A Taste Of Going Back To Work
Oh hell no! Gimme back my normal daily schedule of doing next to nothing, I don’t miss working. Last week I worked 20 hours and this week I’m gonna be working nearly 40 hours – how the hell was I able to do it before?
It’s the constant focus, the concentration and dealing with so many people who just drains me emotionally and mentally. I start eating shit food, I don’t get restful sleep and I’m moody.
What I like about part-time is that I get a little better balance of free-time vs work-time. I can stay a little more detached from the day-to-day by simply being one of the part-timers, for some reason this group is scrutinized less. It’s nice to have shorter days or have more days off between shifts.
What I don’t like is that you are still part of the “system”. I would have to still be in the clinic at regular intervals. Something about that commitment is draining. It may sound like whining but shit, I’ve tasted the forbidden apple, fuck that, I don’t want no part of this supposed reality that’s medicine.
Working Per Diem
There is a bit of a trap with being per diem. One might end up working way too much in order to make the same income as full-time/part-time counterparts. Aside from that misdirection, the per diem schedule and lifestyle is perfect.
Sure, there are no benefits. You don’t get a 401k, no health insurance and no life insurance or disability insurance. But the advantage is that you have the flexibility to work when you want, at the pace that’s most sustainable and come in on days when you know there will be less drama.
I don’t feel as exhausted doing per diem work because I work for several groups at the same time. The change in scenery and the different work I do for different groups is a fresh of breath air. Going to the same clinic, with the same faces, at the same times, day in and day out, that’s brutal.
No More Back-To-Back Shifts
No way I could ever do overnights again, that’s not even an option. What about those back-to-back shifts? Doing a clinic shift and then urgent care. Or for you surgeons, doing surgery and then coming into the clinic. Much less, doing an overnight call, followed by morning clinic the same or following day.
That level emotional drainage is not something you can’t just recover from after one day of rest. It might seem that simple but the process of recovery takes time. Not only are we constantly learning worse habits centered around work but we’re also losing the one or two days that we have off immediately after a stretch of work. These days immediately post-work are needed just for recovery – there is no time in them that one can use to actually enjoy life.
Taking Your R&R For Granted
We’re doctors, we’re young and we should be working! Seriously, I’ve always thought that, I believed in this. It’s been punched into my cranium from a very young age. And doing otherwise means that you are either lost, confused, selfish, careless or lazy.
So yes, there is that pressure on you to be this full-time employee, working your ass off because “that’s how it’s supposed to be”. But who the fuck said that you need to be tortured in this one life that you have?
Are you a better father because you work your ass off?
Are you a better wife because you bring in a ton of income every year?
Are you a better partner because you’re so work-diligent?
I realize I’m being melodramatic but I think it’s worthwhile to pay some attention to your own leisure. Many of us have gotten brainwashed into thinking that it’s okay for the majority of our mental and emotional energy to be taken up by work – and that leisure and relaxation should come in at a distant second.
Societal Pressure To Have a Doctor-Life
I think all professionals have a self-inflicted and society imposed pressure to be gunners. They feel that they should work hard to portray a stressed out/busy doctor. Suddenly being curt or impatient is justified.
We are also expected to spend a lot, to have nice things and drive nice cars. At first we are okay with it. Some of us want the nice things we grew up with. We may obtain the nice things for a while and eventually realize how much work it is to maintain that kind of lifestyle.
If we decide to switch from lavish to comfortable we will meet quite a bit of resistance from those around us. Not just peers, it could be your partner, your parents and even your boss.
There Is A Fine Balance
It’s good to have a few solid years of full-time work where paying off debt is a priority, saving and investing is compulsory and a little frugality is practiced so that one’s efforts aren’t wasted at work.
Without the heavy burden of debt, it’s much easier to take on a part-time position and slowly, eventually transition into per diem work. You will still be able to provide for your family, your will still be able to save and you will do it all at a pace that strikes up a fine balance between how you want to live your life and how you need to live your life in order to generate income.
There should be a light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t even imagine age 65, much less see the tunnel leading me there. At 38,I see my next 2-3 years ahead of me. I can maybe fathom what 45 will look like. 47? Nope, I can’t imagine it. Delaying gratification that far out would prevent me from enjoying my current pleasures. I’m healthy, I have friends, I have a great job, I have a viable profession and I make an amazing income.