This Job

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Sometimes, one just gets so tired of this job. Its interesting, yes!, but oh so taxing.

My subspecialty selection process could bear a re-do, but only so I can make the same choice for the right reasons. Attracted to neurology & nephrology as a trainee, these lazy bones were born just too darned toxic. Duty night was The Signal for ARF's & subarachnoid bleeds to surface. While everyone else was sleeping in the duty room, I ran around with small pieces of paper in my pockets, the beeper yelping "Memory Full", chain-smoking & snacking on deeesgusting leftovers, smelling all the while like vile dialysate. So I asked myself... what's the job with few emergencies, a decent patient load, that still allows for some degree of gratification? Diagnostic radiology scored 2 of 3 but, like dermatology, its such a snore. Reconstructive surgery sounded suitably challenging, but with my toxic track record, the burn cases would just keep rolling in. So, OK, let's do oncology. Almost totally brain work, I thought. Such profound ignorance never goes unpunished.

Years ago, cancer was a pitifully manned area of medicine. Too few of my peers were interested in the specialty back then, maybe because treatment options were so few. Depressing, they'd said. One then figured that the job would be primarily focused on symptom alleviation. OK!, I'd thought. Let the laws of supply & demand rule.

What can you expect from an overgrown kid who'd wished only for adequate & undisturbed sleep? Yes, it was simplistic & selfish thinking. Theorem: Professional students are stuck in adolescence-- but that's another topic.

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