I have reached the brick wall.
I would like to have a job that I enjoy and that pays me well enough to enjoy my life as I want to.
My current job pays me well enough but I do not particularly enjoy it. My pay will rise gradually over the next 10 years but I envisage that I will remain unhappy and continue to feel the same sinking feeling every day as I approach 9am.
So I need to find a job I enjoy more, possibly sacrificing some of my salary to do so. Within medicine, the jobs with the most regular hours (GP, Dermatology, etc) are ones I am not particularly interested in. The jobs with the best pay (surgery) do interest me but I am not prepared to sacrifice my life to become good at them.
So do I leave medicine? I will lose the good salary and the job security. I will hopefully also lose the stress and misery that working in the NHS can bring. Or will I? Will I end up doing an office job somewhere which is just as stressful and be earning less doing it?
There is no easy answer. My final plan may be to continue to get my exams, and once I have those under my belt quit medicine and see what happens. I think a short break will be in order. But what will that actually achieve? Will it just be a waste of time that makes it harder to progress in a career?
When I say I have reached the brick wall, what I mean is that I have reached the point when I honestly feel that thinking about the issue more will not help in any way. The fundamental problem is that I want to be successful and happy in my career and my life outside work, and medicine is not providing that. I may have to accept that I will not be fortunate enough to achieve job satisfaction, and spend my time trying to make the rest of my life as good as it can be.
On the other hand, if you think about the fact you only have one life to live then why would you want to waste over half of it doing something you don't enjoy? Sometimes I feel like jacking all of this in, just in case I get hit by a bus in 10 years - at least I could say I had fun while I was alive. What if you spend your twenties and thirties working towards something and then it all ends? Would you look back and say "well, at least I tried" or would you think "shit, I wish I had spent the last ten years with friends/travelling/partying/gambling(substitute your own vice)".
Now I'm not suggesting it is sensible to live every day as if you are going to be dead next month (that would lead to chaos), but doing a job like mine you see plenty of "fit and well" young men and women coming in and dying within days/weeks/months. It makes you think about your own life and whether or not you are making the most of it.
I am now going to listen to some Portishead, and try and do some more revision for my exam which may not actually be of any use to me in the future but it might be so I will try and pass it and if I pass it it means I can get out the NHS quicker.
I am going to get caned on Friday night.