I’ve always felt strongly that unhappy people at work are unhappy people overall. This is especially true when dealing with medical specialties that essentially take up your entire life. Here are four reasons why I think surgeons are pissed off.
1. They Hear It From Significant Others
Have you ever had a bad habit that you’d like to break? Doesn’t it make you angry when others ask you about it (CAGE anyone?)? I think the same principles apply here. Surgeons, or just people in general who work all of the time have no family time. Their husbands or wives eventually get sick of it.
A perfect example is the Chief of Surgery on Gray’s Anatomy. He wants to retire, and then does so to go back to his wife. But, it’s too late. His wife has been sick of his life for too long, and there’s another man in the house.
The bitching and complaining from significant others are the early stages of what could end in disaster. Heed the warnings, and don’t end up like Dr. Webber.
2. They Have No Personal Time
Everybody needs time to themselves. Whether it be for simply relaxing or engaging in a hobby, this is a must for keeping yourself sane. Go years without any “me” time, and you can probably understand why some people are so bitter.
Make it a point to go out one day per week and do something that you really love. It will take some of the stress away.
3. They Miss Important Family Events
I’m not talking about the weekend barbecue or the missed family reunions. I’m talking about real stuff that you’re supposed to be around for.
While on my vascular surgery rotation, I overheard a phone call from my attending on rounds. He was on the phone with his wife, who was pregnant with their first child. She had an appointment for an ultrasound, and he was supposed to be there. Obviously, he wasn’t there as rounds were still taking place.
Later he joked to his colleagues that it was “just an ultrasound” and that “she’ll get over it.”
Deep down I think he wanted to be there, and because of his job he couldn’t. That’s enough to piss anybody off, I think.
4. They Make Good Money, But Can’t Spend It
Surgeons get paid well. Very well. It’s unfortunate that they pretty much hand over their paychecks. I think direct deposit was invented to cater to surgeons, who very rarely have time to actually go to the bank.
Wouldn’t it be nice to take some of that money and enjoy it sometime? Go on a 2 week family vacation, or buy a modest boat and take the family to the lake once in a blue moon? They’d love to do it, but simply can’t.
All Work And No Play
Not only do they have to deal with their own personal feelings, but a surgeon’s lifestyle has a significant impact on people in their lives that really matter.
In order to cope, they take out their feelings on residents, students, and hospital staff. I understand that they have to deal with things, but there are better ways to go about accomplishing that goal.