Thursday, January 21, 2010

Letter of Resignation

To Whom It May Concern:

Please consider this my letter of resignation from your program, from veterinary medicine, and, perhaps, from adulthood in general. I am thoroughly disgusted and fed up with the politics of the profession. I want to be completely clear in the statement that this decision has nothing whatsoever to do with the medicine. Yes, there are times in which the medicine can be frustrating and cases are lost that are difficult to swallow but it is the politics that are killing me.

Nasty politics that range from making decisions based on convenience rather than what is best for the patient. Politics that involve feeling as if proving yourself smarter or better than others dictates what decisions you make for your patient. Politics that require people to dance around the boss in worship rather than consider the needs of the patient. Politics that necessitate genuflection and kissing derriere or other methods in order to advance in your career. These politics are the source of the death of my professional career.

When did veterinary medicine become a study of "me"? At what point did we relinquish our devotion to our patients' needs in favor of our own petty whims? Do not misunderstand; I am not advocating having no life of your own or being a selfless martyr. I simply do not understand what happened to our priorities.

Initially I questioned whether I was asking too much of this institution and found myself comparing it to my alma mater. I tried to be reasonable and figured that since I have been out of school for quite some time it was likely that I was viewing my time as a student with "rose-colored glasses." Recently I visited again, this time in the role of a doctor, and found that I was not disappointed. It truly does work better there. So what has happened here???

I was asked if I was burned out from working such long hard hours and the simple answer is no. Burned out is not the word I would use to describe myself. I am disappointed and depressed. I feel as one would feel when their absolute idol has crumbled and fallen to the ground in front of them, proving to be merely human after all. Perhaps I have asked of and expected too much from my profession and am now witnessing the fall of unsustainable expectations. Perhaps there really is an idealist beneath my cynical facade that is being forced to face the reality that nothing is as it should be. I don't know exactly how to explain what is going on right now other than to say that I feel suddenly, devastatingly, completely depressed and disappointed.

Unfortunately, this is not the only place in which I've witnessed this phenomenon. Since graduation, I have worked in three different places, three different settings. First in mixed animal private practice, second in specialty private practice, and lastly in a university setting; in each of these I have witnessed this disturbing tendency. I have now reached the end of my tolerance and I quit. I do not quit the patients - it is not their fault that this idiocy reigns - but I quit the situation. No residency for me; I don't even want it anymore because at this point I cannot imagine that it could possibly be any better. Veterinary medicine adieu. It is time to find a new means of making a living as I cannot tolerate this blasphemy any longer.

So anyone want to buy a cookie?


12 comments:

barb said...

There's politics everywhere you go - i think people are just getting more and more egotistic and selfish - is it because of the recession? or maybe i notice it as i get older and more mature. Sad thing is that i have to pay more and more for services that are affected by these politics while i make less and less...

Anonymous said...

You're kidding, right?

KarenW said...

Maybe you should consider opening your own private practice - whether small or large animal. Even if you have to take a partner to defray expenses, that way you could run things the way you want.

Believe me, there are vets out there who aren't like you described. I have one. (I'm not a vet.) My dog broke her leg and the emergency vet place wanted to do $4500 surgery with pins and rods. I took her to my vet who put her in a cast and her leg healed itself. She's as good as new today, nearly a year later.

So take heart, because like one of the other posters said, there are politics in every profession. The ONLY way to escape them is to become self-employed.

Life in vet school said...

I agree with Barb and Karen -- I left my first profession and entered veterinary medicine because I couldn't take the politics and a$$-kissing anymore. And I know for a fact that I will still have to deal with similar things in medicine, but at least I'll have the OPTION of opening my own practice (not an option in my previous field). Don't give up yet, even if you don't want your own practice -- there are places out there that are a lot better than your current practice sounds, and you might have to job hop for awhile but you'll find one. Maybe do relief work to test drive some new practices?

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is a vet medicine thing so much as a "human" thing. The only way to avoid it would be to find a career where you can work independently! But that has its downsides too.

Purple Stinky Onion said...

Dr. Dr. May B. Insane, If you need a partner please do not hesitate to e-mail me,
PSO

jess said...

i know exactly what you mean. I'm a wannabe vet (http://vetjess.blogspot.com/)
and a few practices where i've done work experience have been awful. being nice to someones face then bitching as soon as the walk out the door! my first placement, i was 15, was like this and i was shocked. i'd never seen a working environment before and was dreading growing up and having to come into one every day! luckily i've found several practices who don't seem to affected by these politics.
don't give up!

Val said...

Now you see why I couldn't WAIT to get out of academia... Although private practice has its drawbacks too (mostly hitting that glass ceiling of financial constraints)... I bitch a lot but couldn't imagine doing anything else w/my life!

-SPW said...

Hey,
I just found your blog and love your writing. It is honest and blunt. We have such different lives but I can totally relate to your frustration with the politics of things. I know its hard but don't let other peoples perversion of the profession crush your dreams to be great in it.
http://www.thesecretivepilotswife.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Was that seriously the last post ever? i have thoroughly enjoyed this blog....please come back!

Anonymous said...

OK then, You can so totally be my vet.

Anonymous said...

Research Vet? Work for VIN.