If you’re reading this then you’re probably like me. A doctor rethinking their whole career choice. It can feel lonely at times and scary. Especially when it seems that every medic around you knows exactly where they’re going.
Well you’re most definitely not alone. When you voice your emotions surrounding medicine, and basically admit that you’re not having a good time you’ll be surprised at how many other people will feel the same way.
It can be daunting to say these words aloud. Before deciding what to do or even how to process these feelings, it can be great to research and learn more. Knowledge about a situation can always help fears ease.
So I’ve collated some of my favourite resources for those of you questioning everything.
Dr Anjalee Perera founded the Disillusioned Medic. A great resource for doctors who are feeling lost, and rethinking their career. I stumbled across this site during one of my many desperate Google searches of “how to quit medicine”. The blog post about what to do if you want to quit medicine really saved me in some of my darker moments. The realisation that I wasn’t the only one thinking about quitting medicine was a revelation.
Dr Heather Fork was a dermatologist who had her own practice in Texas for nine years. She didn’t really love what she was doing, and sold everything and moved to a cabin in the hills. Dr Fork then realised what she had always enjoyed doing, and trained to be a careers coach. She founded Doctor’s Crossing and continues to help guide medics to this day.
Some of my favourite posts
- 15 tips: What to do if you want to quite medicine by Dr Anjalee Perera, Disillusioned Medic
- The Dangers of Alternative Careers Lists for Doctors by Dr Evgenia Galinskaya
- 5 Tips for Handling the Emotional Side of Leaving Medicine by Dr. Morgan Leafe
Creative Careers in Medicine (CCIM)
An Australian initiative by doctors for doctors. A group that is about inspiring and encouraging doctors to explore their passions. To prove that careers don’t have to always be traditional and linear. CCIM run conferences with different job possibilities, and with fellow doctors who have done the change speaking. They can also post job opportunities.
An online forum where people commiserate about questioning medicine. This community is more US centric, but does offer job ideas and can show that you’re not alone. The only downside of this resource is that it can sometimes be people sharing complaints rather than ideas for change, but it can be a good starting point.
I have a whole blog post dedicated to this, which goes into further detail. Here I’ll just list my favourite picks.
- This is Going to Hurt by Dr Adam Kay (2017) – Kay’s diary entries are compiled into a hilarious, sad, and truthful portrayal of what it’s like to be a junior doctor
- Going Under by Dr Sonia Henry (2019) – Henry’s novel is so funny and accurate that it really doesn’t feel like a work of fiction
- The House of God by Dr Samuel Shem (1978) – the original book that exposed the darker side of medicine. Written by psychiatrist Stephen Bergman under the pseudonym of S. Shem. Sexist and twisted, yet full of raw honesty
- Emotional Female by Dr Yumiko Kadota (2021) – memoir of an Australian ‘recovering doctor’ who was on path to become a plastic surgeon