Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Grass Isn't Always Greener...

I got this idea from OldMDGirl, who writes a blog entitled The Long Road to Medical School. She made a list entitled "Career Preferences du Jour," which intrigued me because every time I go on vacation, my mind starts wandering about what I could do with my life if I weren't an anesthesiologist.

Her "Career Preferences du Jour":
#1 - Bench to Bedside Research in Field of Choice
#2 - Psychiatrist
#3 - Neurologist...
#25 - Pediatric Orthopedist...
#10,000 - Housewife
#999,999,999 - Stick needle in own eyeball
#1,000,000,000 - Ob/Gyn

I laughed out loud at that last one because I couldn't agree more. I am certainly not cut out for that medical specialty! (And though OldMDGirl came away from her anesthesia rotation too with, unfortunately, a very negative impression of the field, and she considers people around my age "really REALLY OLD" :(, we do agree on at least one other thing: one of my favorite books.)

If I had to pick another field within medicine it would probably be neonatology, to combine my love of infants with issues of critical care. But if I weren't currently in medicine, or had never chosen to pursue it, or were to drop it now and change, what would I do? Setting aside for a moment the fact that I have few if any other marketable skills? :)

Fantasy "Career Preferences" du Jour (somewhat tongue-in-cheek), after OldMDGirl
#1 - Chocolate taster - hee-hee!
#2 - Tour guide in Florence or Paris
#3 - Bookstore-café owner
#5 - Museum curator
#7 - Oboist - but I think I wouldn't in a million years have the talent or skill required
#8- Teacher
#9 - Ballet teacher
#10 - Housewife
#11 - Parish educational coordinator
#12 - Art Therapist
#20 - Lab tech
#25 - Food critic
#30 - Caterer...but I think the stress and organization that's part of preparing food for other people might take away my love of food
#50 - Wedding coordinator...but I dread making phone calls and would't love dealing with demanding family members
#999,999,999 - Do something self-injurious
#1,000,000,000 - Ob/Gyn

Hmm...I think I'm gonna have to stick to anesthesia for the time I guess it's back to the O.R. on Monday!



Did I do anything new during this break?

Answer: Why, yes, as a matter of fact.

-New sight: saw Lake Winnipesaukee from the top of the old Abenaki Fire Tower near Wolfeboro

-New movie: finally saw Almodóvar's film Volver starring Penelope Cruz and loved it so much I watched it again the following morning and added it to my "favorite movies" list

-New dish: made flan for the first time (food scenes in movies and books do that - I either have to try and make what I see, or eat it, or both...)

-New oboe piece: started working on a little Gavotte by Bach. My endurance has really suffered in these last few weeks of spotty practicing. I am paying for it now! Nothing like a little Baroque Boot-camp for us truants...


Elaine Fine said...

T. I think that you are one of the rare people who could do anything well, and still have room for many other passions.

T. said...

You're too kind! Thanks, Elaine, and right back atcha...

Elaine Fine said...

Actually, I have tried other things, and I have failed miserably! I'm a hopeless musician.

T. said...

WOT?!! No way, I can't believe that. I've heard you play! Not only that, but your musicianship comprises composing and teaching as well as playing...I think that's amazing.

If you could only see the pitying look my husband and son try to hide whenever the subject of my oboe playing comes up!

I guess it's all relative. Objectively speaking I think it could be argued that my oboe experiment is a miserable failure in progress - it's been a year, and I still sound pathetic! - but the love and longing are still alive, so on I go...

Elaine Fine said...

I meant "hopeless" in that way that one would refer to a hopeless romantic!

T. said...

Oooooooooooh! Well, thank heavens. Though I still have to doubt the "failed miserably" part...!

I guess that makes me a "hopeless" musician, and dancer, and writer, and romantic, too. :)

Bardiac said...

I wouldn't last a full day as a housewife. And I wouldn't last a second day as a teacher at the k-12 levels.

I think photography would be fun in fantasy land, as would journalism, wildlife biology (only if I didn't have to work in the mud too much)... but it's hard to beat my real job, even in fantasy land!

OMDG said...

Wow! I didn't know anyone had used the career preferences du jour idea. I'm glad you liked it enough to replicate it in your own blog.

Incidentally, I actually didn't "hate" anesthesia at all, I just don't think it's for me. In fact I *wish* I had found it more interesting given the lifestyle, niceness of the people, etc.

(I also don't actually think that 36 is old -- my husband would be very offended. That's in my bio because when I first told people that I was going to med school at 29 there were people who said, "But you'll be so OLD when you finish! Don't you want to have a family??" I did live in the midwest then however. Maybe that had something to do with it?)

T. said...

Hi, Bardiac - photography was on my list too! As were writing, acting, and flamenco, though I thought I'd spare folks ALL the boring details of my outlandish career fantasizing...

Hi, OldMDGirl! Thank you for being so gracious about my little spin-off over here. I didn't think you hated anesthesia, and actually understand why it can seem unappealing at times; I figured you got a pretty blah impression during your rotation. Also, I took the whole "really old" thing in fun too, as you have! It's only considered a LITTLE less old here on the East Coast, maybe...but yeah, I'm feelin' it!

Thanks for coming by!

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna recommend you move housewife down on the list. It ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Lisa Johnson said...

I love flan! I only made it once and it wasn't that great. I'll have to try it again.

I guess only a very specific type of person can deal with Ob/Gyn stuff. Interesting as a lay person seeing how it's perceived from inside the profession...

T. said...

Hey there, Anali - my family and I really enjoyed how the flan turned out, and my next foray I think will be the coconut-milk variation of it. The recipe I used uses a lot of dairy, but I think there's a lactose-free version (can't vouch for the outcome, though) at I can email you the dairy one too.

On the subject of ob/gyn, although I know MANY lovable, wonderful, brilliant ob/gyn's, I am unable to resist / stop laughing over this link to another "insider" perspective on ob/gyn that made me laugh and laugh and laugh, especially the last page about self-selection:

Katy...would you believe I had actually moved "housewife" UP on my list prior to seeing your comment?! :)


It must seem to non-health-care folks that we health care folks whine about work quite a bit - and it's true, we do, docs especially - but I think the training experience, hours, and six-figure debt replace the feeling of having chosen a calling with a feeling of indentured servitude after a while...

Yet I always tell folks who are still in that training phase that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel, and there are moments ahead that you'd never ever give back.

Of course, I also say that residency is a part of my life I wouldn't ever, ever, ever want to do again...

K. said...

LOLLLL!!! I love that Ob/Gyn is 1, 000, 000, 000. Yes, you have to be a very, very special person to choose that (or plain crazy!)...thanks for the chuckles!