My Story

Post-Residency Life

So where am I now? Well, my fiance and I moved back to our hometown, where she quickly got herself an awesome job. We came to an agreement that I would have some time to explore where I want my career to go. It’s a big world out there, with a million opportunities in a million different fields, especially with an MD and medical license to back me up. So I wanted to be a bit more deliberate when choosing my next career path. Am I overestimating my value to society as a non-clinical MD? After exploring all these resources, I can confidently say “no.”

I didn’t set any limits on what I could explore. I went through one YouTube rabbit hole after another (it is AMAZING how much you can learn from YouTube if you pick the right channels). I had background in computer science and always loved math and programing, so I explored those. I found a field that combines both: Data Science. And if I didn’t want to leave medicine behind, I could use Data Science to analyze biomedical big data. That was exciting! But I wasn’t ready for a nine-to-five job quite yet.

The millennial in me had a strong urge to enact some positive change in the world. There were two things I was passionate about: the obesity epidemic and our antiquated system of medical training. While I would love to put a dent in the former, a lot has already been done and I don’t have anything new to contribute at the moment. And while I can’t do much right now to fix the myriad of issues that plague medical training (although I’d honestly love to), I can at least support residents by offering a service that I wish I had. So here we are!

In the meantime I’m working part-time as an MD consultant for a company providing COVID testing and vaccines. I needed a medical license for this, but my state only requires 1 year of residency to get licensed, so that worked out. With the blessing of my fiance, I plan to work on passion projects for a year or so to see if anything sticks. If not, I’ll start looking into more stable jobs.

To round out the mental health side of the story, I was able to discontinue all treatment a few months after quitting residency. My mental health is at a high I haven’t experienced since before medical school. I don’t know how else to describe it other than: I feel more myself. My time is now spent doing things that align with my nature. I’ve been working on projects than I enjoy and I’ve been reading tons of non-medical books. It feels amazing. My mind is expanding in ways it hasn’t in a long time. I feel connected to the rest of the world again. I’m sure others were much better than me, but I was terrible at keeping up with current affairs during medical training. I wasn’t able to take a deep dive into any of the social issues that were unfolding (especially everything in 2020!) and I hated that. Now I feel like a real member of society again!

As a say in My Goals, I know that quitting isn’t the answer for everyone. I’m sure there are hundreds of stories out there, each with a different ending. I hope by that sharing where mine began and how it progressed, you will be able to draw parallels to your own story and get a sense of how it can play out.