Saturday, November 24, 2012
Confirmation to a view!
If there's one thing I'm known for in my family it's for sometimes doing things my own way, even when my way is the "hard way" and when there's an easier path available to me. In this case, my dilemma is what to do in the couple years between now and med school. I VERY much want to do something full-time that's a combo of bioinformatics and cancer research, but that's not the way things are working out so far, those things are only about quarter of my life right now. So upon the encouragement of just about every one I know, I've been looking at all the options surrounding my current gig in private tutoring especially given the significant demand here in metro DC. And in the course of doing some research, I came across an article on the website entrepreneur.com looking for answers about why these last 3 years have been so difficult for me, employment wise. Then I found this article "12 Surprising Signs You Could Be an Entrepreneur", looked at the list closely, and every bell in my head started ringing:
Now I'm in NO way substituting this for my ultimate goal of being a Doc, but I know MANY Docs that DO have businesses on the side. And I've said for a while now that working for myself in some capacity is THE ultimate goal. Most importantly, the practice of medicine IS a business, so future Docs would be smart to get their fiscally oriented minds in gear ASAP!!!
So, the items on this list that strongly resonate with me include being bullied, fired, bored, bad at making small talk (translated gossiping about others), and being unable to unwind (courtesy of adult ADD, LOL!!). But the one thing I clearly recognize I need to work on is the one on small talk which to me means, playing office politics. And that lead me to a few other articles, because office politics is something I've NEVER really been good at. But it's something I clearly need to cultivate to make it out of med school and beyond.
And that brings me to this bullying in med school/residency situation that I'd honestly NEVER heard a lot about until I heard it with my own ears a few months ago. I was having lunch at a popular spot at a local DC med school when I overheard the conversation between a Latina OB/GYN resident and her White, male Attending. Now from my perspective, they BOTH needed to "check themselves", she was a little too "sensitive" about the politics she was dealing with (and yeah, that sounds familiar, LOL) and he too dismissive of some of the genuine concerns she about her work environment. Ironically, that same day someone sent me an article which talked about the severity of bullying in the medical profession and why they think I need to pursue another goal other than a medical career (and the fact that this person makes more than the average in Doc doing IT, supports their position, LOL). They know I'm not going to deal with that crap well at all in part, because it's no longer in my personality to be a doormat and also because at my age, I've dealt with enough getting to this point in my life, so my tolerance is near zero. And here's an article to illustrate my point about bullying in medicine:
In my mind, there's a HUGE difference between playing "office politics" well and being abused, but from what I've observed these past few years working for a couple employers and what I'm reading in articles like the one above, the terms are interchangeable. People I know that seem to play "office politics" well and survive are IMHO many times, a$$ kissing sycophants. And for what purpose, to get laid off or a bad eval, along with high blood pressure anyway? Umm NO thanks!!! OTOH, I think anyone going into medicine knows or should know that they're going to be abused on some level, and I'm no exception to that. I guess I kinda always thought that like many folks, I'll deal with whatever I have to, to get to where I want to be. But unlike a LOT of people I've worked with recently, I'm NOT willing to compromise my integrity, a position which has already "cost me" 2 jobs in recent years. Unfortunately, there IS a line with me that once it gets crossed (and that usually occurs when I've either been yelled at frequently or lied on), it's usually impossible for me to get back on the good side of the office politics game, because I WILL respond.
So this is where I've made the conscious decision (with frequent reminders) to: 1) really work on being VERY calm when I respond in these situations and 2) Stay "prayed up" as the old people say. And that second one is big. It's known in religious circles that ONLY God can fight "the devil", so I must remember that and stop engaging in "battles" I know I can't win (and the religious among my readers knows exactly what I'm talking about). It also involves listening to God when he speaks to you because I've always believed that God provides us with road maps so to speak for our lives if we would only LISTEN and heed whatever warnings He gives us, our lives would be MUCH happier. So for example, I knew my first day at work at that last Big Pharma company things wouldn't end well for me, so why was I there? Hell, I knew before I started but I worked there anyway and as my grandmother used to say, "a hard head makes for a soft behind!"
And that brings me back to the first few lines in this post, life is soooo much easier when we follow God's path for us instead of always creating our own without His guidance!