I disliked medical conferences in general. I wasn’t interested in the topics and they were typically only a short break from my work on the wards. While they often put me to sleep, I did take something away from conferences that was not blatantly obvious while I was attending them.
To be proficient in medicine requires a huge time commitment. Think for a minute at the number of conferences you attend on a weekly (if not daily) basis:
- Grand Rounds
- Morning Report
- Noon Conference
- Guest speakers
- Program-specific conferences (i.e. unknowns in Pathology)
- Tumor Board
I don’t know about you guys, but I attended at least three conferences mentioned above every week during my 3rd year. I’m sure the residents probably attended even more. I particularly disliked noon conference, because I wanted to use my lunch as time to hang out with fellow classmates and talk about something, anything, other than medicine. Most of the other students didn’t see it that way, and I usually went up to the cafeteria or an outside picnic table to eat (pending I was fortunate enough to have a lunch break to begin with) while they listened about treating hypertension for the 50th time.
Now combine the above conferences with your workload on the wards and the outside reading and studying that you probably do. Guess what?
You’re eating, breathing, sleeping and shitting medicine.
If you aren’t passionate about it, however, you’re simply wasting your time. Those are hours down the drain, never to return. You better damn well make the most of them.
If you would put in even a fraction of the amount of time and effort that medical training requires and apply that effort to alternatives outside of medicine that you are truly passionate about, you guys would absolutely kill it. I wrote about medicine developing my work ethic in an earlier post, and this idea is a spin off of that broad concept.
While I never learned shit about a new drug or the latest treatment regimen for pulmonary hypertension, medical conferences taught me that I could be more successful, more profitable, happier, and have more free time with a smaller time commitment while still following the “daily learning” equation that medical education subscribes to. I just had to apply that equation in other industries.
Thanks again, medicine. I owe ya one.