical Campus of UASOM. He still makes inpatient rounds over 100 days each year. This post originally appeared at his blog, db's Medical Rants.