Attention all nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, midwives, doctors and anyone else in health care: here are the top 10 warning signs that it is time to quit your job. The first three are mine. The rest are from colleagues. If you recognize anything on this list, please quit your job.
10. You feel nauseated when you see your clinic logo. You alter your commute to avoid streets with your clinic’s billboard.
9. Discouraged by the general despair among clinic staff, you try to be joyful. Then you’re reprimanded by the clinic manager for being “excessively happy.”
8. You dream of leaving medicine to work as a waitress.
7. You envy your sickest patients and/or you develop a perverse pleasure in your patients’ pain.
6. You pray you will be diagnosed with cancer so you can get some time to sleep.
5. You spend your nights trying to keep patients alive while you imagine ways to die by suicide.
4. You work 16-24 hour shifts and have not had sex with your spouse in months.
3. You are a top-rated doctor, yet you daydream about walking into traffic, jumping through the window, or just dying in the course of a normal day.
2. You are counting down the days until retirement during patient appointments.
1. You change your computer password to “fuck [name of hospital where you work]!!!”
So where are you on the job pain scale?
Pamela Wible, M.D., is a practicing physician and founder of the ideal medical care movement. View her TEDMED talk Why doctors kill themselves. Attend our upcoming retreat and learn how you can stop suffering and start loving medicine again.