| May 6, 2017
Physicians have the best job in the world. Sometimes that’s hard to see, but let’s not forget it. Thank you, Jamie Katuna.
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Nice, but I’m going to disagree with you and say that restaurant critics have the best job in the world.
How about that guy on tv that goes to different countries and tries all their food?
Yeah — Anthony Bourdain!! He or Adam Richman have the best job in the world.
I like your work, Jamie, but until you’ve gone through the entire process of getting that residency training and started in an actual practice, receiving that kind of encouragement is not easy to accept.
Some thoughts on “Physicians have the best job on the planet because…”:
1. You connect with people in vulnerable moments.
Comment: Yes, and to be sure there is something rather heady (maybe even “awe inspiring”) about that. Always the best part of my day when there was actually a ‘connection’. But, too often (even mostly) there wasn’t. Think drug seekers, or perhaps more commonly individuals insisting on something (a diagnostic test, a medication, or dangerous supplements – see more below under homeopathy) that just wasn’t right. Ugh.
2. You know how to treat a body that is diseased or broken.
Comment: Sometimes, but not most of the time.
3. The work is high-paced so you’ll never get bored.
Comment: Others may disagree, but the high-paced world of primary care was mostly phone calls to answer the same repeated questions, repeatedly (from both patients and insurance companies) and would probably be better characterized as ‘exhausting’ than exhilarating or exciting.
4. Location is moveable and living is nice (after you’re a resident).
Comment: There wasn’t much time to ‘live’, especially when sleep deprived. Think that burden is unique to residency? Think again.
5. Credentials open up paths.
Comment: In general, I agree this might be possible. But, one has to have other skills beyond those taught in medical school and residency. Most of medical training is rather superficial (there are exceptions of course) and purely descriptive. A few folks will have world-changing careers in research. The overwhelming majority will not (because the latter is truly difficult and requires creativity. Making it through residency is truly difficult but I rather wonder about the ‘creativity’ part). Those with business skills (and who talk a good game) become wealthy CEOs of clinics, hospitals and healthcare plans.
6. You’re a leader on a team of brilliant people.
Comment: If nothing else, please know this: there aren’t many ‘brilliant’ people in medicine. Hard working? Sure. Committed? Yes (well for a while, anyway). But ‘brilliant’? Truly ‘brilliant’? I can count a few in medicine (I knew many more in the hard sciences). But even if it were true, how does one get paid for being the leader of a team? Sounds like more unreimbursed meetings to me (which is why surgeons don’t engage in such meetings; they don’t have to).
7. You are a translator of science … teaching complicated concepts
Comment: Medicine is mostly technical-vocational training. In my opinion, very few physicians (yes there are some) know any science. Most have engaged in rote memorization for a dozen years and couldn’t provide the underlying theory for most of what they do and purvey. Even fewer know how to read a paper because they know no statistics. Here’s the thing: medical practice is applied empiricism. There’s nothing wrong with that if one understands the underlying statistical analysis and study design (and limitations to application to individuals). Few physicians do.
8. You’ll never fall victim to homeopathic nonsense.
Comment: I surely agree this is a desirable goal. But, how does one explain the ‘integrative medicine’ movement? Near as I can tell, it is the same only more expensive and probably more dangerous.
9. Knowledge and authority are met with approval.
Comment: Perhaps you’ll feel differently after working in the ER or in primary care. Your specialist colleagues will imply (if not explicitly state) that you know nothing. This, in turn, may account for the vast over-application of technology and intervention, but then patients value doing something over not doing anything.
10. Medicine is an ‘amazing’ selection
Comment: I’d like to see just one video where the words ‘amazing’, ‘brilliant’, ‘incredible’ and ‘passion’ don’t appear. It would be amazingly brilliant and incredible if they didn’t, and really, I’m passionate about it.
Just trying to urge you to get real here so that others might avoid disappointment.
Also, could your accompanist occasionally play in a key other than C-major?
Best job here:
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